Sending the kids to vacation with a school group, trusted friends or grandparents gives both children and parents a relaxing break from regular life. Kids get to adventure into new territory, while parents have time to breathe. If this is your plan, it's a good one, but you want to be sure that the adults in charge have all the paperwork they need to get help for your kids in case of an emergency. Read below to understand the legal documents and documents needed to transfer child medical consent to another adult in a time of need.
Written Permission From Parents or Legal Guardians
Travel consent letters should be prepared every time your minor children travel without parents – one or both. In fact, they may not get very far without this paper, especially if the trip involves air travel and/or going to a foreign country. Airline personnel can refuse to allow minor children to board a plane without a permission letter and identification. And immigration agents can deny kids entry to foreign countries when there's no documentation to show.
This is actually for your protection and that of the children. Child abduction is real and needs to be addressed at every stage of travel. Even if your kids are not heading to the airport or across an international boundary with their friends or grandparents, it's a good idea to put a permission letter together.
If you want your family attorney to draft a parental consent form for you and the other parent to sign, that's fine. Otherwise, just write up a simple letter identifying yourselves, the kids and the people they are traveling with. Include locations as well as all dates involved. Then get both parents' signatures notarized. It isn't necessary to notarize in every state, but it's required in some and a good idea in all.
Medical Consent Form
The document giving permission to travel proves to authorities that your children are not being stolen. But it doesn't help in the case of a medical emergency. A minor child can't make decisions about their own health care. That's one of the responsibilities of the parents, or the parent with legal custody in a divorce. For these reasons, sending a medical release form with your child will be helpful for medical services and any chaperone if the time comes.
But you want the adult traveling with your child to be able to get them emergency care in case of an accident or medical issue. Otherwise, the staff of an emergency room or urgent care facility will have to wait until they contact you to treat your child, and this could waste precious time.
You should write up a medical consent form, granting permission to the adult traveling with your child to authorize emergency medical treatment. It's a little bit like a medical power of attorney, but instead of giving someone permission to make your personal medical decisions, it gives someone the power to act for your child.
Having an additional page to this form that includes health insurance information, names of other family members to be used as backups in case the main guardians can’t be reached along with their phone numbers.
Find a Template
You can find blank forms online that you just fill in, sign and notarize, or you can create your own. Identify yourself, your child and the person who will have authority to seek and obtain medical care for your child in case he needs such care. List any medical issues and allergies the child has, provide insurance information and state that you agree to assume any costs associated with such care.
It's also good form to state that no court orders prevent you from making such an authorization. You and the other parent should sign the form and get your signatures notarized. If you are a single parent with legal custody, attach a copy of the divorce decree giving you that status.