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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12329
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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My daughter was born in New York City but has lived all of

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My daughter was born in New York City but has lived all of her life in Pennsylvania. Me and her father never married but he was there for the birth and did sign the birth certificate. My question is in the state of Pennsylvania am I required to get a letter of consent from her father if I want to take her on a trip to another country? Even though we never married and she has lived with me for all of her life? He barely sees her and has barely provided anything for her if that changes anything at all. She will be 5 years old at the time of travel.
Hello there:

Thank you for your question. If there is no court order in place prohibiting the international travel (such as through a custody order), one parent can generally travel out of the country with their own child, without the other parent's permission.

That said, it is generally not possible to get a passport for a 5 year old child without the consent of both parents. If the child already has a passport, there generally wouldn't be a problem with one parent leaving the country with the child even over the other parent's permission.

If the child doesn't have a passport, the parent wanting to travel internationally with their 5 year old would ordinarily just need to file for a custody order, and ask the court to include in its order the right to unilaterally get the child's passport.

You mentioned that you have a valid passport already in-hand, so as long as there is no order from the court (i.e. a custody order) prohibiting international travel, it would ordinarily be no problem whatsoever.

Let me know if further clarification is needed. Thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We do not have a court order in place. So the state in which me and my daughter reside has no say on whether I can travel with her internationally?

It's not that the state "has no say", but the state says that international travel with one's child is OK, even over the objection of one parent as long as there is no court order saying otherwise.

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