Bromley girl wants passports changed after her mum is accused of abducting her in New York (From This Is Local London)
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Bromley girl wants passports changed after her mum is accused of abducting her in New York
A BROMLEY girl wants to make a permanent change to UK passports after her mother was accused of abducting her in a New York airport.
13-year-old Katie Percival, of Godwin Road, has launched a petition to have the names of both parents put on the passports of under 18s.
Her mother, Victoria Turner, is Katie's main carer after she and Katie's father divorced 11 years ago.
However because of the divorce she has a different surname to Katie.
And in June, when the two were in JFK Airport with Katie's 12-year-old sister Ella, an immigration officer refused to believe the three were related.
Katie said: "I was at JFK airport in the USA with my family.
"The immigration officer looked at my mum’s passport, then my sister's.
"He looked up and said: You have different surnames, where's the father?'
"My mum said that he was in England. He then asked for proof that my mum wasn’t abducting us.
"I was shocked. My mum showed him her divorce papers, our birth certificates, her previous passport with our surname and her proof of marriage.
"He wasn't interested and said that if we were entering the USA we would need a written letter from our dad giving permission for my mum to take us abroad.
"He even threatened to send us home.
"I was staggered. We were eventually allowed through, but it marred the start of our holiday and is something I will not forget."
Katie, a member of 1st Chislehurst Guides, came up the idea for a petition in late October when she was attending an event run by Girlguiding UK and change.org.
The event was to mark the launch of 'Go For It - Be The Change', an activity pack written by young members of Girlguiding struck by the lack of female representation in government.
Katie Percival with mum Vicky Turner.
Katie added: "The event was showing us how to make change for women.
"They were showing us how we could make petitions for women's rights.
"When I got home I told mum my idea.
"I remember in America it had been really scary, the immigration officer kept looking at us and questioning if we were mum's daughters.
"I really think that this should happen. It is a really big issue if you think about it."
Click here to sign the petition and follow its progress on Twitter @parentpassport.
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