If you are an at-risk parent who believes your child's other parent is planning or in the process of international parental child abduction, contact the United States Department of State's Office of Children's Issues Abduction Prevention Bureau to discuss potential measures that may be available to you to ensure the individual parent suspected of an international child abduction threat does not illegally depart the United States and remove your child in violation of a court order or in breach of your right of custody. Additionally, please contact the Office of Children's Issues Prevention Bureau to discuss if there are potential prevention techniques unique to your case that may allow the Department of State to work with other federal agencies so to secure your child is not a victim of international parental child abduction.
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Individuals seeking to Department of State assistance and implementation of the Prevent Departure Program should make sure that they have the following information ready to submit to the Office of Children's Issues:
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From our vantage point in the battle trench fighting abduction, and from our own measurable history of protecting a large number of children who have either been abducted or were targeted from abduction, the I CARE Foundation is fully aware that none of the successes we have had assisting targeted children would be possible if not for the Department of State and the tremendous cooperation protecting children provided by other agencies.
However, as stated previously - each abduction prevention case is different. It is imperative that at-risk parents contact the Department of State. Should a parent or attorney have questions they would like to address with the I CARE Foundation, they may do so by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thus, a parent planning to abduct a child could do so by boarding a closed circuit cruise, or by simply driving across the border. It is critical that an attorney attempting to prevent abduction familiarize themselves with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative loopholes and present these issues to the court they are litigating over. One other good idea is that they present to the court the statistical realities of child abduction return, including whether a country that appears to be a likely inbound country is a member of the Hague Convention, and whether or not they are a complying country. Of course, that's not all that should be presented to the court. A few other important issues include the potential for severe abuse to the child; and, the severe abuse to the targeted parent, the cost to litigate; and, the ability for the taking parent to disappear abroad, including departing the country they initially 'landed' in, and travel to another country; and finally, the likelihood that a child will be returned.
One little word of advice: the majority of parents who have had their child abducted never saw it coming. Do not stick your head in the ground and think this cannot happen to you. Educate yourself.
And for anyone who is thinking of either illegally removing an American child-citizen from the United States or who is planning on wrongfully detaining a child abroad, remember, international parental child abduction is a federal crime called kidnapping. Click here to read more about the International Parental Kidnapping Crimes Act.
- Peter Thomas Senese -
- Executive Director-
- The I CARE Foundation-