Parental Abduction: What You Should Do

Source: Steve Thompson

Every year, police reports are filed because one parent kidnaps their child from the other parent, usually because the abductor cannot get custody.

-If your child is a victim of parental abduction, your options are no doubt limited. Unless you have an idea where your child’s other parent might have run to, you are at the mercy of the police. However, there are a few things that you should definitely take care of as soon as possible.

First, you should know that parental abduction is against the law. If you have been given custody of your child by the courts — or if the child’s other parent has voluntarily relinquished custody — then he or she has no right to take your child without your permission. Usually, parental abductions occur in the middle of a custody dispute when one parent is certain that he or she will lose.

The next thing that you should consider is that it is often difficult to determine whether your child was abducted by his or her other parent or whether your child was the victim of an unrelated kidnapping. Don’t think that you should avoid calling the police because you’re afraid to get your ex-spouse in trouble; the police will consider all possibilities, and you don’t want to make the mistake of failing to report the abduction and then later discover that your child was the victim of a random crime.

You should also know that thousands of children go missing every year, whether from parental abductions, kidnappings, rapes, murders and runaways. The police are in a perpetual state of overload, which means that although your child’s parental abduction is a priority, the police cannot dedicate their days to the search. They have other crimes to investigate. With that said, you might want to consult a private investigator in the case of a parental abduction. He or she will have far more time to devote to the search, and although their powers of investigation are not as thorough as those of the police, P.I.’s are licensed by the state.

As far as you are concerned, your best bet is to start contacting people. Friends, family and acquaintances should all be alerted that a parental abduction has occurred. Contact the family and friends of the other parent to find out if he or she has been in contact with them, and let them know that it is illegal to harbor a fugitive. Get on the phone with the National Center for Mission and Exploited Children (800-843-5678) as well as any local organizations that help parents whose children have been abducted.

One major problem that you should consider is whether or not your child’s abductor may take him or her out of the country. Many perpetrators of parental abduction flee the country to avoid prosecution (and the removal of the child from their custody). Contact your local passport office (or the national office at 202-955-0231) to let them know that your child should not be allowed to get on a plane or be issued a passport. The police can likewise put a red flag on the abductor’s passport to keep him or her in the U.S.

And finally, you might want to resort to your local news media to help generate publicity. The televisions and radios can broadcast news briefs about the parental abduction of your child in the hopes that someone will report a sighting. Many children have been found over the years because the clerk at a drug store or the teller at a bank recognizes the child from his or her picture on the news and calls it in. While you can’t count on this happening, it’s certainly a possibility.

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One key to ABP World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

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