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Sailing with a child that has a different last name

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Me, my wife and two daughters will be sailing in June. One is currently my step-daughter

Last year we started the process for me to adopt her. We expected the process to take no more than 6 months, but it has dragged on to now. Everything is in order to go through, but were just notified by our lawyer that a court date to finalize the adoption wont be available till after our cruise. That said, I had to change her name on our cruise reservation to her current (not our) last name.

My concern is with check-in and her having a different last name from us. We dont have a passport for her because we have been planning this adoption for years, so was just going to use her birth certificate. We do have a copy of the paperwork her biological dad signed/filled-out signing over parental rights to me (lawyer notorized), would that be enough?

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Congrats on the adoption.

I agree with the previous posters.  My other advice would be if she is on good terms with the father of your step daughter, have him on speed dial.  A few yrs back Discovery channel did a show on how they flip a ship.  In this series, they showed the terminal and how they deal with passengers that have issues such as yours.  1 couple got married, and were bringing aboard a step-child with a different last name.  The Mom had to call the child's Dad.  He faxed over a letter stating she had the right to take the child out of the country.  This took time, and they just squeaked aboard on time.

Point being, it will be much less stressful for you, if you have every plan A, B and C in place to hand to them when you embark.

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If possible, I would actually have a letter from the father stating permission to take the child out of the country with you, not just available on speed dial.  Unless you have court papers to show he has no parental rights/partial custody.  It's possible you won't need anything but the birth certificate but if you get someone asking questions, you want every possible answer with you especially if you're checking in close to departure time!

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