IT can be stressful enough navigating the airport with a young family during the school summer holidays. 

But now parents with different surnames to their children are being warned they may have to take extra ID with them. 

The Home Office tweeted last week, families with different surnames may be asked questions at border control to prove their relationship. 

The move received a backlash with a number of angry parents responding to the tweet. 

One mum tweeted: "I am fundamentally against this. My husband and I have different surnames. And our son bears my husband's. Not unusual for parents to have different surnames in the 21st Century. Appalling stuff by Sajid Javid and the Home Office."

Another compared it to Gilead - the fictional patriarchal regime in The Handmaid's Tale.  

"Just to clarify women who chose not to take their husband's surname or have children with a partner they are not married to will be subject to increased border measures. This is what freedom looks like under a #Tory government? Straight out of #Gilead."

Why will I be questioned?

The Home Office responded on Twitter saying: "We have a duty to safeguard children and to prevent people trafficking, child sexual exploitation and other crimes.

"That is why Border Force officers sometimes need to ask additional questions."

What should I do if my children have a different surname?

The Home Office says if you are asked questions at the border to prove your relationship, taking the following documents will help:

  • a birth or adoption certificate showing your relationship with the child
  • divorce or marriage certificates if you’re the parent but have a different surname from the child
  • a letter from the child’s parent or social worker giving permission for the child to travel with you

A spokesman added: "Every day thousands of children arrive at the UK border, many return from holiday with their family or with family friends.

"The safety and welfare of every child is of utmost importance to us and sometimes we may ask a few questions if an adult is not the child’s parent, or has a different family name."

You can read the government's guidance leaflet regarding children travelling to the UK in full here.