Why unmarried and divorced parents are discriminated against

passport holder

By Nagging Mum


The Home office and Border Control do a fantastic job keeping us all safe, we all value what they do. However, one of their policies has come under scrutiny, and rightly so. 

To have an expectation that all parents must be married and have the same surname as their children seems crazy. 100 years ago, yes, you might be able to get away with this, but not now, the world has moved on and their policies need to as well.

Home Office Tweet

A Tweet from the Home Office asked for families that have different surnames to bring along birth or adoption certifications to get through passport control. So unmarried and divorced parents travelling with their children are having to prove they are related, it doesn’t matter that they raised them from birth.

lost passport home office tweet

This policy also dis-proportionally affects woman. With many children still taking their father’s name, it leaves woman travelling with their kids facing scrutiny at passport control. It also discriminates against same sex marriages where they don’t always share a surname. What is of a course a well-intentioned policy, has offended and discriminated against a huge proportion of our population.

After an immediate outcry over the Home Office’s Tweet, they have since tweeted again, saying they have a ‘responsibility to prevent people trafficking,’ which is of course true. This is all done for the right reasons, just done in the wrong way.

The Answer

There must be a better way. The suggestion from many is that children’s passports should include both surnames, which does seem to be a very sensible suggestion. Not only does it solve the problem but also does it in a way that’s fair and does not discriminate. Hopefully the Home Office will take this advice. 

Never lose your passport again