My wife may soon have to travel from Australia to Japan solo with our child, probably on Qantas or JAL. She has a Japanese passport in her own last name, our son has an Australian one with mine. We're resident in Australia and happily married, no custody disputes or other unpleasantness.

I know that some countries/airlines require notarized letters of consent from the other parent for international travel, but I'm having a hard time finding out if Australia takes this approach as well, and if so, whether actual notarization is required. Any pointers?

I'm fairly sure Japan doesn't care, but on the flip side, Japanese parents are rather notorious for abducting children from overseas, since the country was until this year not a Hague signatory.

And yes, I've seen this question, but fortunately the US is not involved in her itinerary...

  • jpatokal, did you check this page: smartraveller.gov.au/tips/children.html Sep 3, 2013 at 11:58
  • Yes, it says "Make sure you always carry the proper identification for yourself and your children required by the authorities of the country you intend to visit and by Australian authorities on your return", which is remarkably useless. Sep 3, 2013 at 12:20
  • As long as nothing is explicitly mentioned about it, I guess it is not required.. just a guess. Sep 3, 2013 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


The reasoning of the Australian government is that a parent can bring the child abroad anytime, except when the other parent explicitly tried to prevent that. This can be done by cancelling or demanding the child's passport per court order so that the mother cannot cross the border or board a plane. This is all explained by the government here.

This is sensible in my opinion since it is much less effort than checking every single parent traveling with a child (same name or not). If the kid has it's passport, the legal guardian did not try to prevent the child from leaving the country.

So the issue for your wife will be (if anything at all) to prove that she is the mother, which can be done with a birth certificate. Once this is done, the authorities will assume that she has your permission to bring the child abroad since she has the passport of the child.

So I would bring either the birth certificate or a notarized copy, just to make sure that there is no trouble when leaving the country.

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