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Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
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Friday, September 21, 2007

Reader Question: Permission for Traveling with Grandkids?

Dear CaribbeanFamilyTripper: We're planning a trip to Aruba with our two grandchildren next Easter. The trip will just include the four of us, not the children's parents. Do we need to take any special steps to travel with the kids without their parents? Dana, Atlanta

Dear Dana,

Although it's not mandatory for Aruba (like it is for Mexico), it's a good idea to travel with proof from the parents that it's OK for you to take their children out of the country. (With the rise in parental kidnappings, this same precaution should be taken any time kids are taken out of the country without both birth parents, whether this means they're traveling with a parent and stepparent, just one parent while the other one's a home or traveling on a different flight, or traveling with friends and their parents.)

Your first step is to get a notarized letter from both parents stating that it is OK for you to travel with the children. Be sure to include as many details as possible in the letter: your names (as they appear on your passports), the children's names, where you are traveling, and the dates of your trip.

You'll also want to get a notarized letter stating that it is OK for you to seek medical care for the children in case of an emergency.

For more information:
• view our sample consent letter

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