If you’re gearing up for a family summer holiday, the last thing that might be on your mind is proving that your child is your own - but this is the advice tweeted out on Thursday by the Home Office to parents who have a different surname.
The Home Office has issued advice recommending that parents with different surnames to their children bring proof the child is theirs, such as a birth certificate or adoption certificate to “help get through passport control quicker”.
Some parents, however, have reacted angrily to the Tweet, calling the policy outdated and even “Victorian”.
One reader pointed out she was “completely against” it and said it was not unusual in the 21st Century for parents to have different names from their children.
The travel advice, which was updated in June, states that in some cases parents travelling with children of different surnames may be asked extra questions at security. It recommends travelling with birth, adoption, or marriage certificates.
While some pointed out the move is about safeguarding children from harm, such as from kidnap, others pointed out that there were already steps taken to verify identity when applying for child’s passport.
Some people felt that the advice was patriarchal, and that it might single out mothers for example who have either chosen not to marry or not to take their husband’s name.
Others questioned whether the system had overlooked certain risks.