When you’re travelling with children, it’s useful to be aware of the particular issues and complications that can arise.
Most countries, including Ireland, require a child to have their own passport. The practice of allowing children to be included on a parent’s passport is being phased out internationally.
If your children are named on your passport, and don’t have passports of their own, we strongly advise you to get individual passports for them. You can learn more about applying for passports on the Passports and Citizenship section of our website.
At a very minimum, you’ll need to check with the Embassy of the country you intend to visit whether the children you’re travelling with will be allowed to enter and exit the country if they don’t have their own passports.
If you’re travelling with children, be aware that some countries require extra documentation showing that one or both of the children’s parents has consented to them travelling.
We recommend that you contact the Embassy of the country you are travelling to, to learn more about their requirements. Find out more about applying for a child’s passport by reading answers to our frequently asked children’s passport questions.
The abduction of a child is a devastating experience for any parent. Learn more about how we can help in this situation from the Consular Services section of our website.
Children with dual nationality
If your child has dual nationality, and if there are any parental custody issues, it’s important to get advice before you consent to a passport being issued for them or agree to them travelling to another country (even if you’re travelling with them).
Be particularly careful if your child’s proposed destination is a country that:
- Is not party to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction.
- Has a legal system with a reputation for favouring one gender or religion above the other in relation to family matters.
If you intend to have a child using a surrogate mother outside the State, you should read our Guidance Document on Children’s Issues and Surrogacy on the Children’s issues section of our website. It covers the practical and legal considerations of bringing a child into the State to live with you.
Laws regarding surrogacy and standards of healthcare vary from country-to-country. Be sure to check our country-specific travel advice pages for further information, and always consult with the relevant professionals before you enter into a surrogacy arrangement.
While abroad you should be vigilant about your child’s safety.
- Pay particular attention around swimming pools or other water hazards.
- Take all necessary precautions when driving (e.g. using booster seats and seatbelts, familiarising yourself with maps before you set out on your journey).
- Check availability of items that you will need (e.g. baby formula or medication). Don’t assume that these items will be readily available at your destination.
- Have small children carry their name and your contact details with them, particularly if you’re visiting busy tourist attractions. This will make it easier for you to be reunited with them if you get separated.