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Kerry Katona gets stopped at airport – here’s how it could happen to you

 

Kerry Katona took to Instagram to vent her frustration at being stopped at the airport on her way back from Ireland.

The former Atomic Kitten singer said she was ‘in shock’ when she was pulled aside and asked to provide extra identification.

And it all happened for a very common reason, that could happen to you too.

In her post on the social media site, the 38-year-old said: “In shock!! Just been pulled aside for a birth certificate to prove I’m dj [Dylan-Jorge] mummy because we have different surnames!!!!

“They wasn’t gonna let me on!!!!

“Never ever been asked for this in 17 years! Wtf!!!”

Kerry regularly posts updates with her followers on her Instagram account

And the mum-of-five is not the only one, many of Kerry’s followers commented about similar experiences.

One said: “This happened to me & my sister in Luton airport! The shocking thing is we had been let out of our place of birth & was questioned coming home!”

Another said: “Happened to me coming back from America. I thought he was joking. You need birth certificate with the father on. Thinking about it it’s a good rule really. Just wish I’d have known.”

But this is in fact quite common and something parents travelling abroad with children who have a different surname should be aware of, especially during times of heightened security.

The problems that can occur involve being refused past check-in, turned away at border control, being stopped and questioned and even becoming embroiled in a child abduction case.

It’s estimated that up to 600,000 parents have had to deal with this, including one Liverpool mum when she went away last summer.

The 34-year-old, from Gateacre, said: “When I got married, I didn’t change my surname on my passport as it still had a few years left on it.

“After coming back from holiday and landing in England, I took my daughter through one of the passport control desks, while my husband went through another.

“The man on the desk immediately started questioning me about why I had a different surname to my daughter and asking what the relationship was between us.

“He asked if I had anything to prove she was my daughter – but I didn’t and my husband had already gone through by then, so I couldn’t call him back.

“Thankfully, I just got quite a big telling off but it did panic me at the time.”

But all of this is preventable.

Sarah Platt, family solicitor at Kirwans law firm, said: “In order to avoid any misunderstandings, and to make it easier to pass through security at the airport, parents with different surnames from their child are advised to carry with them evidence of their relationship to their child, such as a birth certificate or adoption certificate.

“If you are a divorced parent who has reverted back to your maiden name or married again, then a divorce or marriage certificate, as well as a change of name deed, which your solicitor will be able to assist with, should help to clear up any confusion as to differing surnames.

“A letter from the other parent confirming their permission for you to take the child abroad will also assist you through border control. The Home Office has a handy template for a letter of consent which you can use – and which is also helpful for grandparents taking children on holiday without their parents.

“In the case where the other parent has passed away, you will need to carry the death certificate to prove that is the case.

“Basically, every document that backs up your situation should be provided in order to prove that you have a bona fide reason for taking your child abroad.

“If travelling without the other parent, whether married or not, it is also a good idea to have documentation explaining your relationship to the child, and the consent letter, in the event that your child may need medical attention.”

For more details about seeking permission to take children abroad, visit the government website here.




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