The US government states:
"Due to the increasing incidents of child abductions in disputed custody cases and as possible victims of child pornography, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) strongly recommends that unless the child is accompanied by both parents, the adult have a note from the child's other parent (or, in the case of a child traveling with grandparents, uncles or aunts, sisters or brothers, friends, or in groups*, a note signed by both parents) stating "I acknowledge that my wife/husband/etc. is traveling out of the country with my son/daughter/group. He/She/They has/have my permission to do so."
The sample letter below is a guide only. You will also want to have the letter notarized. HERE is a list of local notaries Park Slope parents have recommended in the 'hood.
To whom it may concern:
This letter is in relation to my child, [name], who is a citizen of the United States of America and holds a U.S. passport, born [date].
I do solemnly swear that I have legal custody of my child, and no pending divorce or child custody proceedings involving my son exist.
I do hereby grant full authorization and consent for my child to travel outside of the United States under the custody of his mother, XXXX, a XXXX citizen, born [date]. The purpose of the travel is to visit relatives [where]. They will be traveling from [date] to [date].
Signature of [father]
CERTIFICATE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF NOTARY PUBLIC
State of ___________
County of ______________
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
[Father] personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority in and for the jurisdiction aforesaid, and, being first duly sworn in by me according to law, states on oath that the consent of the above International Travel Consent for a Minor is true and correct as therein stated and set forth.
Signature of Notary Public
SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me this the ____ day of _____________, 201X
Check with The US State Dept's Office of Children's Issues: 1 800 407 4747
“A woman there was able to give me a sample template over the phone for a letter I should use to give my consent. It should be notarized and my husband should carry it in case anyone asks him for it. (It
sounds like from people's experiences that it's rare that anyone asks, but it does happen!) She also suggested that I call the [Country Destination] Embassy in Washington, DC for any additional requirements they might have.”
Have documents to be safe!
“I would to be safe. I am in a similar situation and had no trouble leaving the US with my daughter, but in Italy they were puzzled and asked where the father was. My daughter has my last name as her middle name so when they noticed that, they let us go.”