Stephen Watkins children was illegally abducted to Poland, The black hole of child abduction – A non co-operating member of the Hague convention.
Stephen Watkins at rally for his sons at Polish embassy in Toronto
A Polish court has denied a Newmarket man’s bid to bring home his two children, according to the man’s Facebook page.
Stephen Watkins accuses his ex-wife Edyta Watkins (Ustaszewski) of abducting their two boys, Alexander and Christopher, in 2009.
Mr. Watkins wrote in a Facebook post last night he is not feeling well in the aftermath of yesterday’s ruling.
“I am frustrated along with being very sad. I don’t know what to say except that I am not giving up on my sons.” he wrote, adding he plans to appeal the ruling.
In advance of the ruling, Mr. Watkins acknowledged his uphill climb to secure custody of the boys was far from over.
“One thing is finding your kids, it’s another thing bringing them home,” Mr. Watkins said by telephone Wednesday from Warsaw, Poland, where has been since Nov. 23.
Mr. Watkins has seen Alexander and Christopher at an apartment building in the eastern European country, but has been unable to hug them, he said.
They seem confused and Mr. Watkins believes they have been brainwashed.
The long road from family difficulties. which began 2-1/2 years ago, to receiving word about the children through Polish court documents last summer has been emotionally taxing and financially burdensome, he admits.
“The Polish courts have known where my kids are for about a year,” he charged. “It took them a year to contact me.”
After his children disappeared, his ex-wife attempted to enrol them at a Polish school. But with no documentation about their boys’ background, Polish authorities apparently became suspicious and launched an investigation, which landed in the courts, Mr. Watkins believes.
Then, the Polish courts sent Mr. Watkins a summons.
“That was our first lead,” he said.
He was glad to know where his sons were, but his research had taught him not to get too excited, he added.
The boys were reported missing the Monday following a scheduled weekend visit with their mother.
After Mr. Watkins was granted custody of the boys, United States Homeland Security confirmed a woman and two boys took a flight from Rochester, N.Y. to Detroit, Mich. March 8, 2009 before departing for Frankfurt, Germany.
From there, the trio apparently entered Poland.
Mrs. Watkins is a native of Poland and has family there. The boys could also be recognized as Polish citizens, Canadian authorities said.
Because Canada has no extradition treaty with Poland, Mr. Watkins has faced an uphill battle.
He thanked several local support agencies, York Regional Police and Canadian officials in Poland for their help and acknowledged members of Parliament have spoken on his behalf.
Earlier this week, Newmarket-Aurora Conservative MP Lois Brown issued a news release stating she had discussed Mr. Watkins’ efforts in the House of Commons during discussion about a government initiative to help protect Canadian children travelling abroad.
However, Mr. Watkins believes only pressure from the highest levels of the Canadian government — the Prime Minister’s Office — will help pressure the Polish government.
“My fingers are crossed that (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper will stand up and say something,” he said. “I need some of that political clout.”
In advance of the court ruling, Mr. Watkins didn’t hold his hopes high and was skeptical of a major change in the situation.
“My ex has gone to great lengths to travel around the world … and hide the children,” he said.
“I would like to thank the Canadian politicians LOIS BROWN, MP (Newmarket-Aurora) and JINNY SIMS, NDP PM (Newton-North Delta BC) for raising awareness to the Canadian government of my sons International Child Abduction case, known world-wide as ‘ Watkins Missing Children ‘, in Canada’s House of Commons and also raising awareness to the issues of International Parental Child Abductions from Canada.
I am hopping and my ‘Christmas Wish’ is that our Canadian Prime Minister, STEPHEN HARPER, also send an equally strong message and statement denouncing the actions of Poland with my two Canadian children, illegally kidnapped from Canada and now stuck in Poland.
I believe it will take a strong statement from our Canadian political leader seeking the return of my sons, similarly to what the United States – Secretary HILLARY CLINTON has done denouncing the inactions of Brazil and Japan in similar child abduction cases, so that the country of Poland understands that International Child Abductions will not be tolerated by any nation.” says Stephen Watkins, the father of Missing / Abducted Alexander & Christopher Watkins.”
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