dimanche 25 août 2013

International Child Abduction Prevention: Warning Signs and the I CARE Foundation's Travel Consent Form

Attention: Parents Who Have A Child Traveling Abroad Should Consider Implementing The I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form To Prevent Abduction

In the vast majority of international parental child abduction cases there are warning signs prior to an abduction attempt and parents need to be aware of these.  The act of international parental child abduction is a crime in most countries, including the United States and Canada - it is a highly abusive act toward a child by an narcissistic parent displaying sociopath behavior in order to cause a great deal of suffering and injury to the other parent.  In most cases the abducting parent has little or no concern for the child's care or well-being. Tragically it was recently reported by the United States government, children who are victims of parental abduction often face a high degree of severe violence and even murder at the hands of their parental child abductor. In fact, filicide – the act of parental child murder – is a large and highly disturbing issue that takes place in every country.

Anyone who has mistakingly thought that when one parent illegally removes or wrongfully retains a child in a foreign country without a court order or permission of the other parent that this act is not a severe and often dangerous act against a crime-victim child, but instead views this as a child custody act, is not aware of the severe emotional, spiritual, and possible physical abuse directed at the child by the abducting parent. It has accurately been said by a large number of leading child health experts that an abducted child becomes a prisoner of their parent-warden. Forced to obey their emotional jailer who happens to also control their every move and be their care-provider, these parentally abducted children are often brainwashed and taught to know and embrace hatred. Along the way, not only do they lose their identity, but they often lose sight of the true meaning and magic that exists in life.
The key to stopping international child abduction is to know and not dismiss these warning signs and clues that the child’s other parent may be planning abduction while also knowing exactly how to act in order to prevent the criminal act of parental child kidnapping once abduction becomes evident.
It is critically important for all parents who suspect their child’s other parent may be conspiring to abduct to realize abduction schemes are created and executed in secrecy. The parent planning abduction does not desire for their targeted parent to know they are planning a child kidnapping. In fact, concern amongst would-be parental child kidnappers that their abduction scheme may be exposed prior to being put into motion has increased ever since society has become more aware of the abusive and dangerous gravity and wide-spread infestation of child abduction around the world.
Organizations such as the I CARE Foundation, who are major combatants committed to fight against child kidnappers and act to defuse an abductor’s evil schemes by continued efforts to raise social awareness of the warning signs of parental child kidnapping while also advocating for new prevention laws, creating unique abduction prevention tools and resources, and successfully litigating child abduction prevention cases appear to be keenly aware of by those who abduct. These efforts are measurable.

For example, after nearly 30 years of increased reported cases of outbound international parental child abduction originating from the United States, including skyrocketing average growth of over 20% per year, the
United States international parental child abduction rate declined by over 15% during fiscal year 2011 and then by 16% during fiscal year 2012. These declines, though not inclusive to the formal period when the I CARE Foundation commenced its worldwide stewardship of raising awareness of international parental child abduction, are not coincidental, especially when considering the large number of abduction prevention cases the foundation has been involved with. And no comments made regarding the decline of abduction of U.S. citizens should be made without acknowledging the incredible and heroic work of the United States Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues and their Abduction Prevention Unit’s efforts to stop kidnapping: while the world’s child abduction rate continues to surge, reported cases of parental child abduction in America are on the decline.
Despite recent success, targeted parents of abduction appear to be more vulnerable than ever because individuals planning to abduct realize the difficulty they may have executing their abduction plans, especially if the child is in their home country of jurisdiction. So they take extra precautionary steps in order to conceal their true plans of abduction. Today, more than ever, parental child abductors need to act with chicanery and deception in order to execute their plans
Before I go any further, I want to point out that international parental child abduction connected to a child possessing a right of dual citizenship and dual passports remains an extraordinary concern. Additionally, removal of a child from any of the countries that are signatories to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Policy (The United States, Canada, Mexico, and many Caribbean island-nations) remains a serious concern.
It is important to note two paradigms are occurring in the international parental child abduction world at the same time.
Paradigms One - Increases In Abduction Amongst Married Couples
The first is it appears more international parental child abductions are occurring between couples who are still married and who have not separated from their primary household as opposed to abduction post-separation or divorce. Apparently, one of the primary reasons why this is occurring is the increased an increased awareness amongst abductors of the heightened degree of difficulty to execute their kidnapping plans if the targeted parent is aware of their intent. Thus, living in a hostile environment with a targeted parent does not create an ideal environment for an abductor to have their target let their guard down.
As you may suspect, many individuals planning abduction remain in the relationship because they do not want the other parent to have any reason for concern. In fact, it is common for a scheming parent to mislead their target by falsely displaying a deep commitment toward their relationship: increased acts of false affection and sincerity are commonplace in many of today’s pre-abduction cases.
Which makes it more difficulty to detect an abduction scheme is being planned or well under way. After all, many parents in a relationship may have a vested interest to be open to any new rekindling of the relationship by their child’s other parent.
The sad reality, exemplified in many of the hundreds of child abduction cases I have been involved with, is the parent planning abduction often successfully misleads the other parent into thinking that they were in committed to the relationship until it is too late. Alarmingly, parents planning abduction are successful in having their targeted parent dismiss the risks of child kidnapping because few targeted parents are willing to grasp that their child’s other parent could act so cleverly, shrewdly, and fraudulently.
Perhaps the biggest mistake targeted parents make is that in nearly every international parental child abduction case, the targeted parent underestimated the intelligence, cunningness, and capability of the predator parent to execute their abduction plan.
Paradigms Two - Increases In Child Abduction Due To Wrongful Retention Abroad
The second paradigm that appears to be taking place is that we are seeing more international parental child abductions as defined by the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction taking place when a child is wrongfully detained in a foreign country and not returned home. This path to abduction often occurs when either a court orders or a parent consents to allow the child’s other parent to travel with the child to a foreign country – which is often the country of origin for the would-be abductor.
In cases when an unsuspecting parent consents to allowing their child to travel abroad with the other parent, departure often occurs under the false guise of a vacation to see family members living in another country (often the scheming parent’s country of origin) or travel consent may be induced due to a false claim of a medical emergency.
Summer school vacation represents the time of year when the majority of children targeted for international parental child abduction are kidnapped. The majority of these children initially travel to another country with one or both parents under consent. Often, the scheming parent actually invites the targeted parent to travel with them under the idea of a family trip in order to be able to get the child out of their home country of origin without raising a red flag to the other parent.
Once a child is on foreign soil, the scheming abducting parent often unleashes an evil and cruel scheme against the targeted parent that often included intent to have their target arrested and removed from their and the child’s life by making false claims of abuse and violence directed at them, the child, or both.
Often local law enforcement in the abductor’s country of origin will arrest the targeted parent. This will be followed by a restraining order against both child and the parent who made the complaint. And as the once unsuspecting targeted parent is sitting in a jail cell waiting for bail or a court hearing, the scheming abductor is meeting with and making additional false claims to child protective services in the country they have abducted to. Often these claims are fraudulently affirmed by family members and friends of the abductor.
Once the false claims of abuse are filed, the abducting parent – now wrongfully claiming they are liberating parents freeing themselves from abuse – will file for no contact and divorce against the child’s other parent. And since there are pending charges for various forms of abuse, at least temporarily, the targeted parent will have no access to their child pending court proceedings (civil proceedings related to access to their child, and, possibly criminal proceedings connected to the false claims of abuse).
Wrongful retention of a child is a serious issue. In order to combat this cruel form of abduction, I CARE Foundation has created the Hague Convention-oriented International Travel Child Consent Form.
So much for a family holiday.
Warning Signs of International Parental Child Abduction
There are no fool-proof warning signs that your spouse or ex-spouse is thinking of taking your child across international borders, with or without your permission and knowledge. However, there are in fact many signs and signals that can provide you with insight that your spouse or former spouse is intending to abduct with your child.
Trust your instincts and do not bury your head in the ground and think abduction will not happen to you. It is a mistake tens of thousands of parents once made.
If you believe international parental child abduction is in process, immediately contact local and national law enforcement, and, immediately contact the United States Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues Abduction Prevention Unit.
If you have reason to believe that your spouse is contemplating the abduction of your child, you should immediately contact a qualified lawyer familiar with international parental child abduction to immediately discuss legal options available to you and your child. You should also immediately contact the United States Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues Abduction Prevention Unit. In addition, you should contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and open an abduction prevention case. You may also contact the I CARE Foundation to obtain additional information on abduction prevention and to receive an attorney referral of a qualified lawyer familiar with abduction prevention litigation.
You may need to file an ex parte (an Emergency without notice filing) motion to the court of jurisdiction where the child lives, seeking court intervention prior to when the abduction or wrongful retention occurs. Under most laws, the judge will have to hear your application so long as you present enough strong and credible evidence that your spouse or ex-spouse is planning to illegally take your child across state or international borders or intending to travel abroad with consent but may have no intent of returning the child to their country of habitual residency.
The following are a list of international parental child abduction warning signs. Each abduction case is unique so please consult with a qualified attorney to understand risk factors specific to your circumstances.
    • The most obvious warning sign is if the other parent communicates in any way that they have intent or a desire to remove the child of the relationship out of the country. In most instances, if the other parent threatens you with the idea that they are going to abduct your child, the fact is that in most cases, the abduction is already planned and may be in progress.
    • The majority of international parental child abductions originate when a marriage or partnership created between two individuals from two different countries occurs. The reality is that failure amongst multinational partnerships is high. Often, when one of these relationships fails and there is a child involved, the parent living in a foreign country may want to return to their country of origin, and when they do, they nearly always want to bring the child of the failed relationship with them. It should be exceptionally noted, as stated earlier, that often parents planning abduction will act with trickery in order to have the targeted parent not have concern over abduction.
    • The vast majority of international child abductions occur by a parent who is determined to cause hardship and harm to the other parent. The instrument that they use in order to cause this harm is the child or children of the marriage. A significant number of leading therapist from around the world have stated in numerous reports that revenge is the primary and leading reason why one parent will try to end the other parent’s relationship with their own child. Therefore, if you are involved with a person who has jealous or revengeful tendencies, you must be aware that these characteristics are common in the vast majority of would-be parental child abductors.
    • If your spouse or former spouse has in the past used the child of your marriage or relationship to cause you harm, pain, and suffering, or, has tried to control and manipulate your actions, then your concern should be magnified ten-fold. If the same individual has family members in another country or has lived in another country and has expressed a desire or threat to move there with your child, your concern should be magnified one-hundred fold.
    • If there is evidence of previous abductions, disappearances, or threats to abduct the child by your spouse or ex-spouse, these indicators demonstrate that any new abduction threat is real and in more likelihood already planned.
    • If your spouse or ex-spouse has citizenship in another country and/or has strong emotional or cultural ties to their country of origin.
    • A desire or intent by your spouse or ex-spouse to travel with the child to their own home country of origin with or without you. As stated earlier, it appears this is the most prevailing way a child is illegally abducted abroad. Often, the taking parent tricks their target into allowing travel, or is capable of fooling a court over their true intent. This is why the I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form must always be used during any type of international travel regarding a child.
    • Unexplainable removal of cash deposits and diminished assets, or unexplainable increases in credit card or bank debt.
    • Concealment of new credit cards or bank debt.
    • Concealed, hidden, and abrupt communication with individuals or family members living in a foreign country.
    • Concealed, hidden, and abrupt communication with a lawyer.
    • Frequent previous trips with child to a foreign country without other parent.
    • No strong ties to a child's home state including having no or limited assets, having no or limited job prospects, having no or few friends or family members, and having strong cultural difficulties with the child’s home country.
    • Strong foreign support network.
    • No financial reason to stay.
    • Possible use of the child as a pawn in order to gain access to non-joint assets.
    • Engaged in planning activities such as quitting job; selling home; terminating lease; closing bank accounts or liquidating assets; hiding or destroying documents; or securing a passport, a birth certificate, or school medical records.
    • A history of marital instability, lack of cooperation with the other parent, domestic violence, or child abuse.
    • An announcement of an unexpected trip to another country with the child.
    • The taking of easily transportable high-valued items such as jewelry upon departing to another country.
    • Adamant unwillingness to leave the child behind with you while spouse travels to a foreign country.
    • Shipping of personal items to a foreign country, including those ordered from a vendor that are directly shipped abroad.
    • A past tendency of your spouse or ex-spouse to relocate and live abroad.
    • If your spouse or ex-spouse has ties to another country and makes a false police complaint against you concerning conduct against them or the child, you should be aware this may be the beginning steps of an Article 13 Defense under the Hague Convention. In essence by creating a history of complaints of abuse, the parent intending to abduct lays track to have a court in a foreign country remain abroad and sanction the act of international kidnapping – except it will be viewed as an act of liberation from abuse. Tragically, claims of abuse are commonplace. After all, a parental child kidnapper has defend against the act of child kidnapping, and citing abuse is a common tactic equally used by men and women abductors.
    • If a parent living as an alien citizen of one country but has limited roots to that country and is intending to travel with the child abroad, the risks of an abduction are great. Additionally, if the parent who is planning to depart, say on a few week vacation, does not have the ability to purchase a return ticket back to the child's country of origin and/or does not have employment and/or does not have housing, then you can bet that upon departure for the so-called 'vacation', that parent is not returning. Remember, Intent and Sustainability issues are critical. If a person can't sustain themselves in the country that their child was born, and, they have no deep roots, why in the world would they want to stay?
    • If an alien-parent has deep connections to another country, and has deep connections to that country's senior government officials, there is a clear risk. Recently, I have been advising on a situation where the potential abductor has immediate family members in charge of overseeing a fleet of aircraft owned by a Middle East family (or you could say government). Obviously, access to aircraft and departing under immunity of a foreign government are very concerning.
    • If you are planning to allow the child’s other parent consent to travel abroad with your child or if a court is willing to grant travel – and the other parent is not willing to sign the I CARE Foundation’s Travel Consent Form which was designed to uphold jurisdiction of the child’s country of habitual residency while also creating evidence that could moot an abductor’s legal defense strategies, then this too is a serious warning sign that abduction is planned.
International parental child abduction is complex. There are many warning signs of abduction. The most important being that parents need to be mindful that international parental child abduction is a real threat.

On behalf of the I CARE Foundation, we hope this information may be helpful to you. Should you have any questions, please consult with a qualified attorney in the state of jurisdiction applicable to you and your child.

Kind regards to all,
Peter Thomas Senese
Founding Director
The I CARE Foundation

vendredi 23 août 2013

International Child Abduction and The Prevent Departure Program

Earlier this summer I had shared an article that I had written on Summer Vacations and International Child Abduction Warning Signs.  The article explained in detail some of the possible scenarios and techniques that a potential abductor may use in order to wrongfully remove a child from their home country of jurisdiction.  Even though that article was focused on the time of summer vacations, a time where approximately 85% to 95% of all parental abductions occur in the United States or abroad, even though summer is almost over international parental child abduction still poses a very serious threat for many families.

As always, the I CARE Foundation works toward the goal of preventing international child abductions.  One of the major keys to protecting innocent children from abduction is raising awareness of the realities of international abduction with the hope that our messages about the risks and warning signs that a kidnapping is being planned may allow a parent or other stakeholders the opportunity to prevent abduction.  Historically, the U.S. rate of reported cases of outbound abduction has declined by approximately 15% during the fiscal years 2011 and 2012, and that is after nearly 30 years of reported growth.  This tells us that abduction prevention efforts are working.

Now one of the most concerning risk factors that will lead to international child abduction is the use of a would-be taking parent to use a secondary passport not issued by the United States government in order to depart the country as shared in detail in the article published on behalf of the I CARE Foundation titled Summer Vacation. Child Abduction. Dual Citizenship. Two Passports. How To Prevent Abduction

I urge any parent who believes they are at risk of abduction to read both articles that I have listed.

One of the most effective tools available for at-risk parents trying to prevent abduction is the Prevent Departure Program, which is a secure screening program that lists any individual considered by the courts or law enforcement to be a high-risk child abductor.  In order to be placed on the Prevent Departure Program, there are certain requirements, one of which presently includes that the person cannot be a citizen of the United States of America.  Thus, only aliens residents (or non-residents) physically located in the United States may be put on the Prevent Departure Program at the request of the Department of State to the Department of Homeland Security.

Unfortunately, the caveat is that in order for a person to be considered a candidate for the Prevent Departure Program they are not American citizens, which presents a problem since individuals who possess dual citizenship, including American citizenship, cannot be placed on the Prevent Departure Program list.  Hopefully, there will be a modification in policy so that American citizens who are considered to be high-risk child abductors can be placed on a secure screening list.  The following press release provides details of the need to have the Prevent Departure Program policy modified:  Peter Thomas Senese & The CARE Foundation Supports GAO Recommendation to Create Departure Screening List for High-Risk U.S. Citizens Considered High-Risk Child Abductors.

So what is the Prevent Departure Program and how can it be applied?

Case Study 

Lets begin by suggesting Parent A is a citizen of another country but lives in the United States with Parent B. Parent B is a United States citizen. Parent A need not be married to Parent B.

During the course of A and B’s relationship, a child is born in the United States. When this occurs, the child is automatically a United States Citizen by birth.

In all likelihood, the child also will retain automatic citizenship to the nation that Parent A is a national of.

Let us assume both parents enjoy a right of custody to the child either through marriage, or, in cases where there is no marriage, either by state statue or by court orders.

During the course of time, Parent A decides to end the relationship and desires to return to their nation of origin with the child.

Now, Parent B, having great concern that Parent A intends to take the child and flee the United States and go to another country, obtains court orders forbidding Parent A from taking the child out of the country. The court orders for Parent A to turn over to the court the child’s US passport if one has been issued, and further directs the child’s name to be registered with the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program, thus essentially removing the potential abducting parent from being able to remove the child from the United States using an American passport issued in the child’s name.

In addition, Parent B successfully requests that the court notify the embassy of the country Parent A is a citizen of, whereas, the court informs the embassy that a child custody dispute is alive and well in the jurisdiction of the child’s country of habitual residency, and the court requests for that foreign embassy not to issue a passport in the child’s name, thus securing the inability of the child from departing until the court proceedings are finalized.

Problem solved? No

In many circumstances, a pending departure is already well planned before the targeted parent becomes aware of it. Parent A may already have in their possession a passport issued by their nation of origin for the child. If this is the case, it is very difficult for the US court to seize the foreign passport of the child, particularly if it is not known whether a passport has been issued in the child’s name.

If a passport has not been issued in the child’s name, then in all likelihood, Parent A will attempt to obtain one regardless if the child’s passport application requires Parent B’s signature or not. In fact, certain countries do not require the signature of the mother of a child, only the father.

In addition, each nation obtains a sovereign right to oversee their own citizens, and since the child may be considered a citizen of the country of Parent A too, the embassy is not required or obligated to follow the U.S. court’s orders. They have every right and may issue a passport in the child’s name despite requests not to do so. And make no mistake about this, in more cases than not, particularly if Parent A is very persuasive when communicating with someone from their own embassy, they will successfully obtain the passport.

If Parent A has possession of a non-US passport for their child, they very well may be able to physically leave the country with the child and illegally abduct the child. What is perhaps even more troubling is the fact that Parent B has no way or right to know if a passport was issued from the native country of Parent A in the name of the child.

A disaster waiting to happen? You bet it is.

But there is hope for those parents who find themselves in a scenario where Parent A is not an American citizen living in the United States with their child and, Parent A possess a foreign passport for the child of the relationship.

Since 2003, United States citizens have had available a very effective international child abduction prevention tool called ‘The Prevent Departure Program’. Unfortunately, many parents at risk of having their child internationally abducted are not aware that this incredibly useful tool is available to them.

In the aftermath of 911, the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Prevent Departure Program’ was created to stop non-U.S. citizens from departing the country. The program applies to non-US citizens physically located in America considered individuals at risk of child abduction. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) oversees this program and it is monitored 24 hours a day.

What the ‘Prevent Departure Program’ does is provide immediate information to the transportation industry, including all air, land, and sea channels a single point of contact at Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and provides a comprehensive database of individuals the United States believes may immediately depart to a foreign country.

The program only applies to aliens, and is not available to stop U.S. citizens or dual U.S./foreign citizens from leaving the country.

Under Section 215 of the ‘Immigration and Nationality Act’ (8 U.S.C. 1185) and it’s implementing regulations (8 CFR Part 215 and 22 CFR Part 46), it authorizes departure-control officers to prevent an alien’s departure from the United States if the alien’s departure would be prejudicial to the interests of the United States. These regulations include would-be abductions of U.S. citizens in accordance to court orders originating from the child’s court of habitual residency.

If the abductor and child are identified, they will be denied boarding. In order to detain them after boarding is denied, there must be a court order prohibiting the child’s removal or providing for the child’s pick-up, or a warrant for the abductor.

In order for an at risk parent to participate in the program, all of the following must be demonstrated:

  1. Subject may NOT be a US citizen; and,
  2. The nomination must include a law enforcement agency contact with 24/7 coverage; and,
  3. There must be a court order showing which parent has been awarded custody or shows that the Subject is restrained from removing his/her minor child from certain counties, the state or the U.S.; and,
  4. The Subject must be in the US; and,
  5. There must be some likelihood that the Subject will attempt to depart in the immediate future.
With respect to the established guidelines listed above, note that in order to request the listing of the other parent, that person must be an alien of the United States. The program does not apply to US citizens at risk of leaving the country.

The second mandate states a request to place an individual’s name on the Prevent Departure Program must include support by a law enforcement agency or from the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues, which has the authority of requesting for the Department of Homeland Security to list a suspected child abductor on the ‘Prevent Departure Program’.

The third criteria: possessing a custodial order, is essential. Regardless if the other parent has joint custody or rights of visitation, critically, you must make sure that there are injunction orders in place prohibiting the child from being removed from the jurisdiction of habitual residency. Unfortunately, many international parental child abductions are well planned out in advance of the actual abduction, and the targeted parent has no idea that an abduction is in progress until it is too late. This is why it is essential for parents in partnership with non-nationals to be fully aware of the warning signs associated with a potential international child abduction.

The fourth criteria states the obvious: in order to prevent an alien-parent suspected of abducting a child on U.S. soil, that parent must be on U.S. soil.

The fifth criteria requests that the applying parent demonstrate that the alien-parent has demonstrated the likelihood of abducting the child across international borders in the immediate future. Remember – you need to document and record as much evidence as possible.

For many parents who face the risk of having their child abducted and removed across international borders, the nightmare that both targeted parent and victimized child face is unbearable. 

The Prevent Departure Program is not for everyone and should not be abused; however, in situations where an abduction threat is real and the targeting parent intent on abducting a child is a non-US citizen possessing the capacity to breach court orders and abduct a child of a relationship, the Prevent Departure Program may be a useful tool.

For more information on the ‘Prevent Departure Program’, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s website or contact the Office of Children’s Issues.

Finally, the Department of State's Office Of Children's Issues Abduction Prevention Division is in charge of requesting that an individual be considered a candidate to be listed on the Prevent Departure Program.  From our experience, it is critically important that a court order be issued stating that a specific person be listed on the Prevent Departure Program, and that person is restrained from traveling outside of the United States with the specified children of the partnership considered by the court to be at risk of possible abduction.  

For more information on international parental child abduction please visit the I CARE Foundation.  Some of you may be interested in also visiting the official website of my deeply inspired novel about abduction titled CHASING THE CYCLONE, which contains a great amount of information on abduction.

Kindest regards to all -

dimanche 4 août 2013

Peter Thomas Senese and I CARE Foundation Launch International Travel Child Consent Form To Stop Child Abduction

Peter Thomas Senese & The I CARE Foundation's Hague Convention Oriented International Child Abduction Prevention Tool Provides Family Lawyers New Weapon To Protect Children

Family law attorneys worldwide are calling The I CARE Foundation’s groundbreaking International Travel Child Consent Form as a groundbreaking universal child abduction prevention tool that can be used to protect children at risk of international parental abduction.

The I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form is being viewed by highly respected international family law attorneys around the world who are deeply familiar with the grave challenges of international parental child abduction prevention and reunification as a significant new tool that may assist them and courts protect against abduction.

Worldwide, international parental child abduction increases substantially during the summer months when children are on summer school break. One of the primary methods behind these abductions under the rules established by the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction occurs when a parent wrongfully detains a child in a foreign country outside of a court order or without consent of the other parent after the ‘taking parent’ is initially granted permission to travel with the child to a foreign country.

In many of these cases the ‘taking parent’ carefully conspires to mislead and defraud the courts and the ‘targeted parent’ of their true intent: to relocate in their country of origin with the child while removing the targeted parent's contact with their child. Detecting abduction schemes is often not easy. In fact, some parents conceal their true intent to abduct by inviting the child's other parent to travel abroad with them in an attempt to avoid suspicion of abduction. However, once in a foreign country (often the conspiring parent's country of origin), the conspiring parent unleashes a horrible scheme intended to remove the other parent’s rights to the child. They often succeed.

The I CARE Foundation’s comprehensive 'International Travel Child Consent Form' was created to prevent these types of international parental child abduction schemes by calling for both parties to affirm key components central to the ability for an abductor to mount a false and misleading legal defense while also creating additional affirmations for an expeditious return of a child who has been wrongfully detained.

Steep in Hague-oriented case law with focus on Articles 1, 12, 13 and 20, the I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form was created to remove a parent's legal defenses under Articles 12, 13, and 20 of the Hague Convention who may be scheming to abduct a child prior to an alleged 'family vacation' abroad while also establishing strong support for a child’s immediate return under Article 1 of the Hague Convention.

Silvia A. Sejas Pardo, a highly respected Argentinean and Spanish international lawyer based in Spain and who is a Founding Member of FASIM, an international association of attorneys dedicated to preventing child abduction commented, "We need to continue to treat child abduction and prevention of kidnapping as something extremely exceptional as we are dealing with children's lives. The uncertainty and abuse related to abduction is not in their interest. The I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form is workable and would make child abduction more difficult as this document is a legally strong piece of evidence that may result in protecting many children. I hope all Hague-member states embrace this initiative."

Peter Thomas Senese of the I CARE Foundation and author of the critically acclaimed Chasing The Cyclone and lead creator of the consent form added, "The new abduction prevention tool was created to help provide clarity and directional paths for any court or law enforcement agency overseeing international parental child abduction associated with the wrongful retention of a child abroad. As the new international travel consent form reaches into Central Authorities and courtrooms around the world, and as attorneys dedicated to protecting children implement this tool or one similar to what the I CARE Foundation has created, we hope that there is a dramatic decline in abusive child abductions. We may not have created a new law, but we have created a universal child abduction prevention tool the entire world can use."

Mexico’s Carlos Alvarado, a renowned international family lawyer specializing in international parental child abduction prevention and reunification issues, and who is actively involved in new legislation initiatives in Mexico focused on protecting children of abduction added, "As a law practitioner deeply familiar with Hague Convention law and the great challenges parents and lawyers have protecting children targeted for international abduction, it is critical that new and creative abduction prevention tools are utilized to protect children. The I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent Form is an important tool that can and should be used to prevent children from being wrongfully detained in a foreign country. We intend to widely implement this new tool to protect children in Mexico and whenever possible, assist parents who have had a child abducted to Mexico who have utilized this agreement. This is a tool all attorneys should use." 

Adding further insight, renown Florida family law attorney Denise Gunn, who is a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Hague Convention Attorney Network and who recently prevented the abduction of two minors from Florida to a non-Hague Middle Eastern country in a complex custody dispute added, “New and applicable international child abduction prevention resources such as the I CARE Foundation's International Travel Child Consent form is a critically needed tool to stop the abusive criminal act of parental abduction. Once implemented, the foundation's groundbreaking Hague Convention-oriented travel consent form should protect a large population of at-risk children around the world who are targeted for wrongful retention under the rules of local and international law. The ingenuity and thoughtful creation of this agreement illustrates the expertise and commitment of the I CARE Foundation to protect children."

Linda Hammerschmid is Secretary of the Family Law Association of Quebec and a Family Law practitioner in Montreal Canada with over 30 years’ experience in the field. Ms. Hammerschmid commented, “The creation of the new International Travel Consent form is a MUST have, not only for Government Departments, Family Law Attorneys and divorcing couples, but also for INTACT families, and should be kept at the homes of ALL parents to use whenever one or the other wishes to travel alone with their children. Far too often the traveling parent only informs the other, AFTER departure, of their intention not to return the children.” The I CARE Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing child abduction.

Jennifer Cluff, one of the world’s foremost parenting blog writers who has stewarded the message of child abduction prevention on her Mom-ology parent site added, “Parents at risk of having a child kidnapped often are not aware of the scheme against them. The I CARE Foundation's tool is something all parenting-focused writers need to share with their readers, especially since the majority of our reader-base is the near-identical demographic of targeted parents.”

To download a copy of the 'International Travel Child Consent Form' in English or Spanish please visit the I CARE Foundation's official website. For more information about suggestions on how to implement the form and to obtain the legal analysis used to create this abduction prevention tool, please contact by email: legal@stopchildabduction.org or call 310.882.3967.

*NOTE: The press news release does not constitute legal advice. Should you require assistance please consult with a qualified attorney.