According to a recent report released by the U.S. State Department, as of the end of 2012, more than 112 applications that had filed for the return of minor children abducted out of the United States remained open and active for a period of more than a year and a half. The report details the phenomenon of international child abduction originating in the United States as well as the State Department’s efforts to return children to their parents from foreign countries that may or may not be parties to the Hague Abduction Convention, the leading international law instrument governing child abductions.
How can the Hague Abduction Convention help me get my child back safely?
The Hague Abduction Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980) is an international law treaty among 90 contracting countries. Its goal is the prompt return of children who have been abducted across international boundaries. The United States is a party to this treaty and often works with other participating countries to help secure the safe return of children who have been abducted overseas. The governmental agency responsible for coordinating the return of children from Hague Abduction Convention countries is the U.S. Central Authority, an agency of the State Department.
Are there any steps I can take if I fear my child may be abducted?
If you fear your child is at risk of being abducted internationally, there are certain steps you can take to help prevent your child’s exit from the United States, including:
- Ensure your custody decree prohibits the removal of your child form the United States.
- Require the other parent to post a bond.
- Provide copies of your custody decree to your child’s school.
- Enter your child’s name in the State Department’s Children’s Passport. Issuance Alert Program to receive alerts if a passport is requested for your child.
International child abduction matters often involve complicated international law issues. A Florida international child abduction attorney can help you navigate these complex issues and liaise with government agencies on your behalf to get your child back quickly and safely.