Do you need any legal documents to leave Canada with your children?

If you're travelling outside of Canada with your children, you'll probably be asked to prove (show) that you're allowed to take your children out of the country if:

  • you're travelling without their other parent, or
  • you're their only parent.

You'll need certain documents to do this:

  • If your children have another guardian, or someone else shares custody of them with you, bring a letter from that person that says they give you permission to take the children out of Canada. The government of Canada website recommends that you use their consent letter.
  • If your children don't have another guardian, bring legal documents that prove you don't need to ask anyone if you can travel with them on your own. For example:
    • a death certificate (if the other parent is dead),
    • a court order that shows you're the only guardian and can travel without asking anyone, or
    • an agreement that says you're the only guardian and can travel without asking anyone.

You'll also need these documents:

  • when you apply for passports for your children, or
  • any time you need to show you're a sole (only) guardian (for example, for school trips).

If you don't have any of these documents, get legal help.

Before you travel to another country, check what other documents you'll need.

Ask the embassy or consulate of the country you're travelling to what you'll need and whether your documents need to be notarized. That means a lawyer or notary public watches you sign the letter and then signs it as a witness to your signature.