Travelling with stepchildren



UK Border
Originally uploaded by Mesq

When I travelled to Denmark ten days ago with Amaia, Anna and Léon, nobody asked us any questions (Amaia, Anna and I were using our Danish passports and Léon his British one).

However, when we returned last Wednesday, Léon and I were interviewed for a couple of minutes by the border police in Stansted (our relationship, his date of birth, and who I was). They also told me it would have helped if I had brought his birth certificate.

It’s great they’re trying to do something about child abductions, but wouldn’t it be more appropriate to ask the questions when you leave the country where the child is a citizen rather than when you bring them back?

I also fail to understand what difference a birth certificate would have made. If it had been combined with our marriage certificate, I guess it would have shown a link between us, but surely unmarried stepdads and grandparents and the like are allowed to take kids on holiday, too?

The border police need to state clearly which documents they want to see to allow for smooth passage if the passports aren’t enough any more. Otherwise it becomes completely unpredictable whether you’ll be allowed to travel or not, which isn’t very satisfactory.

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