REAL LIFE

Mum and teen daughter questioned at airport over different surnames

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A mother has taken to Facebook to reveal a harrowing encounter when going through US customs with her teenage daughter. 

After a long flight from Europe, Sylvia Acosta and 15-year-old Sybonae Castillo were heading home to Texas when border officials asked Acosta why she didn’t share the same surname as her daughter.

“I was asked if Sybonae was my daughter and I said yes. Then they asked why, if she was my daughter, I didn’t have the same last name,” she wrote on Facebook.

“I told them I had already established my career and earned my doctorate with my last name Acosta so I had decided not to change it.”

“He then took me to another room where they proceeded to interrogate me and my daughter to prove I was her parent. I had to re-explain why we didn’t share last names and again one said well maybe you should consider changing your name to reflect that you are her mother.”

Acosta went on to say that she told the officers they “were perpetuating an institutionalized misogynistic system which required that a woman take her husband’s name.” 

Her experience almost mirrors that of a recent scene in The Handmaid’s Tale, where immigration agents inform Emily/Ofglen (Alexis Bledel) that she can’t leave the US with her wife and their young son because the marriage is no longer valid. 

Per BBC, a CBP spokesperson responded saying: “We strive to ensure that travellers are processed fairly and efficiently, as we endeavour to make certain that all individuals attempting entry into the United States do so in a legal and secure manner.”

This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.

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