parental child abduction

International Parental Child Abduction Prevention For At-Risk Families During Travel

The issue of international parental child abduction continues to be a serious and growing problem around the world.  Each year there are thousands upon thousands of unsuspecting parents and children that become victims of this horrific crime. Don’t be mistaken… international parental child abduction is a crime as it is a severe form of abuse against not only the child, but also the left behind parent.  Those that are part of the team of the I CARE Foundation are very aware of the challenges that are present when faced with having to deal with a child that has been abducted… so prevention is always the key!  A child that is protected from international abduction is one that is able to live as they should… free from abuse and free from fear.

3e5fe-travel-consent-form-side-2When we look at abduction prevention, one of the most effective tools readily available to parents is the I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form, specifically protecting a child from wrongful retention in a foreign country which accounts for approximately 85-90% of all international child abductions. If your child is going to be traveling abroad, as a parent you should seriously consider utilizing this proven effective travel consent form to protect your child from abduction.  Being proactive is the key as the majority of parents who have become victims, have rarely seen the warning signs that may have told them the other parent was planning to kidnap their child.

Peter Thomas Senese, the Executive Director of the I CARE Foundation shares, “The travel document does not simply act as a parent consent form allowing a child to travel abroad but reinforces a child’s return to their country of origin based upon affirmation requirements that remove the majority of an abductor’s legal defenses to remain abroad in connection with Hague law.  The consent form is a tool that can be utilized by parents around the world, as well as attorneys who are trying to protect abduction. If a traveling parent refuses to sign the document, then under no circumstance should the other parent or a court permit a child to travel abroad as there is a heightened increase to an abduction threat.”

As you read this you might think to yourself… “This could never happen to me“.  Generally every parent that has become a victim would have, at some point, said the same thing. The parents that need to pay most attention to this information are those that are involved in relationships that are strained or are in the midst of a divorce or separation, as well, those that are involved in child custody disputes,  These parents should be very aware of the risks involved when it comes to your child traveling abroad – in particular if your child’s other parent has strong ties to a foreign country. Another important aspect to this – if you happen to have a custody agreement that states that your child must travel, never assume that a court order is enough to ensure that your child will return home safely because this is just not the case.  A parent that is already willing to kidnap their child, which is an extreme form of child abuse, is not going to think twice about ignoring the requirements of a court order.  The simple fact is that without the protection of a travel consent form that has immediate and clear ramifications attached to it, such as the I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form, there are no guarantees that your child will return home.

Understand that the intent here is not to be blunt, but rather share the cruel reality that faces so many families today.  Is there a chance that yours might be one of these families?  If so, don’t hide your head in the sand.  Being proactive and being aware of the warning signs of international parental child abduction, could well protect your child from a life of abuse at the hands of his/her other parent.

If you don’t fit into any of the criteria above, you should still be aware when traveling. Parental child abduction can commonly occur when both parents are traveling with their child to a foreign country. Perhaps you have planned a family vacation over, say, Christmas holidays during which, something like this could happen: The traveling family arrives in the foreign country they are visiting, and once they have landed, the would-be abducting parent files false claims of abuse and neglect against the other parent… the unsuspecting parent!  Once this is done, they notify the other parent that they and the child will not be returning back to the country of original jurisdiction.  From here, the targeted parent is generally forced to return back home without their child where they then need to seek legal assistance.

This is an example of what the cruel and unforgivable world of international child abduction can be like.  But once again, it is important to note, that as a parent there are things that can be done to help protect your child and to help protect yourself.

The I CARE Foundation focuses a great deal of their efforts on abduction prevention and has been involved in an growing number of cases in both prevention and reunification. The work of those involved with the Foundation speaks for itself.  At the forefront of this work is Peter Thomas Senese, who shows time and again that protecting children from parental abduction is a commitment that he stands unbowed to so that children and their families may never know the nightmare that is the world of international abduction. There are numerous sworn testimonial letters from individuals regarding the advocacy and volunteer work that Peter does each and every day.  As well, Peter has provided testimony to the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in regards to the issues that revolve around international parental child abduction.

And on a final note, it’s important to mention again about the 12.23% decline in the reported U.S. outbound abduction rate during the year 2013.  This past year’s decline brings the overall reduction in the outbound rate of international parental child abduction to over 38% since the I CARE Foundation began their advocacy efforts and working to bring an end to international abduction and trafficking.  As the I CARE Foundation continues it’s extensive work in advocating and protecting children we hope to see this trend continue in the year to come.  However, the truth is, there is still a great of work to do… so our efforts continue while we work to protect the innocence of children around the world.

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To DOWNLOAD a copy of the International Travel Child Consent Form, please visit the I CARE Foundation’s official website.

An Abduction That Won’t Happen This Holiday Season

Don’t Let Your Child Be Internationally Abducted This Christmas

Several weeks ago the I CARE Foundation began an educational campaign reminding parents that the Christmas Holiday Season is International Parental Child Abduction Season.   In an effort to raise awareness, I had written a series of essays that were posted on an assortment of websites.

Our warning to parents to be mindful of the possibility of abduction during this time of year must be taken seriously.

Earlier today, one of the I CARE Foundation’s board members was contacted by a parent who shared information with one of our directors concerning the other parent of the child.  What she shared included:

  1. A strained relationship that included acts of abuse.
  2. A new-found ‘love’ by the other parent and desire to make the partnership work.
  3. A request to travel abroad to that other parent’s family, which so happens to be the country of origin and citizenship of the partner.
  4. A recent selling of a car for at least $7,500.00; however, no deposit of the sale has occurred in any bank accounts the inquiring parent has access to or is aware of.
  5. Discovery of the child’s educational transcripts.
  6. Recent shipment of clothing to help out ‘the poor’.
  7. Late night ‘walks’ that appear to be time when secretive phone calls are made as indicated by discovery of international pre-paid calling cards.
  8. A previous false claim 2 months ago of domestic violence.

After hearing of these events, the I CARE Foundation board member made some suggestions that might give more clarity on whether an international parental child abduction is planned.

Sure enough – the parent followed the instruction provided.  Discovery unquestionably shows abduction during the Holiday is planned.

. . . It may be planned . . . but it sure is not going to happen.

Friends – pay attention to this article below, share it, re-post it, talk about it …. but get the information out.

Chasing The Cyclone
by
Peter Thomas Senese

Parents Dealing With Divorce Should Not Let Their Children Travel Abroad With The Other Parent During The Christmas Holiday Season – International Parental Child Abduction.

The Christmas Holiday Season is also one of the most prominent times of year when many children are internationally abducted by one parent from another. It is critically important that any parent who is in a partnership with an individual who originates from or has family abroad to be highly suspect of the possibility of international parental child abduction during this time of year.

As in all cases of parental abduction, these crimes against children are well-thought-out, well-planned and designed to catch a targeted parent off-guard and unsuspecting that a horrible scheme is underway to have their child taken.

And the schemes that eventually see children abducted or illegally detained abroad are being carried out right now.

However, if you know the warning signs to look for, parents have a fair chance of protecting their child or children from abduction.

With 100,000 to 125,000 American Children and anywhere from 12,500 to 20,000 Canadian children reported to be expected to be internationally abducted over the next ten years DO NOT STICK YOUR HEAD IN THE GROUND:  International parental child abduction is a pandemic that silently steals children.

Don’t let your child be abducted.  Educate yourself.

You should know only an estimated 10% of all children internationally abducted ever come home.

What To Look For

In many instances of cross-border parental child abduction that occurs during the holiday season, generally the largest number of incidents takes place when one parent travels to another country with their child or children of a relationship accompanied by, or with the initial consent of the other parent.

Generally, the travel takes place under a guise of a holiday trip abroad to visit family members of the parent intending to abduct.  Of course, the targeted parent is clueless as to what is really going on.

So for example, Father X was born and raised in the Middle East but married Woman Y, who is an American citizen.  The couple lives in the United States, where their child was born and raised.

Unknown to the the woman in the relationship, the husband wants to end the relationship and relocate back to his country of origin back in the Middle East.  However, he has one problem: he knows that his wife will never allow for him to legally take the child with him.

So instead of announcing his true intent to separate, the husband will create critically important misdirection.  Meaning, he will do everything possible to make his wife believe that he is happy and committed in the relationship.

I did say everything possible. 

Why?

Becuase it is critical that she put her guard down and not suspect any foul play or scheme.

In the meantime, little things – that are really big things – may be taking place visibly or without knowledge of the targeted parent.  There are many warning signs to look for, but if the subtleties are not carefully considered, then the would-be abductor will get away with their plan.

So the husband who is intending to abduct the child by wrongfully detaining the child abroad will continue to create a facade of being happily married and committed to the relationship while carefully laying out a plan to get the child abroard.

Eventually, and right about this time of the year, the would-be abductor makes the suggestion that it would be ‘great’ or ‘nice’ or ‘meaningful’ to travel abroad together or without the other parent (depending on reasonable circumstances) in order to see his parents, siblings, and extended family.  And of course, all of this is in the best interest of the child of the partnership.

Now, since the wife may believe the husband is committed to their relationship and does not even consider that he may have intent to not return to their marital home, she more than likely is willing to consent to the holiday vacation.

Unfortunately for the mother and child, the trip takes place.

Unknown to both, the parent intending to abduct has already hatched a well-thought out plan, including what may be necessary to keep the child abroad while removing the other parent’s rights to the child abroad.

Everything is deception – and everything must be considered.

For example: the husband may ship certain belongings like a crib or a stroller and other items of the child that may create the appearnace the other parent knew he was relocating – and gave consent! Or, he may have begun to move his assets abroad.

Once abroad with his wife and child, the woudl-be abductor may make false accusations of child or spousal abuse (men and women both claim abuse in cases of of planned abduction), claims of drug use, or any other claim that may indicate that the child is at risk.

By stating the child is at risk, this could potentially allow a local court in the foreign country to grant him immediate custody of the child – even though the child’s original jurisdiction is in the country they were born and raised.  In addition, in cases where a Hague Application may be filed, the abductor has laid ground for an Article 13 Defense (which evolves around the best interest of the child).

If it sounds complicated, it is.

It is important for individuals married or in a relationship with partners who originate from non-Hague countries such as those located in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to understand that if you are traveling to nations located in these areas and the other parent intends to not return to the child to the country of original jurisdiction, there is a very good chance they will be successful in keeping the child abroad . . . and your contact will be limited or absolved completely. Additionally, it is important to pay careful attention to Hague-Convention non-complying countries such as Germany, Brazil, Mexico, and Poland.

Of course, if you ever plan to travel abroad and have been involved in a suspicious or strained relationship, please contact an attorney who is familiar with international parental child abduction prevention.

Though I am not an attorney, I would highly advise you consider obtaining a court order prior to travel that the child is to be returned.  However, remember – in countries that are not members of internatinal treaties regarding abduction or do not comply to such said treaties – if a child is taken – it will be very costly and difficult to bring your child home.

So – if you have any suspecion that an abduction might be planned – and this time of year is the planning period for the high number of Christmas Holiday Abductions that occur – seek the advice of a qualified lawyer – and do not let your child travel abroad under any circumstance.  Pay attention to the warning signs and act now!

To read about Chasing The Cyclone’s impact, click here.  To purchase Chasing The Cyclone, please visit Amazon or BN.

Most of all, if you are in a multi-cultural relationship and you think there may be a chance that your spouse or partner may try to abduct your child during the coming holiday season, please pay attention to the information I have provided.  International parental child abduction is only three degrees of separation from impacting someone you know.

THE I CARE FOUNDATION