“‘Where’s the note from the mother?’ That’s how the immigration officer greeted my daughter and me on our recent visit to Belize, writes Correspondent from that country Phil Hahn.
“We had just handed him our passports, when, without even looking at them, he explained to me that I needed ‘a note from the child’s mother’ before he’d allow my daughter to enter the country with me. Without the note, he was going to put us both on the next return flight to Atlanta.
“Fortunately for me and my daughter, whose eyes were as big as saucers throughout the exchange, we have friends in this country who know our family, and, after some cajoling, the immigration supervisor allowed me to arrange for my wife to fax a note explaining she was aware that our daughter was traveling with me.
“It helped that, during the conversation, the immigration officer realized we have many mutual friends and that he knew of Carmelita, my development project in this country. It also helped that, when he opened our passports, he saw the multiple Belize entry stamps, convincing him, as I’d been explaining, that his country is our family’s second home.
“Belize isn’t the only place that imposes this requirement. I know that Mexico does, too, for example. So…word to the wise wandering parent: If you’re going to bring your minor child along with you as you move around the world, don’t forget to carry a note from the child’s other parent with you in your passport.”