Query: Can Children Travel Abroad without Father’s Consent?

MDO wrote:

Hi, I have a friend who is separated with his wife, and has 2 kids. Is it possible for the mother to take the kids out of the country away from their father?  The kids follow their dad’s last name.  The mother needs to seek consent from the biological father in order to do that right? Thank you and hoping for your quick response.

Legal Advice:

Generally, the rule is minor children (below the age of 18) cannot leave the country unaccompanied by a parent (father or mother).  See also DSWD rules on Travel Clearance for Minors.   Click here to get the DSWD Travel Consent Form if your child needs it to leave the country.

Assuming that the father has a custody agreement or court order that prohibits the mother from taking the children out of the country without his consent, she can still succeed in bringing the children out of the country unless a hold departure order is issued and brought to the attention of immigration officers at the port of departure.  It is the father’s duty to inform the Bureau of Immigration of such hold order so that Immigration can put the children’s names on a watch list.
From experience,  Immigration officers usually question situations when the minor children are accompanied by an adult who does not appear to be the parent, such as, when the mom’s passport does not bear the same surname of the children; otherwise, she is usually granted passage with the children.
What is the father’s recourse? If he fears that the mother plans to alienate him from the children and has no intention to let them return to the Philippines, then he must consult a lawyer who can recommend and take the appropriate legal action in court. I hope this helps.

173 thoughts on “Query: Can Children Travel Abroad without Father’s Consent?

  1. Jamer

    we were transfered to Q.C from bulacan. the problem is about our rate.we are suppose to be manila rate.from 302p we should earn 382p/day. what are we going to do about this.

    1. CFlorido Post author

      Thank you for your comment.
      I refer to the Legal Disclaimer of this blog which I remind the readers to read as well.
      Due to the nature of the query, I am sending a private reply through your email address.

    2. Gladys

      Hi! I tried to search for opinions/ideas that could possibly help me resolve my current situation regarding travel consent from the father of my two minor children. Praise the Lord I found your blog. I was married but my annulment petition was granted last 2006 and the custody was granted to me. I’m now engaged to a Filipino American Citizen for about 8 months and he just submitted his petition for both me and my kids through K1 and K2 respectively. My kids’ father already knew about my engagement and met my fiance in person. We told him already about his future consent needed for the kids to travel with me to the US as visa requirement. We didnt push it before for we didnt need it yet but the time has come and unfortunately the father showed strong resistance as he refused to sign the letter of consent when the kids brought it with them when they met for that purpose. I was there at that moment and sad to say that it ended up in a bad way. He tore the papers right to his kids’ face. By the way, he already has his own 3 little kids from his common law wife that he couldn’t even take care of coz he’s still even under his parents’ wings at his age 43. Also, he’s going to take the bar exam this oct for the 2nd time, and so he’s at the moment going through a review. It pains me so much to see my kids crying and sad knowing the possibility for us to be apart. Me and my children have a very close relationship. Pls help me on what’s the best action for me to take. I badly need your help. Looking forward to your reply. Thank you for this opportunity. God Bless!

      1. Atty. Post author

        Gladys: Try asking the lawyer who handled your nullity/annulment case about the Order of the court in that case. Usually, there is a statement regarding child custody. You are going to look for a provision in the court order which may provide for full custody in your favor. If there is no such provision, then you may have to file a case asking for sole custody. Immigration officers may accept a court order confirming your right of custody, in the absence of a voluntary agreement or consent document. I hope this helps.

  2. Irie

    What if the child is illegitimate but she bears the father’s family name. The father no longer sees her and does not give support as well or even tried to communicate. Are there any necessary documentation that the mother needs to file in order to bring the Child abroad? What possible grounds can a father file for the illegitimate child not to be brought abroad by the mother? And what can a mother do in order to make sure that the father will not try and stop her from bringing her child?

    1. CFlorido Post author

      Hi, Irie.
      Illegitimate children are under the custody of the mother and for as long as the child is traveling with one of the parents, he or she need not have a travel clearance. In the situation cited, you said that the child bears the surname of the father, in which case, the mother should be prepared to show proof of her relationship to the child, usually a birth certificate. If the father has an existing visitation or custody arrangement approved in court then he may take steps to prevent the child from leaving the country including alerting the Bureau of Immigration. There is no specific guarantee against this move because the father has a right to have access to his minor child. I hope this helps.

  3. Lace

    What if the parents are separated but without any court ruling (father is living and working overseas, child is under the care of the mother), can the mother bring the child abroad without the consent of the father? Mother will work overseas.

    1. CFlorido Post author

      Without a pending case and hold order, it is possible for the mother to bring the child out of the country.

  4. Lace\

    Thank you Atty. Florido. If the mother and the child literally leave the house (they live in in-laws house), can they just leave and the in-laws have no legal right to force them to stay?

    The separation is not a legal case yet, as of now.

    Thanks again.

    1. CFlorido Post author

      Your in-laws do not exercise any legal authority over you or your child so they do not have legal basis to make you stay.
      As a general rule, the parents of a child have joint parental authority, and in the absence of one, the parent who is present shall continue exercising parental authority over the child.

  5. Lace

    Thank you very Atty. Florido. It is a relief knowing the legal rights. You are very helpful.

  6. Jordan

    Dear Atty. MC Florido,

    My case is quite different with the usual case since I am the father who was left taking care of my illegitimate child since 8 years ago. I’m aware of some existing laws that are usually favorable to women and i am glad that there is RA 9255 which give father’s like me some rights to give what is due for our children.

    My story is this, I have a common law wife for about 2 years and in that relationship we had a son. When my son was about 7 months old we went on separate ways and my son was left in my custody. After 2 years my estrange wife came back and together with her relative, they tried to get my son by making stories at the CSWD and women’s section of the PNP. In the process i refused to give my son and resulted to injury on my part, having bruises and cuts(with blood).My son was in my arms while around 6 people were trying to break my hold on him, grabbing my arms and choking my neck. They were able to got hold of my son. I was so humiliated that time as my shirt was pulled out showing me half-naked. Though i maybe tough as any man could but that time i couldn’t help but cry, not because of physical pain but of fear of losing my son who was almost 3 years old then. After that i decided to go with the CSWD. They found out the real situation and story about our relationship. They saw for themselves that the problem was really on my wife’s side, so my son was given back to me.

    After that we never had any contact or news about my wife and now my son is already 8 years old. Though the trauma of seeing violence against his dad sometimes manifest in him, he is a very loving son and a bright kid, graduated with honors while he was in prep. After that i sent him to La Salle school for elementary education.

    Now as any loving father would like to give the best to his son, i plan to bring my son abroad even for just a pleasure trip. I started preparing for his papers only to find out that the problem would be, with the issuance of passport. It is easier for a mother to secure a passport for her illegitimate child than for a father even if the child is in his care since he was a baby.

    In this regard, I would like to ask your advice on any step or legal action that i should take to make legal and full custody of my son. If i have to make a petition or file a case against my ex then how long does it take before a judgement can be rendered?Btw, it is more than 5 years already since the last time that we had a contact with her, could this be a ground for an abandonment case?

    Thank you for taking time to read this long comment and i will highly appreciate whatever advice you could give. God Bless you.

    1. CFlorido Post author

      Dear Jordan,
      You may file a petition for adoption and allege the abandonment by his mother.
      The rules on adoption allow a parent to adopt his illegitimate child but requires the written consent of the mother.
      Considering the situation you just narrated, I assume that obtaining her consent may not be possible.
      There is a chance that you could still get a favorable judgment if you allege and prove abandonment in the same petition for adoption.
      As to how long it will take for a Decree of Adoption to be issued, please take note that there is a requirement for the petition to be published once a week for three weeks in a newspaper of general circulation, the preparation of a home study report by the assigned social worker, court hearing and a trial custody period of 6 months. But if you are serious about formalizing your custody and parental authority, you may have to start legal action soon. I hope this helps.

  7. Jordan

    Thank you very much Atty. Florido. Your advice really gives us hope specially this time that I am looking for legal ways to find solution to my problem.

  8. raine

    Dear Atty. MC Florido,

    i just wanted to ask if how can i file a case for child support for my daughter if the father is working abroad, he’s in dubai right now working in a hotel?

    before when found out that i’m pregnant he said that he’s not the father of my daughter which i strongly disagreed because i’m very sure that he’s the father, i even said if you want you can pay DNA testing just to prove that he’s the father. After i gave birth he tried to communicate by emails and text messages but we’re like cats and dogs so i didn’t work out so i got tired so all i wanted is support for my daughter. can you please give me an advice regarding my problem thank you so much

    1. CFlorido Post author

      Raine: I’m sorry to hear of your situation.

      Your query failed to mention whether you are married to the father. For purposes of discussion, let’s assume that you are not, so the status of your daughter is illegitimate.

      Generally, an illegitimate child is entitled to support but the law requires proof of filiation or relationship between the child and the supposed father.

      The Supreme Court, in a line of cases, considered the following as acceptable proof of filiation:

    2. voluntary recognition by the father in the birth certificate, will, or a statement before a court of record
    3. an admission of filiation in a public instrument or a private handwritten instrument(document) AND signed by the parent concerned
    4. a notarized agreement to support a child in which the father admitted his relationship to the child
    5. letters to the mother vowing to be a good father to the child AND pictures of the father cuddling the child on various occasions, TOGETHER with the certificate of live birth.
    6. You may still send a letter requesting for support and if he refuses to do so, you may have to ask a lawyer to send a demand letter asking for support. In the meantime, since you are certain about the paternity, you may want to consider having your child and the father tested for filiation.

      So far, it seems that in the Philippines, only the University of the Philippines National Science Research Institute (UP-NSRI) DNA Analysis Laboratory has the capability to conduct DNA typing using short tandem repeat (STR) analysis.

      I hope that this helps.

  9. raine

    Dear Atty. MC Florido,

    i have one more thing to tell i forgot to mention that my daughter is using her father’s last name but i did just put his name on the birth cert and as with the notary, i wasn’t able to send to him the docs, he said that he’s ok with that and i have all the proof in my emails and txt messages from him.

    1. CFlorido Post author

      Okay. If he signed the birth certificate of your daughter then that is enough proof of their relationship. That should help you enforce your daughter’s right to be supported.

  10. raine

    Atty. MC Florido,

    i have one more thing to tell i forgot to mention that my daughter is using her father’s last name but i did just put his name on the birth cert and as with the notary, i wasn’t able to send to him the docs, he said that he’s ok with that and i have all the proof in my emails and txt messages from him.

    1. CFlorido Post author

      Yes, Raine. I assumed that you were not, so my first reply to your query still stands.
      Just an aside– oftentimes, many of the family law or support issues can be solved with positive communication rather than heated words.
      But if communication is really strained right now, try to get a lawyer who can work out an amicable agreement between the two of you. It is for the sake of your daughter.
      Anything is possible in time. I speak from my own personal experience (having emerged from a dissolved marriage with the usual child issues).
      Good luck. Leave me a note to let me know things are better.

  11. Lhet

    Hi there I have a question thats been bothering me, My son is with me and we are currently living here in New Zealand and recently applied for residency and now my son is an illegitimate child, in his birth certificate its only me showing as the mother and no father’s name at all, he was born out of a wedlock,and now the immigration is looking of further information about my son, and wants legal evidences that i can removed my son from his country of residence which is the philippines, so now what are the legal evidences that I can shows them that I have the right?my son is 6 years old and he does not know his bioligical father. Many thanks n advance!

    1. Christine Florido Post author


      1. Aside from the birth certificate, you may have to execute an Affidavit of Illegitimacy to show the status of your child. Have the document authenticated by the Philippine DFA office there. The affidavit of illegitimacy does not have to state the name of the father so this should not be a problem for your child (who has no idea about it).

      2. If you were able to obtain a Travel Clearance before you brought your child out of the country, include that as well. (although a travel clearance may not have been necessary at the time because you are entitled to bring out your child without the written consent of the father)

      3. You may also have to obtain a copy of the Family Code and highlight the provision that says that an illegitimate child is under the sole parental authority of his/her mother.

      4. Inquire as well about additional documents that the Immigration authorities there may want to see and do your best to obtain those documents.

      I hope this helps.

  12. Lhet

    Hi Infomagnate,
    Thanks for your Help, I have now an Affidavit of Illegitimacy just need to signed it and about the travel clearance the DSWD before we left philippines I ask them and they said I dont need one because my son is under of my care. And I also found the Family Code about Illegitimate children, Thanks a Lot for your Help!God Speed

  13. Miley


    I have a question about the situation of my friend.My friend is a US citizen and he is now in the process of filling a petition for his minor son (8yrs old )in the Philippines to the US .Now, he wanted to know if how long will it take to process the petition since he is only petitioning for him. Before that, his wife took the baby away from him so, he went to the Philippines to find him. He found his son with the help of his detective he hired but he didn’t know that the mother left son under the care of her sister and travel abroad also..He is still married with his sons mother and has his last name. Both wanted to end there relationship but, the wife left the country. He filled for full custody and no one showed up in the court from his wife side of the family.Now, the full custody of the child is with him and since she didn’t show up , she got defaulted. Is there any way that will delay him from petitioning his son for this matter? Thanks in advance

  14. Jay

    Hi Attorney, this blogsite is very helpful. Thank you for taking time to answer all the questions.

  15. Tee

    Hello, my ex and I share responsibility for our child she is wanting to go abroad to visit family she says but I fear that she may try to keep my child away from me in this fashion. I have proof that I provide for my child by medical, school and other records even though we do not have a court ordered agreement. What should I do to ensure my child’s return if I were to allow her to travel abroad?

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      I see that you are from the US. While most states in the US protect the non custodial parent (NCP) against parental kidnapping or moving the child to a different state without the consent of the the NCP, unfortunately, there is very little that you can do in case your child is brought to another country which is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction.

      I suggest that you discuss the possibility of entering into a court-approved visitation/joint custody agreement with your ex through lawyers before she actually leaves the country with your child. This will, at least, be your best evidence of custodial or visitation rights in case you need to invoke the Hague convention some day.

      Your own counsel should also be able to provide additional insight into your situation. I hope this helps.

  16. Tee

    PS my child was born in the US and her mom is not . Does this make a difference in her return or not?

  17. janey

    hi.im hoping u can answer my question in regards to my 10 year old child in the philippines.now i am going to file for my permanent residency in canada.one of the requirements is a custody paper from the previous relationship/marriage.i got married the year 2000 and got separated 2003 from my husband,the main reason he physically abuse me and after that i never hear from him anymore.never supported my child tuition fees etc..doesnt know where he is right now.last 2008 i was able to get my daughter out of the country for a visit in hongkong since im working there..i got a travel clearance for my daughter,the requirements i got from the consulate of phil hongkong is affidavit of consent and support/affidavit of abandonment. now,so where can i get a custody paper in order to get the requirements.? how long will it take to get this papers?i hope u can answer me.thank you very much.

    1. Attorney Post author

      You may want to consider the following:
      1) Looking for your ex through relatives and common friends and asking him to sign a custody agreement in your favor.
      2) Go to court and file a petition for legal separation or nullity (depending on your grounds) and ask the court to grant you sole custody. I suggest that you discuss this angle with a lawyer as this may be your only recourse considering that the father of your child appears to have disappeared.

      I hope this helps.

  18. Diana

    Hi I have an illigitimate child who is now 10 years old. She bears my name and is under my sole custody and support. The father never provided financial support nor was he asked to provide. But he signed my daughter’s birth certificate as the father.
    I am now planning to migrate abroad and get married.
    I want to ask if there will be any requirements i have to provide or will the father still have the right to prevent my daughter from leaving the country?
    I know the automatic custody of an illigitimate child is until 7 years old only. She is now 10 so i want to make sure there will be no problems with us wanting to migrate abroad. Thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Illegitimate children, regardless of age (not necessarily those below 7) are under the sole parental authority of their mothers. If you’re traveling abroad with her, I don’t think you’ll need a travel clearance nor the consent of her biological father. Depending on the requirements of the country you are entering, you may have to execute an Affidavit of Illegitimacy together with her birth certificate to prove your right of custody.

      I hope this helps.

  19. alysse

    Hi, Attorney,

    My marriage got annulled last jan 2010 (thank God). I have a 10 yr old daughter from that marriage whom i brought up alone without support (emotional, financial) from her father. The decision did not mention custody of our daughter. My fiance has filed for petition (K1 visa) for me and we are hoping that my daughter will get K2 visa as a derivative status for my K1 visa (hopefully, our application will be approved). My question is, does my daughter need travel clearance from dswd assuming our application for K visa will be approved? Does the US embassy/immigration require travel clearance before she leaves the philippines or enters the US?

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

    1. ethel

      atty, i am in the same situation with allysa, please do send me a quick answer on this…thank you so much

      1. Atty. Post author

        Ethel: Kindly specify details of your situation. Will wait.

    2. Loulee

      Hi atty
      My prev marriage was null & void already. And my son & i are leaving soon to US with my fiance. I thought i might need a consent from his father so i went to Dswd. but they didnt gave me coz they said i dont need it. Im just worrying what if the imigration ask me to it? What will i do. IL wait 4 your reply & thanks much. God bless!

      1. Atty. Post author

        Loulee: For as long as you accompany your child while he is travelling, you won’t need the DSWD clearance. Moreover, since your son is legitimate, I assume that you both bear the same surnames in your travel documents. Immigration may ask for proof of relationship in situations where the child’s mother’s papers carry a different surname. But not in your case. So, don’t worry.

        Another thing– are you concerned about getting an immigrant visa application approved? then in that case, the immigration authorities usually requires proof of the mother’s right of custody in the form of a court order. Your nullity decree may already have a statement to that effect. Please check the wordings of your nullity decree for this. I hope this helps.

  20. honey ko19

    Hi Atty! got a problem here..i have an offer abroad and to live there as a permanent resident in Canada..i need to bring my kids with me.Their father is working abroad and we are separated in fact.How could I bring my children(2 kids ages,13 and 10)with me without their father’s consent?Nobody will take good care of my kids here if I will going to leave them.I need to do this for me to stand alone and to be able to give a bright future for my kids.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Honeyko19: Sent a reply directly to your email address. Please check.

  21. crystal

    do i need to pass my sons birthcertificate even if he doesnt want to follow with me in the us.but we put his name on my i129f forms.and his still studying college and he is illigitimate.

    1. Atty. Post author

      I’m not licensed in US laws but I see how the wrong entries in your son’s birth certificate may pose some problems in your consular filings. The US embassy is very strict about submitting truthful statements and documents and if found untruthful, it could mean a denial of the application, in some cases, even perpetually. So, my practical advice is to work on amending the birth certificate of your son to properly reflect your status at the time of his birth before submitting it to the US embassy. You may have to explain this later to the consular official because the correction may raise questions as well.

      I hope this helps.

  22. crystal

    how can i delete all the wrong information on my sons birthcertificate? i am not married but it says there i am married to his dad just to get the surname of his dad or use.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Crystal: You will have to file a petition for correction of entry in your son’s birth certificate. Your petition will have to go through court proceedings first because the entry to be corrected affects your status.

  23. Jun

    I have an illegitimate 4 year old son, and myself and his mom finally parted ways.
    However, she filed false claims that I have been harrasing them for reasons that i do not know and is no longer allowed to see my son.
    I know that our son would have to stay with his mom as the law clearly states.
    However, all I wanted is to have joint physical custody of our son ( spending weekends with me), considering that visitation rights is out of the question now since the aminosities created by the break up and they both live in their parents house.
    Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Atty. Post author

      You may file a petition for joint physical custody but it will be difficult to obtain the court’s approval for that because of his illegitimate status and the claims of harassment. I suggest that you let some time pass before making any legal moves and work on restoring the peace between you and the child’s mom. Avoid sending text messages in the meantime and stay out of her way so that she won’t have any basis for claiming harassment. Provide child support regularly and retain proof of this which you can later show the court if you decide to file a petition for visitation. Court decisions on custody and visitation are not cast in stone and are open to modification at any time that the circumstances of the child and parents change. At the barest minimum, a father is entitled to reasonable visitation if it is going to promote the best interests and welfare of the child. So, you’ll want to change some things to convince the court of your right to reasonable visitation. I hope this helps.

  24. Elizabeth

    Hello! I am currently living in Canada with my 3yr old son, and we are planning to visit his bio father in Australia on a visitors visa. My son has been with me since he was born, his father was absent for the first two but now have worked on a relationship to create a family with the two of us, which is a happier ending. My question is do I need a court order or a signed agreement between the two of us that I am allowed to take my son abroad? I have never dealt with the courts ever in this situation, I have never asked or received child support. So, do I consider my self the sole custody parent? I am just taking precautions in his father trying to keep him there when I should have full rights…just would like to be caution! Thanks:)

    1. Atty. Post author

      Elizabeth: I assume that you and your son are Filipinos, in which case, you are entitled to sole custody over your minor son. Under Philippine laws, your son need not obtain a travel clearance or the written consent of the father in order to travel abroad with you. Since your son is going to enter Australia on a visitor’s visa, his father cannot legally prevent him from returning to Canada with you as your son’s prolonged stay may result in a violation of immigration laws. I hope this helps.

  25. Elizabeth

    oh and I did put his fathers name on the birth certificate.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Elizabeth: My previous reply still holds even when the biological father’s name appears on your son’s birth certificate.

  26. alicia marie

    Hi! I am just waiting for the result of my annulment and will soon marry my foreigner boyfriend. My ex-husband didn’t show-up in any of the trial proceedings because of fear he might be charge of bigamy..he was married twice before to the same woman prior to our marriage. We have been separated for almost 6yrs. now and i have learned he is ready living-in with someone else for some time now. My problem is i want to take my son(7yrs.old) abroad without his father’s knowledge..is this possible? Pls help..thanks!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Alicia Marie: I’ll be sending a reply via email.

  27. kelly

    I have the same problem as Alysse(above)..pls share with me the same advice you had with her. Thank you!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Kelly: If your situation is similar to Alicia Marie’s then you’ll be receiving a similar reply via email.

  28. Gladys

    Hi, just wanted to ask.Is it possible for my boyfriend to petition my daughter even though she’s using her biological father’s surname?
    He’s planning to petition me to New Zealand as fiancee.

    1. Atty. Post author

      It depends on the immigration laws of New Zealand but in most countries, it is possible to do so if the child is the dependent of the spouse of the petitioner. Otherwise, he may have to adopt your daughter first. I hope this helps.

  29. mrsr

    dear atty.,

    very informative website!
    my question is… my sister and her husband has been separated for more than 6 years now.(not legally separated though) My sister has been living in the U.S for at least 5 years already. They have a daughter who was left here in the Philippines, living with his Dad and our mother. ( brother in law is living with us) She has re-married, filed a divorce, her husband went to the U.S embassy to sign divorce papers. Sister and U.S husband have arranged all necessary papers for my sister’s daughters u.s visa, u.s husband have attached supporting papers. Now sister is back, daughter wants to go with my sister but father will not allow their daughter and is withholding the passport. My mother tried to mediate and talked to son in law and parents, but they said no they won’t allow my sister to bring her daughter to the U.S. Can my sister just apply for a new passport so they can start to process all the necessary papers for the child’s visa? ( im not sure if its an immigrant visa but sister said that her daughter just needs to go to the u.s once every year for the visa to be active) Right now my niece doesn’t even want to stay with her father, she just wants to be with my sister and said that she will go with her to the U.S no matter what. what should be the next step for my sister? thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mrsr: Sent a reply through email. Please check.

  30. Pete

    Dear Atty MC Florido,

    Good day! my girlfriend and I have been together for two years, she has a 2 yr old daughter surnamed after her biological father. I’am planning to go abroad and part of my plan is petitioning them as fiancee/de facto visa. I’m having problems in petitioning her child since it has the surname of her biological father. I treat her daughter as my own and i don’t have plans of leaving her behind without her mom. They have little communication with the child’s biological father and does not give child support. My girlfriend wants to change the child last name to her surname, and it would be easier for me to get them when the child already posses her mother’s surname as de facto. My question is what are the steps in changing her daughters last name and how long will it take, and how much will it cost? The biological father is signed to the child birth certificate, will this be difficult to our issue, is there a way that we don’t need any of the fathers consent. He and my girlfriend are not married.
    Thank you

    1. Atty Post author

      Query of Pete has already been answered directly thru email.

  31. luis

    Hi, my question is about how long can one parent be with a son out of the country without Father consent.
    We file for a divorce but now she wants to travel to Portugal without my consent for a month and we have a agreement about visits for me every 15 days.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Luis: It would depend on the validity of the visa granted. However, consular offices require proof of right of custody and parental consent before granting long-stay visas. Without your consent, she may have difficulty obtaining a visa for your son.

  32. honeyko19

    hi atty its me again..this is my problem before..
    Hi Atty! got a problem here..i have an offer abroad and to live there as a permanent resident in Canada..i need to bring my kids with me.Their father is working abroad and we are separated in fact.How could I bring my children(2 kids ages,13 and 10)with me without their father’s consent?Nobody will take good care of my kids here if I will going to leave them.I need to do this for me to stand alone and to be able to give a bright future for my kids.

    Now,the father my kids already gve me a travel and parental consent notarized byPhilippine Consulate from Saudi Arabia to migrate, was this documents enough for me to have the authority to bring my kids with me in Canada? Or do I still have to secure travel clearance from DSWD or do we still need to undergo custody court order?

    1. Atty. Post author

      It is possible for you to leave the country with your children even without a travel clearance from DSWD for as long as you accompany them.
      Obtaining their visas is another matter. Every country has its own immigration requirements, including Canada, which I understand requires the applicant parent to show a court order as proof of his or her right of custody over the accompanied child or children. I suggest that you consider filing a petition for sole custody at the earliest time to get this custody order. I hope this helps.

  33. honeyko19

    Even if their father already gave me a travel and parental consent to migrate?DO i still need to file for sole custody?

    1. Atty. Post author

      It depends on the wordings of the signed consent issued by the father. I assume it is properly worded to show in clear terms that the father not only consents to the travel and migration but also confirms the right of the mother to have full custody over the children. If so, then perhaps a court order is no longer necessary. You may want to refer to the appropriate instructions issued by the immigration authority of Canada by clicking HERE.

  34. honey ko19

    Thanks for the advice atty! Godbless!

  35. honey ko19

    Att its mee again..can I send you a copy of the affidavit of consent so you can help me assess if i need to undergo court order?


  36. mhaizki

    hi..i’m a single parent..i had a son (8mos)..and his father didn’t give any financial support since i got pregnant…i just found out that he’s already married…all i want is for him to support my child…what kind of case can i file against him?…thank you..

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mhaizki: You can have a lawyer write him a demand letter to provide monthly child support. If he fails to heed the demand, your lawyer may file a petition for support in court. However, a major obstacle is getting him to face the case for support in the Philippines. Let’s hope he voluntarily provides for your child’s needs. I hope this helps.

  37. rhaynne

    gud pm! i just want to know if there’s a case against my exboyfriend?..he knows that i’m pregnant before he left the country..and now he’s in Australia..for good..he married other gurl and just abandoned my son…and never talk to me…i want to file him a case. can u help me?. tnx!

    1. Atty Post author

      Rhaynne: While your son is entitled to support and you may file a petition in court asking the child’s father to pay an amount as support, there is a problem with getting him to court because he no longer lives in the Philippines. If he is a Filipino, and not a foreigner, you can still legally demand for support from him by sending him a letter with a copy furnished to his parents. Legally, if the parents of a child are unable to provide support, the grandparents may be asked to provide this in the meantime. I hope this helps.

  38. Tessa

    Dear Atty. Florido

    I have been separated from my husband for 6 years already without any legal documents. We are married. We have 2 daughters living with me with from the day we separated until this point in time, ages 15 and 13. I am planning to travel out of the country for 3 months only with my girls. All my personal identifications carries my maiden, and I do not have the intention to change my maiden specially that we are separated now. My problem, 1.) How can I get passports for my girls since mother’s passport is needed? 2.) Is there any criminal offense I get if ever I travel the girls with me without his permission?

    Need some enlightenment. Thanks for your help.

    Tessa of Davao

    1. Atty. Post author

      Tessa: You can still apply for your daughters’ passports by showing proof of your relationship to them– i.e. birth certificates. And for as long as your daughters travel with you abroad, there is no legal requirement to obtain their father’s prior permission if there is no pending case for custody. Try not to worry.

      1. Tessa of Davao

        Dear Atty. Florido,

        Thank you so much for all your clarifications. Now I see light at the end of the tunnel. God bless and more power.

  39. baby Tee

    Hi Atty,

    I am seeking your advice for my boyfriend whose common law Partner took away their 6-yr old daughter abroad without his consent. He has custody to the child as he made an acknowledgment of Paternity when the child was born. Is there any legal action he can file against his Partner for doing such? Please reply soon. Thank you!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Baby Tee: The child of your boyfriend is illegitimate and as such is by law, under the sole parental authority of the mother. This means that she can take the child abroad without his consent.

  40. sye

    Hi atty,

    I am seeking for your advice regarding my plan in bringing my son here with me in Hanoi Vietnam through his father. My Husband is a Pakistani. We are legally married. He wants to bring our son here in Vietnam for a vacation. Since i can’t go home because of my Job, my husband who is currently in the Philippines on vacation wants to bring the child alone. Is he allowed to bring our son, just the 2 of them? Our son is only 1 year old and 2 months. Do we still need to show any requirements in the immigration? Please advice.

    Thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Sye: If your child will travel with his father, all he needs to show is the travel papers (passport and visa, if required of a him) which I presume bears the same surname as the father’s. As an added precaution, I usually advise clients to bring copies of the child’s birth certificate and their marriage contract in case they are asked for additional proof of filiation. I hope this helps.

  41. Kat

    Hi Atty,

    Ill be in the Philippines in 2 weeks to get a Travel clearance for my son. He is using his father’s surname but we are not married. He went back to the states and we don’t have any communication at all. Is there any way that I could get my son a travel clearance without his father’s consent so he can travel with my parents alone? Someone told me that I have to get a certificate of abandonment.Please advise. Thanks.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Kat: If your child is illegitimate, he won’t need the father’s consent to travel abroad. In addition to submitting the usual requirements for obtaining the DSWD travel clearance, you will have to submit a Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) issued by the NSO (not the local civil registrar). I hope this helps.

  42. maya

    Hi Atty,
    im from philippines, married but separated.im here in korea and i met a man we have now 2 children.the children are not registered.im holding a passport with my husband surname can i change it to single even if no divorce documents?my man is from srilanka,is it possible to bring my children in philippines even they are holding their fathers name?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Maya: You’ll need to show proper documents such as an annulment or divorce papers to change certain details in your passport. As regards the possibility of bringing your children into Philippines, it may have to depend on the immigration rules of the country you are departing from (Korea). You’ll need to check with their rules to determine the requirements for traveling with your children out of Korea. If you say that your children are not registered, what documents did you produce to obtain their passports? Assuming they have passports and under Korean laws, you are allowed to travel abroad with your children, then you may not have any problems upon entering the Philippines.

  43. haydie

    Hi Atty,
    My son and I is about to leave going to US(K-1 and K-2 visa).sir can we leave with my son going abroad without father consent?his is carrying the surname of his father but we never get married.i don’t have any idea where his father now or do i need to seek clearance travel through DSWD?please i need your answer sir.I am confused right now.Thank you a lot

    1. Atty. Post author

      Haydie: Illegitimate children are under the sole parental authority of their mothers. And Philippine immigration will ordinarily allow a minor to leave the country if he or she is accompanied by one parent. Your child will need a travel clearance from DSWD if he is going to leave for the US alone or with someone who is not his parent. I hope this helps.

  44. victoria

    hi,I want to inquire,Im from Philippines,I have a daughter 12 y.o.from a married man when i was single,he did not acknowledge even the child in the birth certificate then after the childs 2nd birthday,we loss of communicating each other and even no support for my daughter,then I get married 6 years now,we changed my daughter surname under my new husbands surname without consent of the biological father,then lately my daughter want to search his biological father and we met her biological fatherand i can see that they both love each other when they met..what will be my daughters right to her biological father now that in her birth certificate,its her step fathers surname?does her biological father can file a case against us so he can have right to his daughter?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Victoria: If the biological father acknowledged her in a notarized document such as an Affidavit of Paternity, then your daughter may be entitled to some rights such as inheritance some day. Her biological father is entitled to reasonable visitation rights and I suggest you allow it with certain limits, of course, to allow them to bond and also, to keep the father from thinking of filing legal action in court. I hope this helps.

  45. MYRA

    Hello Atty
    I have currently been issued a visa to join my husband in the uk.
    I will be taking my two kids from my ex marriage with me to settle in the uk.
    I have a PPO (permanent protection order). Before my annulment with my ex I fought for legal custody of my children as my ex was abusive and violent.
    During the annulment it said on the finality order that I was awarded full legal custody of the children as being the suitable parent. My ex got visitation rights. But the PPO overrules that as he was abusive and violent.
    Anyway the situation is that he has not been seen and disappeared into thin air. Basically my british husband and I are the sole responsible parents financially and also morally.
    When my children leave the Philippines with me from Cebu to the UK will the immigration officials at the airport question me as to why im taking them abroad without their biological father?
    Do I need to show some kind of evidence like a exit clearance from the DSWD or not?
    The reason i ask is my sister who is married to an american national. When she flew out from Manila to LA usa, She took her son with her from her ex. Her ex died.
    The immigration at Manila asked for the death certificate of her ex husband.
    I want to avoid all problems as much as i can.

    Please Can you kindly advise accordingly?
    Thanks again Atty.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Myra: Ordinarily, minors can travel abroad without obtaining a travel clearance from the DSWD if they are accompanied by one parent. Immigration officers may still question you upon exit especially if the children’s surnames are not the same as yours. So, you’ll have to bring relevant documents to show your right to travel with them such as the certified true copy of your custody order and their birth certificates. A copy of the protection order may also be required. Finally, try not to appear anxious at the immigration counter! Just relax and act confident that you can answer all their questions and show them proof of your right to take them out with you. I hope this helps.

  46. joanna

    hi atty,

    i just have question for you.I am an american citizen, i am separated and i filed divorce, it’s still under processing and I want to petition my son in the philippines. my question is do i need to get his father’s consent inorder for my son to come here in USA? and i know his father is not going to sign anything coz his so bad. I look forward for your reply… thanks!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Joanna: You will have to check the immigration requirements for your son to obtain the appropriate visa to enter the US. Although in many cases, authorities will require proof of the petitioning parent’s right of custody. Since you were previously married to a Filipino, you may have to get him to sign an agreement allowing your son to migrate or live abroad with you. If your ex husband is not going to cooperate in your son’s migration abroad, you may have to fie a petition for sole custody here in the Philippines to enable your son to leave the country. If your son is going to travel alone to the US, he will also need a travel clearance from the DSWD. I hope this helps.

  47. MYRA

    Hello Atty.
    Thank you for your reply. Its really informative indeed. Yes my surname is different to my children as im now married.
    Atty I still have some questions.
    Why do i need to show the birth certificate? is it to prove im the mother because my surname is now different from the children?
    If the father received visitation rights (but i got legal custody) but has not been seen since the annulment they cant stop me taking the kids out of the country right?

    looking forward to your advice atty.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Myra: The birth certificates will show your relationship to your children which should be sufficient to allow them to leave the country with you. They can only stop you if you are not their parent (or if you can’t prove this to them) or if there is a hold departure order on the children.

  48. joy

    good day atty,
    im a greencard holder and my 3 yr old daughter is a u.s citizen, her dad and i are not married but he is in her birthcertificate my daughter has his last name, actually he is a costa rican but been living in u.s illegally. we have been separated by a year now, currently me and my daughter are in the philippines but im planning to go back in 2 mos in the u.s for the sake of my greencard, i am so afraid that if i take my daughter back there in u.s with me then his father can trick me and take her away from me and take her to costa rica and never come back (i dont really know his capacity) ='( what should i do? can i apply a dual citizenship for her here in the philippines without his father’s consent? so she can stay here in philippines for the meantime..please i really need an advice.thank you so much in advance.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Joy: sent a reply through email.

  49. Jay

    Hi! My name is Jay, Myanmar. My wife is Filipino. Right now, my son is in Philippines. I will go there soon and pick him up from Philippines to Singapore to stay with us. The problem is I will go there alone because my wife can’t take leave. My question is” is it ok to travel my son and myself without the mother? Do I need any paperwork from Philippines Embassy?”. Thanks you very much.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jay: If your son is legitimate and his travel papers (passport, visa, ID) bears your surname, you need not obtain a travel clearance for him to travel abroad with you. But as a precautionary measure, I suggest that you keep with you copies of your son’s birth certificate and your marriage certificate in case immigration authorities question your right to travel with him. I hope this helps.

  50. cindy c****

    To whom it may concerned;
    I am a single mother of three and not married to their father, but the sufnames of my children followed to their father. I just want to know what if i want to petition my children abroad, do i have to ask for their father’s concern? do i need to get a DSWD travel consent? your response will be highly appreciated thank you”

    1. Atty. Post author

      Cindy C:

      Immigration requirements will depend on the country you are entering although ordinarily, consular officers require petitioning mothers to provide proof of their right of custody such as a court order. If you don’t have this court order, you may have to find the child’s father and enter into an agreement which clearly establishes your right of custody. If you travel abroad with your minor children, you need not obtain a DSWD travel clearance but must be prepared to establish your relationship as their mother since they don’t carry your surname. NSO copies of their birth certificates and also an affidavit of illegitimacy containing an additional statement explaining their use of the father’s surname will help.

  51. Ola


    I have a question. I know that a woman who is not married have the sole costody of the kids in philippins- art. 176 in the family code. But if the woman want to get family reunion with here her husband which she has been married with, and also take her kids with. The embassey demand profe of that she has sole costody, or a courte order. Or the demand the sign. to the father. After phi. law she need nothing of that. So my question is there any office in Phi. who can write a dokument that she has sole costudy of the kids ? I know that art: 176 say she have sole costody and that there also have been desision in suprem courte who supporting this. I thanks for your reply.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ola: The mother of illegitimate children must get a lawyer’s help to draft a custody agreement with the father of the children, an affidavit of illegitimacy, and a legal certification that the Family Code grants sole parental authority to the mother of illegitimate children. I hope this helps.

      1. Ola

        Why she need a costody agrement with the father to the kids- she have never been married to the father to the kids. And art 176 say thats of that reason she have sole costody of the kids. And there have been courte desision in suprem courte about this- a phi.want to take her kids with to holland- and the father of the kids try to stop it, but he could not manage that. Supreme courte said that the woma and the kid could travel to holland. The only thing the father to the kid got was visiting right. I agre the best have been for us that my wife have got the father to the kid to sign the paper. But if i not want that, and that we also not need that after art. 176 in the Phi. family law, because after that art, she have sole Costody.

      2. Atty. Post author

        Ola: Every country has its own rules for allowing foreigners to enter its doors. Philippine family laws only have legal effect in Philippine territory and Filipinos wishing to enter Holland must comply with Holland’s requirements for entry to Dutch territory. While Philippine’s Family Code gives sole authority to the mother without need for a court order, the immigration rules of other countries like Holland are strict about the right of a parent to bring out a minor because of possibility of child kidnapping. It’s their law. That’s why.

      3. Ola

        You say that we need: an affidavit of illegitimacy, and a legal certification that the Family Code grants sole parental authority to the mother of illegitimate children. I hope this helps.

        Affidavit of illegitimace i think we get with DFA? But that other legal certification that the family Code grants sole Parental Authority to the mother of illegitamate children ? Do we need to go to courte to get that or ? Even Art 176 in the Phi Family law say that the mother have Parental Authority of the kids.

      4. Atty. Post author

        Ola: On your question regarding the documents I suggested that the mother obtain for her child, my previous answer still applies. You may seek the opinion of other Philippine lawyers for a different solution.

      5. Ola

        I thank for your reply. You conform that a unmarried woman in Phi. have the sole costody/paretel for the kids in Phi. I have talk a litle with the imigration in my country- a lady said that will follow the law in the country- that will say the Phi. law. But ofcours we never know. You did not give me any clue where we can get this I hope this helps. Affidavit of illegitimace i think we get with DFA?(the affidavit we het in DFA) But that other legal certification that the family Code grants sole Parental Authority to the mother- do we need to go to a courte for that or where we do this ?

      6. Atty. Post author

        Ola: A lawyer can draft your affidavit of illegitimacy and the certification on the Family Code provision. I suggest that you ask the immigration authority or embassy for the exact document that they wish to see as proof of custody before you set out to hire a lawyer to help you with that. The requirements may be different and you may end up wasting time and money producing a document that your embassy may not need. My suggestion is based on my experience with other immigration laws. So, please check with your embassy first.

  52. lor

    hello i want to bring my child to US with me but my ex husband don’t give me permission to bring my child with me….what do i need to do to bring her with me?is there other way that i can bring my child with me?and also she is with me right now and her father is living in other country…..and also I’m filing case about our married coz our married was void he is married before…so any advice you can give what i do

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lor: About your marriage, I suggest that you find a lawyer who can assess your case by looking at all the details to see if a ground for nullity of marriage exists. If the lawyer confirms that there is a ground, then they may, on your behalf, file the appropriate petition in court. In the same court case, you can also have the court settle child custody in your favor so that you can obtain a court order confirming your right of custody. This may help you process your child’s travel papers to the US. I hope this helps.

      1. OnAy R*****

        hi! im glad i can ask questions here, thanks!
        what kind of affidavit should i provide if my husband stopped replying/responding to my email, phone calls after agreeing we will send our two boys at minor age, here in europe where i stay, hes not in phils. too. the european embassy asked for affidavit of absent parents since we are both in abroad…but how can i get him have this affidavit and other documents notarized (ex. affidavit of support & consent) , on his part, if hes not replying anymore when the interview at the embassy is already this coming Monday. 2 boys are now more confused about their future. my boyfriend whos citizen here is willing to help me finance boys needs.

      2. Atty. Post author

        Onay: Try asking the embassy personnel if they will accept a court order showing your right of custody. If so, you may have to file a petition for sole custody in the Philippines and wait for the judge to issue a court order to this effect. This will take care of the father’s absence or unavailability to sign the required affidavits of consent. I hope this helps.

  53. grace

    Hello… my case is on going (NULLITY OF MARRIAGE) and also on that case i ask for full parental custody of our child….Hopefully it will be finish on February 2012 ..and case done soon me and my foreigner boyfriend want to get married…..my ex husband is in other country now with 2nd family coz he married twice before our married…And our problem now is to get PERMISSION TO TRAVEL FROM HER FATHER ….coz before he told me he wont give me a permission to travel my child…It’s possible we can bring her with out the permission to travel from her father and its possible we can apply visa for her without that permission to travel from her father???????HELP ME ..WHAT IM GONNA DO …THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU

    1. Atty. Post author

      Grace: The court where your nullity case is pending may issue an order granting you sole custody, which document you may use in support of your child’s visa application. So, you shouldn’t have a problem with traveling abroad with your daughter by then.

  54. Jana

    Hi atty,, We got married in sydney but my Australian husband wants to divorce me.I gave birth here in philippines in march 2011 , our son is only 7 months. Can i travel my son abroad without my soon to be ex husband permission?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jana: You can travel abroad with your son without his father’s permission unless, of course, there is a hold departure order against it.

  55. OnAy Rivera

    How long does it usually take to get a court order in Philippines? for sole custody

    1. Atty. Post author

      Onay: There is no set time for getting a court order for sole custody– it will depend on several factors such as the cooperation of the father of the child, the strategy of your lawyer and your lawyer’s schedule.

  56. Jana

    Thanks atty.. My Australian husband asked me if he can bring our son in sydney, i said no to him and now he was asking if we can meet him in Singapore because his 2 kids from his other ex wife wants to meet their brother too, they dont want to come in Philippines according to them its for their safety.I told them many times that Philippines is safe, they always welcome to see my son.Since we cant work amicable settlement ,he said he will see me in court and he will fight for his rights.He didnt support our son financially for 5 mos now. What will happen if i will cut off any communication i have with my husband,i was thinking to block him on my email add and change mobile no. My husband’s Gf was threatening me and she said they already have an australian attorney.My husband cheated on me 10 days after we got married in sydney. Can i get full custody?
    many thanks.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jana: The issue of custody and support could have been settled while you were in Australia. They have very clear support rules which make it easy for mothers to collect financial amounts from the father. Anyway, since you are in the Philippines, your Aussie husband will have to fly to the Philippines to legally enforce any visitation or shared custody. But since your child is a minor below 7 years old, the court will ordinarily place the child under the mother’s custody and grant the father some visitation rights. If he does file for custody here in the Philippines, I suggest that you try to find a middle ground to compromise with him, maybe require him for the first few years (while your child is not yet 7 years old) to visit the child here instead of letting the child leave the country with him. I’m sure your lawyer will be able to argue about the child’s safety abroad while at a tender age and be able to impose limits to avoid parental kidnapping.

      To deprive a mother of custody, the child’s father will have to prove serious grounds against you.
      I suggest that you consider talking to a lawyer already here in the Philippines who can assess your situation more closely and provide you with options such as the possibility of filing the petition for sole custody FIRST, before the child’s father does so. There are advantages to making the first move in court and this will include obtaining an order for child support “pendente lite” or while the case is pending.

      The Australian attorney is not authorized to practice law in the Philippines. So, unless you are in Australia, there is nothing that the Australian lawyer can do here in the Philippines.

      I hope this helps.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Onay: Please send me a message restating your situation as you first narrated here so that I can forward it to a lawyer first before sending you a proper referral email. Email: atty@christineflorido.com.

  57. Susan B

    I am a Filipino citizen, studying in the UK,; I have a 9 year old Filipino daughter, presently living in the Philippines.
    If I marry my UK-citizen partner I would be allowed to bring my child to the UK.
    My husband (from whom I am divorced under UK law but not, of course, under Philippine law) says he is willing to sign any necessary documents giving permission for our daughter to leave the Philippines.
    Would it be permitted by Philippine law for my daughter to leave the country accompanied by a person who is not a parent, as long as both parents have signed the necessary documents?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Susan B: Yes, your daughter may travel abroad without either parent for as long as she carries a travel clearance issued by the DSWD. The DSWD clearance requires the written consent of both parents.

  58. JM

    Dear Atty.C,

    I’m feeling lucky to have found your site. I’m seeking legal advices re my sole legal right to my illegitimate child. Please help me.

    I’m married to an Aussie and now we’re preparing to lodge a partner visa this month which includes my illegitimate child. She’s 19months old, unacknowledged, and is bearing my name. I never had any communication with her biological father since I was pregnant.

    The custody requirement of the department is for me to provide a certified copy of a valid court order showing that I have the sole legal right to remove my child from her home.

    -What necessary document/s is/are required?
    -What should I do?
    -How am I going to obtain the necessary documents for the visa application re this matter?
    -How long would it take to obtain the valid court order?

    I will patiently wait for your advice Atty.C. Thank you!

    1. Atty. Post author

      JM: Will send a reply via email. Please email me directly copying your query as it appears here at atty@christineflorido.com. I will respond directly upon receiving it there.

  59. Chloe

    My son is an illegitimate child but he carries the last name of his father. Would a birth certificate suffice to be presented in the airport in the event that we travel?

    If he travels with his grandparents, should they also bring his birth certificate apart from a travel clearance / consent from me?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Chloe: Assuming that your child has the appropriate visa to travel to another country and he travels with you, then an affidavit of illegitimacy and NSO copy of his birth certificate will help in the event that the immigration officer questions you about your child. If he travels without you, then his companion must be prepared to show a travel clearance issued by the DSWD and ALL other documents pertaining to the child when they travel together. Other documents may include: NSO birth certificate, affidavit of illegitimacy, your birth certificate (which will show your parents names), affidavit of support executed by you as the parent.

  60. DJ

    Dear Atty. Florido,

    Good day! I am a mother of a 2 year old boy. I have not been married with to father however, he signed his birth certificate and my son was named after him. We have not been living with the father however and my son had not gotten any support from him. I also barely communicate with the father now. I am now planning to migrate abroad (either Canada or Australia) and I intend bring my son with me. My question is would there be a problem for me bringing my son considering that he is using his father’s surname? Can i just bring my son with me abroad even without the consent of his father?

    I have also considered petitioning for the change of my son’s surname under me but I know that would take sometime. Also, I have some personal reasons why I still prefer that he uses his father’s surname. And that is, at least we know for a fact that his father have recognized him after all as his child though there is no longer any chance for our relationship due to course of events.

    Now, I am planning to migrate and I would like to have my son with me. Would there be any requirement to be executed by the father or there is no need for that?

    Atty., may I also request for the answer to be just sent to my email? I hope that would be alright.

    Thank you and more power!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Dame: Sent a reply via email. Please check your inbox.

  61. Sam

    Hi Atty.,

    Good day! I hope you could give me an advise regarding my situation stated below.
    I have a 8 year old daughter who stays with me. Her father and I were not married but he is acknowledged as a father in my daughter’s birth certificate. My daughter’s last name was after our family name.

    During the first year after I gave birth to my daughter, we were still together but we broke up after 2 years. My daughter then stayed with my parents and sometimes she stays with his father in the weekend. Then when she was 5 years old, she moved in with me here in Manila. That same year I got married to my bf and he’s the one supporting me and my daughter. But of course, I have work too so me and my husband have been supporting her. I have not received any financial support from the father.

    My daughter is now 8 years old and my husband who is in the United States will soon become an american citizen. He will soon file for a petition for me and my daughter. My question is, would there be any problem with the petition papers knowing that my child’s birth certificate was acknowledged by his father? Do we need an Authorization letter from the father?

    I’ll be waiting for your response. Thank you and God Bless.


    1. Atty. Post author

      Sam: You will have to show proof of your right of sole custody when applying for an immigrant visa for your daughter– usually, immigration authorities ask for a court order. But considering that under Philippine laws, the mother generally has sole parental authority over her illegitimate child, you may try asking the child’s biological father to execute a joint affidavit or agreement confirming your right of sole custody and his consent to the child’s travel and migration abroad. I hope this helps.

  62. Mylene

    Hi Atty.,
    Good day! May Prolema po kce ako at gusto ko po sna n matulungan nyo ako…my step daughter po ako and she is 7years old now natira npo sya sa amin since she is 1 and half old plng so ako npo ang nkagisnan nya ina…bale po inabandona po sya ng nanay nya and when my husband found that we decide to get the child kinuha po nmin sya sa pangasinan kung saan sya iniwan ng kanyang ina at di na binalikan. Dinaan po namin sa legal na paraan pumunta po kmi ng dswd sa pangasinan at cla po ang nagayus ng papel pra makuha ng asawa ko ang anak nya binigyan din po kmi ng letter n katunayan n pinauubaya n ng dswd sa asawa ko ang bata dahil sa ginawang pag abandona ng ina…ksal po kmi ng asawa ko at sila nman ng babae ay hindi,,,so ang problem po ay gusto po nga asawa ko na biological father nya nya n kuhanan ng passport ang bata kso hinahanap ang tunay na ina ng bata..mula po ng iniwan ng babae ang anak nya eh hindi npo nagpakita ang babae sa kanyang anak…wala po kahit n communication sa amin..ano po ang pwede gawin ng asawa ko pra makakuha sya ng passport nga bata. bale uuwi po ang mister ko from singapore para kuhanan sya…this march 19, 2012 ano po kayang pwedeng gawin ng mister ko …sana po ay matulungan nyo kmi…marami po salamat…gumagalang mylene …this may email add. ************

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mylene: reply sent via email. Please check your inbox.

  63. yani

    Good day Atty.:

    I just want to ask an idea kung anung dapat gawin sa problema ng friend ko na nasa Norway.
    Hindi na po kasi sila magkasundo ng asawa nyang Norwegian, may isa po silang anak. So they decided to file a divorce nalang.

    According po sa asawa nya, hindi nya pipirmahan ang passport ng daughter nila ng sa ganun hindi nya ito madala dito sa Pilipinas. Allegedly, ganun daw po ang batas sa Norway, na kapag isa sa mga parents ang hindi pumirma sa passport ng anak, hindi daw po ito makakalabas ng bansa.

    Anu po ba ang dapat niyang gawin? For now, kinuha po ng asawa niya yung anak niya sa kanya.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Yani: Since the child has a Filipino mother, she may try registering the child’s birth in the Philipppine embassy and apply for a Philippine passport there. In that case, only the child’s mother can obtain the child’s passport. If that is not possible, your friend will have to consult a Norwegian lawyer regarding their laws. I hope this helps.

  64. jenezel urdelas

    hello atty….i have a 3 year old daughter carrying his father’s surname. i am in the process of applying work in canada and hopefully wnat to bring my daughter with me there. according to my sister i should have my daughters surname change to mine to avoid issues when i process her papers in the future. is it possible?what do i do? how long and how much it would take have it done. or is there any documents i need to obtain to grant me full custody of my daughter even if she uses her father’s surname?


    1. Atty. Post author

      Jenezel: Your daughter’s surname is not so much the problem if you intend to migrate with her abroad. Consular officials usually want to see written proof of your right of sole custody and the best form is a court order to this effect. If the child’s father is still around and cooperative, you may also try to get him to sign a sworn statement expressly declaring that you have sole custody and that he allows the child to travel and live abroad with you. Even if your child uses your surname but her birth certificate still shows her father’s name, the immigration officer will still require a court order or other document showing your right of custody. I hope this helps.

      1. LC

        Dear Atty.,

        I have a 6 year old daughter, turning 7 on July. Me and my husband had separeted without any court ruling. My husband left us from December to February. Now my sisters invited me and my daughter to visit Sweden and we have been granted a visa from March 27 to June 10, 2012. The father had also signed a parental consent allowing me to take my daughter with me. Now, he wants to change his mind and threatening me that he will call the Bureau of Immingration to hold us and not be able to go. Is there a possiblity that we can go? Or can he really hold us? Can you give me some advice? Can I do any legal process allowing me to go? Thank you for your help.


      2. Atty. Post author


        He will need a hold departure order to stop you from leaving the country. But the hold departure order is only issued by a court, possibly in a custody case that is pending, which does not seem to be present in your situation. My suggestion is for you to avoid negative communication, messages and confrontation over minor issues right now. Just be silent for now so that he is not compelled to seek legal options for stopping you and your daughter from going on a vacation. But if he does go to court, I would suggest then for you to get a lawyer who can present to the court the reasonable conditions of your daughter’s travel which is only temporary and for a simple vacation. The visa and a round trip ticket should be enough to prove your point. Try not to worry. Some people just enjoy making threats in response to a negative situation they are experiencing. I hope this helps.

  65. lhen

    me and my son is going to singapore nextweek..can i ask you if im still need dswd travel clearance? my husband is not with us coz he is on his work in abroad..

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lhen: For as long as you accompany your child, you will not need a DSWD clearance to travel abroad with him.

  66. Beverly

    Hi Atty:

    My marriage from my first husband got annulled last july 13,2011,,and now i am married to an australian citizen,,In the court decision it didn’t mentioned the custody of our children,,Now me and my husband were applying for a spouse visa in australia, and wants to take all of my 3 minor children,,How can i bring them with me??Do i need to get a travel consent from DSWD?On my recent passport, i am using my husband’s surname now, But in my children’s passport, they were using their father’s surname, since they were legitimate children..Pls tell me what to do,,,Thanks, and more power to your site..and I need your answer ASAP…

    1. Atty. Post author

      Beverly: Resident visa requirements of other countries are governed by their respective immigration rules. I suggest that you first inquire with the Australian embassy here regarding the specific requirements, particularly for children. Ordinarily, immigration authorities require proof of the applicant’s right of custody such as a court order. You may have to file a petition for sole custody in court for this and I suggest that you ask the same lawyer who handled your annulment case to file the appropriate documents for you. The DSWD travel clearance is required only if your children are minors and they will be traveling abroad without you or their father. If you leave the country with them, the clearance is not necessary. If your passports bear different surnames then you may have to bring copies of their birth certificates, your marriage certificates (previous and current) and other document showing that you are related to them, in case immigration officers ask you to produce them upon leaving the country.

  67. Jenny M

    Hi there! I have some questions regarding requirements when travelling abroad with my 8 yo. son, only a pleasure trip. He is illegitimate child, bearing my lastname. His father never gave support since he was born. In his birth certificate from the civil registry office, there is my middlename also. But when we applied for his passport, the officer incharge in DFA told me not to include his middlename anymore, because it would shows that we are just siblings. Passport was given to us without his middlename. We’re booked this coming May 13, bound to HKG. Do you see any conflict with that in the immigration office?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jenny M: The DFA officer-in-charge is right in saying that your son’s official documents should not reflect any middle name, only a first name and your surname. I don’t think this will pose any problem when you travel because the birth certificate is not normally required at the port of entry in Hong Kong.

  68. Ben

    Hi Atty:
    My Fiancee have 2 kids (twins) from her ex partner, they’re not married and d father of the kids already have a family. He doesn’t provide any financial support, they’re both working overseas (the kids are getting looked at by my fiancees mum). We’re getting married nxt month and we would like for me to adopt the kids. Also how long does adoption case usually takes as me and my fiancee are both overseas, she’s working in dubai and im a resident in New Zealand. Would we need the biological father of our kids to sign any document for when we apply for my fiancee and our kids to come and live here? Kids are using their biological fathers surname.Thank 😀

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ben: Adoption and migration abroad of the minor children will require the father’s written consent. An adoption case can take more than a year and the presence of the adopter while the case is ongoing is necessary.

  69. Louisse Anne C.

    hello! im 20 years old . Me with my Bf and my sister was planning to travel abroad ( Hongkong specifically) my sister is only 13 years old. and my mother is in Canada .. Kelangan pa po ba ng consent para makatravel yung kapatid ko kahti adult na po ako? salamat po .

    1. Atty. Post author

      Louise Anne C: If your sister is traveling without being accompanied by any of your parents, then she will still need a DSWD Travel Clearance, which will require the parent’s signature for her to travel abroad.

  70. inday

    Hello Atty…im a single mother who had a relationship with a singaporean man and he is married their with no children and we had one son now 10 year old..he let my son carry his name…my question do i have the right to ask support for my son..eventhought he is a foriegner. thanks.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Inday: Your child has a right to be supported by his Singaporean father for as long as you can prove paternity (usually through a signed acknowledgment appearing at the back of the child’s birth certificate. But you may encounter some difficulty in getting him to face court proceedings here if the child’s father resides abroad. I suggest that you first have a lawyer send him a demand letter reminding him of his obligation to support your child.

  71. Louisse

    where can i get a DSWD travel clearance form ?? and san po office ako kukuha sa dswd regading that ?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Louisse: You may wish to check the information found on the DSWD website here…

  72. Louisse

    hi another question po .. yung requirements po kasi sa travel clearance kailangan ng parental consent (both parents signed) , nasa abroad po kasi yung mother po namin . pano po yun ? ok lng po ba kung ung father lng po namin ung nkasign ??

    1. Atty. Post author

      Louisse: DSWD requires the written consent of both parents if your parents are married to one another.

      1. Louisse

        what if the mother is in abroad ? how can she sign it ???

      2. Atty. Post author

        Louisse: She may sign a written consent abroad and have it notarized and authenticated abroad as well.

  73. Louisse

    uhmm , is it really needed to be WRITTEN ? not comuputerized ?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Louise: “Written” can mean handwritten, typewritten or computer printed as long as it is on paper and bears her signature (not digital or scanned).

  74. Louisse

    ah ok . thank you so much for all the replies 🙂 you help me a lot 🙂

  75. katz

    i just found this blog as a friend of mine and I are going through this question ourselves. both of us are not yet legally separated nor annulled but we will be travelling with our minors for leisure next year. i wonder if a solo parent id (based on bureau of immigration’s website http://immigration.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=239&Itemid=37) still needs to be secured in order for us to get through immigration when travelling with our minors abroad? your clarification will help much.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Katz: You may travel with your respective minor children without need for a DSWD travel clearance unless there is a pending hold departure order against any of them leaving the country. Immigration officers usually just check if the accompanying adult is any of the child’s parents. If the children’s last names are not the same as the last names on the passports of the accompanying adults then you may be required to show other proof of relationship such as NSO birth certificate or affidavit of illegitimacy (but your children are all legitimate, correct?).

      1. katz

        only my eldest was born out of wedlock and as such carries my maiden name. in such a case, will copies of their birth certificates help prove that i am their biological parent? i’m not familiar with the affidavit of illegitimacy. thank you so much for your help.

      2. Atty. Post author

        Katz: Yes, the child’s birth certificate would be sufficient proof of your relationship and an affidavit of illegitimacy would strengthen (and even explain clearly) the evidence of relationship. Just go to a family lawyer and ask for assistance in drafting one for your purposes.

  76. jem

    Good day! I want to take my son with me for a short trip vacation in Europe to visit my boyfriend. I have a pending annulment case and still waiting for result. I no longer use my ex-husband last name since we are already separated for 3 years when I renewed my passport. My son bears the last name of his father. We have no contact or knowledge about where he is now. What papers/documents I need to show just in case they stop me in the immigration? Hope you can help. Thank you!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jem: If you’re accompanying your son when he travels abroad, you’ll have to bring a copy of your son’s birth certificate and possibly your marriage certificate showing your married surname. Unless your ex husband has obtained a hold departure order, you may be able to get through immigration.

  77. sarah

    Sir im leaving on 20th january 2013. im annuled and decission from court is my under custody the children. now aged are 17 and 18 years old. im married a foriegn man and now my visa is granted including my dependant… so i need dswd travel clearance and consent from biological father? what can i do.. also my surname of my passport get from recent hubby and children using for ther father surname .. we were attending seminar to cfo and requirement for children minor is need for dswd travel clearance, can i get it? is there no problem? thank you and i need answer pls…

    1. Atty. Post author

      Sarah: You won’t need a travel clearance if you accompany your children when they travel abroad. Your 18-year old child won’t need a travel clearance also as he/she is already legally an adult. But you may need their father’s consent for them to migrate abroad.

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