November 11, 2011
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. In a recent column, a reader asked you about documentation when flying with a grandchild without his or her parents.  In your response, you advised that "You should always travel with a notarized letter of parental both their birth parents."  As an adoptive mother, I was taken aback by your terminology.  Unfortunately your choice of words also made your answer incorrect.  Birth parents are the individuals who provided the genetic material to the child prior to birth but who may or may not be the child's current legal parents or guardians.  I think that your response to the reader would have been more accurate if you had said, "...a letter of ...consent the legal parent(s) or guardian(s)."  (It would have also been helpful if you could have included information for situations where one parent has sole custody, but that may have been too detailed for your allotted space.)

    A. You're absolutely correct. I apologize for the incomplete answer to that question.