What is a Child Authorization Letter?

In general, executing an authorization letter entails an arrangement where you are permitting a third person, most of the time a person you wholly trust, to take care of dealing with a particular decision, action, responsibility, and sometimes a person. The authorization letter is often requested by another person, entity, official or organization for specific and different purposes. One type of authorization letter is a child authorization letter which is usually executed or written by the child’s parents or his or her legal guardian. The letter is often used and requested by the child’s school, sometimes called a permission slip, to allow the child to participate in school-organized events or activities like school field trips. In this arrangement, the child’s teacher or school alumni will take responsibility for taking care of and overseeing the child throughout the duration of the event or activity.

Importance of signing a Child Authorization Letter

If you think about it, the chances of you allowing your child to go on a trip alone is low. As a parent, it is a scary thought to leave your child alone venturing the world on his or her own. The outside world has its dangers that your child is not equipped to deal with without adult supervision. A child authorization letter is a useful tool to lessen your worries as a parent. It provides some guarantee that your child is supervised and watched over at these events. You will feel at ease knowing that your child is at someone’s care and that his safety is secured.

Instances You Will Need to Sign a Child Authorization Letter

As a parent, during your child’s minority, it is inevitable for you to sign and write a child authorization letter authorizing another person the care of your child. Below are some instances where you will need to sign a child authorization letter.

  1. Interstate and International travel

    Laws exist that put additional requirements for minors traveling interstate or abroad without their parents. According to U.S Customs and Border Protection, when an American citizen who is a child under 16 years of age travels without his parents, the child must bear a notarized letter signed by both his mother and father stating, “I acknowledge that my son/daughter is traveling outside the country with [name of the supervising adult] with my permission.”

  2. Medical treatment

    In the event, the parent’s child is absent or is under an incapacity to act and make medical decisions for his child, the hospital or medical institution will ask the person in authority a child medical consent form. It is a legal document that allows a third person who is not the parent of the child or his guardian the temporary right to seek and provide medical decisions on behalf of the child.

  3. School organized field trips and events

    There are dangers to bringing minor students outside of school premises. Before a school allows the student to participate in field trips and events outside of school boundaries, the child must first secure the permission of his parents. In turn, the parents must execute a child authorization letter naming therein the child’s teacher or school alumni as his caretaker during the entirety of the field trip or event.

How To Write a Child Authorization Letter

Authorization letters are necessary and important to establish who will be responsible for your child, his actions, and his well-being in certain events or activities. Your child might have to travel abroad for a school trip and you will have to write a child authorization letter to his school teacher. If you are having difficulties writing one, you can check out our sample templates above. To further help you, here are some steps you can follow to start writing that child authorization letter.

Step 1: Create a subject line

Placing a title in the upper middle part of the letter helps the reader know the topic of the letter immediately. Consider writing a short title, for example, “Child Authorization Letter for School Field Trip Travel” or “Child Authorization Letter for Child Care Provider” or simply write “Child Authorization Letter”.

Step 2: Name the addressee

The addressee is the person who the letter is addressed to. In this case, he is the person you have given authority to take full responsibility for your child or the person who asks for proof that the person given authority has been granted so. You may address him in his professional title. For example, school officials like the dean, you may address him in the letter as “Greetings, Dean John Smith Ph.D.” For letters not addressed to any specific person, consider writing “To Whom It May Concern”

Step 3: State the purpose of the letter

In the first paragraph of your letter, begin by writing a direct statement indicating the purpose of the letter. State your name, your child’s name, the person you have granted custody or authority over your child, and the purpose why authority is given. For example, “ I am John Doe, the mother of Philipp Doe, grant Jane Willows the authority to take care of my child throughout the duration of the school field trip.”

Step 4: Specify the scope of authority

Authority given can either be a general or limited authority. If the person authorized is a trusted family friend or a close relative that you fully trust, you can grant them a general authority. This means, they can exercise full personal discretion on what they deem fit and appropriate action over your child. On the other hand, you can also include a list of things that you allow and do not allow, this can be classified as a limited authority.

Step 5: Provide your contact details

Additional information that you should include in the child authorization letter is your contact information. In the event, the person reading wants to verify the information contained in the letter he may directly contact you through the phone number provided in the letter. Consider adding “If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact me, John Doe, father of Jane Doe, at (012) 123-3443.

Step 6: Sign the letter

To further validate the letter and make its content legally binding, a possible extra step you should make is to find a lawyer and have the document notarized. Notarizing the letter avoids or lessens the chances of it being questioned by officials. However, this is not entirely mandatory especially for school documents such as parental consent letter or forms. All you need to do to validate the letter is to sign it at the end.

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FAQs

What is an authorization letter?

Whenever your child has to be in the custody of another person or organization such as a school or a daycare center, they will need to have authority over your child to effectively manage them and prevent injuries or mishaps from happening. Thus, child authorization letters come into place. From its title, the document enables a school teacher or caregiver to exercise authority over your child and to act on your behalf temporarily in taking care of him or her. In your absence, the person who bears the authorization letter will temporarily have authority over your child.

Do I need to sign a child authorization letter?

It depends on your circumstances. Most of the time, yes; especially if you are the parent or legal guardian of a minor who needs to secure parental consent for international traveling, interstate field trips, employment such as on the job training to pass a subject unit, or any situation that will require the child to obtain a written consent from his parents allowing him to participate in an activity. The school may mandatorily require you, as a parent, to sign the school document where you are giving authorization allowing your child to join an event or activity.

Do both parents need to sign the child authorization letter?

Not really. One parent signing an authorization letter on behalf of his minor child is sufficient to be valid. However, in the case of separated or divorced parents, the parent signing the consent form or authorization letter must be the parent to whom the court has granted parental responsibility for the child. This may vary from one State to another. Some states may require that the authorization letter should be signed by both parents in order to be valid. Both parents must be present in front of the officer who will notarize the document.

You will need to secure a child travel consent form, also known as a letter of permission to travel, from the child’s parents or legal guardian. Any adult who is traveling outside of the United States with minor children or persons under 18 years of age, who is not their child, must secure the required permission or minor travel consent letter which must be signed by both of the minor’s parents or legal guardians. In addition, make sure to have the document notarized to decrease the chances of any travel personnel questioning the document’s authenticity.

Do I need to my ex-spouse’s permission or authorization to take my child abroad with me?

It depends. During the divorce or legal separation proceeding in court, the judge will decide who parental responsibility of the child will be given. If your ex-spouse has been given parental responsibility for the child, then no, you cannot take your child abroad without your ex-spouse’s permission or authorization. As stated under the Child abduction Act of 1984, you can be held liable and may face criminal charges if you take a child or person under 18 years of age abroad without securing the required parental consent form.

Having another person take care or watch over your child in your absence may seem like a risk, hence it is best to only give someone you wholly trust the child authorization letter. Most of the time the authorization letter is given to a school official or teacher, other times the child’s caregiver, or maybe even a close relative or family friend. The bottom line is, that person will be responsible for taking care of your child while you are gone. Thus, writing the child authorization letter can be of a great deal and should be written responsibly and with utmost care. If you are having trouble writing one, you can check out some of our sample child authorization letters above that you can easily download. All you need to do is browse, find one you like, download the file, edit, and print.