The Importance of Consent Forms in Child Travel Planning

Traveling without parents is a reason for excitement for children and immense stress for parents. Besides all the anxiety the latter experience when they cannot check where and how their kid is at every moment of the journey, they should also take care of the legal side of the trip.

If your kid is planning a solo trip or a tour with other adults, meet an essential element of child travel planning — a child travel consent form.

The Importance of Consent Forms in Child Travel Planning

What Is a Consent Form for Tips, and When Is It Necessary?

Through a child travel consent form, a parent gives authority to another person, who is neither the kid’s parent nor their guardian, to travel with their child within the county or abroad. In other words, it proves that the person accompanying your kid hasn’t kidnapped the latter. This document may be required at airports, border security checks, and destination immigration centers.

This form guarantees that the trip won’t be delayed or spoiled by misunderstandings due to child abduction concerns. Generally, a consent form may be necessary in such situations:

  1. When a child is traveling with a parent who does not have primary custody, especially if the parents are divorced or separated, for instance, John, who lives with his mother most of the time due to a divorce agreement, is planning to spend the summer holidays with his father in Canada. To avoid any issues at immigration, John’s mother provides a signed consent form approving the trip.
  2. For school field trips, sports tournaments, academic competitions, or any other organized activities that involve travel supervised by teachers or coaches. Emily, a high school student, is traveling to Washington, D.C., for a national debate competition with her debate team. Her parents sign a consent form and grant the supervising teacher the authority to accompany Emily on the trip and make emergency decisions if necessary.
  3. When grandparents, aunts, uncles, or adult siblings take the child on a vacation or trip, especially internationally. Sarah’s grandparents plan to take her on a cruise to the Caribbean. To avoid any problems, Sarah’s parents have signed a consent form and authorized her grandparents to travel with her and make any necessary decisions during the trip.
  4. Situations where children travel with the families of friends, such as going on vacation with a friend’s family or attending a sleepaway camp. Mark is invited to join his best friend’s family on a summer trip to Disneyland in California. Mark’s parents have signed a consent form allowing their friend’s parents to take Mark with them and handle any emergencies that might arise during the vacation.
  5. If a child needs to travel to another country for specialized medical treatment without their legal guardians, a consent form is vital to ensure smooth travel and medical decision-making.

Lily needs to travel to Germany for specialized surgery. Due to work commitments, her parents cannot accompany her, so they arrange for her aunt, a trained nurse, to take her. They provide a consent form authorizing the aunt to make all travel-related and medical decisions on their behalf.

Who Should Sign a Consent Form?

The person responsible for signing the document depends on the family situation.

  • If the parents are married and traveling together, no consent is required. 
  • If a child travels alone or with neither a parent nor a guardian, in most situations, both legal guardians or parents of the child should sign the document. 
  • If one legal guardian is unavailable due to incarceration or overseas deployment, the available guardian should sign the consent form with a clear explanation.
  • If the parents are divorced but have joint custody, they both should sign the document. 
  • The situation is different for divorced parents when only one of them has custody. In this case, one signature will be enough. 

What Will Happen If The Child Has No Consent Form?

If a child is traveling with a non-parent and lacks a consent form, they may face significant disruptions and legal issues. Border control or airport authorities could deny boarding or entry due to concerns over child abduction or trafficking. This not only causes immense stress and inconvenience for both the child and the accompanying adult but could also lead to legal investigations to confirm the legitimacy and safety of the child’s travel. 

How Can I Draft a Consent Form?

Though a child travel consent form is an important legal document, it is quite easy to create. For this, you should just address a reliable legal platform, like Lawrina, and fill out a template drafted by professional lawyers. Typically, a child travel consent form contains such information:

  • The full name of the parent giving consent;
  • The full name, date, and place of birth, and the birth certificate number of the child; 
  • A clear statement that the parent allows the child to travel with the appointed adult;
  • The full name, nationality, passport number of the appointed adult;
  • Contact information and emergency numbers. 
  • The date.
  • The parent’s signature.


Incorporating a child travel consent form in your child travel planning is not merely a formality — it’s a safeguard. This document ensures a stressless travel experience, avoiding frustrating delays and legal complications.

Having this form not only signals your preparedness but also your commitment to the child’s well-being during travel. So, before you pack those suitcases, remember to draft, finalize, and carry your consent form. Your foresight will pave the way for a smooth and memorable journey.

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