International Child Abduction / Parental Kidnapping – Recovery Services


International Child Abduction is tragically a global epidemic.

Leading experts believe that due to the rapid growth in multi-national marriages and relationships, the number of children born from parents of different countries will continue to expand. Similar to all relationships, a significant portion of these marriages or partnerships will end in divorce. All too often, one of the separating parents of the child of the relationship will seek to abduct the child to a country other than where the child has lived.

This is called ‘International Parental Child Abduction’, and though there are various civil remedies available to targeted parents who have had their child abducted, the challenges they face are grave, and include first and foremost, locating where the child is located. Unfortunately for the majority of targeted parents, the financial burden for recovery and litigation falls on their shoulders. With tens of thousands of children parentally abducted each year, the reality is too many of these children never come home. ABP World Group is dedicated to assisting parents in need of assistance in locating, rescuing, and safely bringing home your abducted child.

Our intelligence and investigation abilities combined with our ability to dispatch personnel to most locations in the world offer a safe and strategic solution to protecting your most important asset: your child.

Areas of expertise:

Parental abduction

Missing children

Kidnappings

Counter Kidnapping

Anti Kidnapping

Runaway children

Reunification Counseling

Unfortunately in this day and time parental kidnapping happens and we are here to help you trough this difficult period. We are aware parental child abduction can be difficult to resolve, but we use professional operatives with the skills and expertise to help find a resolution.

One key to ABP World Group’s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available including, but not limited to:

Electronic Forensic Foot printing Investigations

Intelligence Gathering

Information Specialists/Skip Tracing

Evidence Procurement

Interview/Evaluation

Surveillance Special Ops

Non-Combatant Evacuation Ops

Domestic Support

International Operations

Maritime/Land/Air transport

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Child abduction by parents among Indian diaspora raises concern


Source: Inewsone.com , New Delhi, June 19

(IANS) Increasing number of child abductions by parents among the Indian diaspora has become a cause of concern as India is yet to join the internationalconvention on the issue, a British minister has said.

‘The cases where a parent abducts their child and takes it away to India are problematic because India does not have laws to deal with parental child abduction,’ British Minister for Equalities Lynne Featherstone said here.

The minister urged the Indian government to accede to the UN Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

The British minister was here on a three-day visit to India June 15-17 to seek greater collaboration between the two countries on the issue of violence against women and gender equality issues.

According to Featherstone, the UK government receives at least one complaint per month of alleged abduction of a child by a parent of Indian origin. There are about eight such cases currently being investigated, the minister said.

The children were abducted by one of the parents and brought to India in order to gain the advantage in matrimonial and child custody disputes.

Child abduction cases by parents are high in countries which have a large population of people of Indian origin such as the UK, the US and Canada.

About 70 children were abducted by parents of Indian origin in the UK in the past eight years, according to a report.

The US State Department’s Office of Child Issues, which helps in child abduction cases, is currently working on more than 100 cases of children taken to India without the consent of the parent left behind. The State Department has said that there are few remedies if a child is abducted to India.

There are more unresolved cases of parental child abduction from the US to India than any other country with the exception of Mexico.

About 85 countries have ratified the 1980 Hague Convention on Parental Child Abduction. Under the convention, member countries undertake to return children abducted by a parent to their homes under the jurisdiction of the courts in the home country.

Parental child abduction has become one of the many issues that have been added to the agenda for inter-governmental discussions with visiting delegations from the US, Britain and Canada.

Several NGOs and activists in India and abroad have urged the government to accede to the Hague Convention.

On the occasion of Father’s Day (June 20), a Bangalore-based non-governmental organisation, Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), has demanded that India ratify the Hague Convention and reform family law in India.

California-based Rakshak Foundation has also appealed to the union government to safeguard children’s rights and make parental abduction a cognizable, non-bailable crime.

Abduction of a child by one parent violates the child’s right to live in the security of the familiar home and prevents access to both parents. More and more child custody and abduction cases are landing in Indian courts relating to foreign citizens as well as non resident Indians (NRIs).

The Supreme Court has ruled recently that Indian courts have jurisprudence on child custody cases even if the child is a citizen of a foreign country. The courts apply the principle of best interest of the child, taking a foreign court decree as only one of the factors for deciding on the custodial dispute.

There have been occasions when the father had taken away the child from the country of residence, gone to India and left the child with his grandparents while he flew to work in a third country.

At other times, it is the woman who took the child on the pretext of visiting India.

Many abducted children are told that the other parent is dead or has gone away. Often one parent tries to poison the child’s mind to the other parent, which often causes psychological and emotional problems for the child.

‘Children in such cases are voiceless victims and their right to be connected to both biological parents needs to be protected,’ according to the Rakshak Foundation.

Often child custody cases lead to the child being deprived of the love, affection and care of one parent.

‘Joint custody and shared parenting are the best solutions for normal development of the child,’ the foundation said.

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Attorney advise non-custodial parents to request the children’s passports be held by the Court


A TIP FOR PREVENTING PARENTAL ABDUCTION OF A CHILD TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY

CNN posted an article in October of 2009 that raised the question about what a parent can do to prevent child abduction. According to the article, Christopher Savoie, an American father, was granted full custody of his children by a Tennessee Court after learning that they were removed to Japan without his consent by their mother. He went to Japan to retrieve the children and was put in jail for his attempt to abduct his own children.

Japan is not a signator to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Mr. Savoie was arrested by Japanese police officers called by the children’s mother when he attempted to take the children to the American consulate to obtain their passports to return to the U.S.

In cases involving worries of abduction, I advise non-custodial parents to request the children’s passports be held by the Court. A passport may be issued to a parent with sole custody, and any parent with worry that the other may abduct the child is encouraged to push for a joint legal custody order, to prevent the unconsented-to issuance of a passport. Additionally, when parties settle, I include language indicating that Minnesota shall have sole exclusive jurisdiction over custody and parenting time disputes. However, I also advise my clients that I cannot guarantee a foreign Court will feel bound by that language.

The U.S. State Department’s web site for obtaining a passport for a minor child can be reached at http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html.

The passport application form specifies the document requirements to obtain a passport, which include:

To submit an application for a child under age 16 both parents or the child’s legal guardian(s) must appear and present the following:

  • Evidence of the child’s U.S. citizenship,
  • Evidence of the child’s relationship to parents/guardian(s), AND
  • Parental/guardian identification.

 

IF ONLY ONE PARENT APPEARS YOU MUST ALSO SUBMIT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • Second parent’s notarized written statement consenting to passport issuance for the child,
  • Primary evidence of sole authority to apply, OR
  • A written statement (made under penalty of perjury) explaining the second parent’s unavailability.

Cooper & Reid, LLC is a Minnesota law firm focusing on family law and social security disability matters for clients of modest means. Our community-focused practice brings many years of experience and high-quality legal representation to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it. We offer sliding scale fees to low-income clients and innovative representation arrangements for pro se litigants. Find out more about Cooper & Reid, LLC at www.cooperandreid.com 

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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England: Electronic Tagging to Prevent Re-Abduction of Child


Source: internationalfamilylawfirm.com

As a means of preventing international child abduction, the English High Court has issued a consent judgment requiring that a mother be “electronically tagged” before being allowed to visit her child.

The mother had wrongfully removed her child from England to her (unnamed) country of origin on two separate occasions. She had returned the child each time but only after the father had brought Hague Convention proceedings. The child was currently in the care of the father.

The issue before the court was whether the child should spend substantial periods of time with the mother under an interim order, pending a full “best interests” evaluation. The father was fearful that unless safeguards were put in place the mother would remove the child again.

The English legislation that adopted the Hague Convention into domestic law authorizes a court, when an application has been made under the Convention, to give “such interim directions as it thinks fit for the purpose of securing the welfare of the child concerned or of preventing changes in the circumstances relevant to the determination of the application.”

The court approved of an arrangement whereby the mother must be electronically tagged before being able to see the child.

The office of the President of the Family Division of the High Court has devised a procedure whereby electronic tagging can be arranged through the “Tagging Team” of the National Office for the Management of Offenders (NOMS).

Electronic tagging works by monitoring the whereabouts of the person wearing a tag, but only in a specific location. The tag is monitored by a device which needs to be installed in particular premises. That device monitors the tag, and the tagging office is notified if the tagged person is either not in the premises during the relevant times or if the tag is removed.

A tagging order is required to contain the following information:

(i) The full name of the person(s) to be tagged.

(ii) The full address of the place of curfew.

(iii) The date and time at which the tagged person agrees to be at home (and any other relevant places) for the installation of the monitoring device.

(iv) A schedule of the times at which the court expects the person to be at home (or any other relevant places) so that the service can monitor compliance.

(v) The start date of the curfew and, if known, the end date of the curfew, the days on which the curfew operates and the curfew hours each day.

(vi) The name and contact details of the relevant officer to whom the service should report to if there is any breach of the above schedule or if the person appears to have removed the tag.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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Sharp rise in international parental kidnapping cases


By: Emily Babay

One year ago, Douglass Berg, of Reston, said goodbye to his son and daughter before they boarded a flight with his ex-wife on what was supposed to be a three-week visit to her native Japan. He has not seen the children since.


Stefanie Gardner, a native of Germany, traveled to that country with the two young sons she had been raising in Northern Virginia with her estranged husband, Gregory. Since then, she has refused to allow them to return. He accused her of kidnapping the boys, and a warrant for her arrest was issued in the United States. But a German court has awarded her sole custody.

For an increasing number of parents in the Washington area, child-bearing relationships with a foreign partner are deteriorating into charges of child abductions, and in many cases legal struggles in which the deck is stacked against Americans fighting the laws of another country.

Nationwide, the number of cases is rising dramatically. There were 1,135 international child abductions in fiscal 2009, according to State Department statistics. That’s nearly double the 642 cases reported in 2006.

Foreign travel, military operations and immigration have spurred an increase in international relationships, experts say. And an international city such as Washington, full of embassy personnel and staffers for global companies, is fertile ground for such abductions. But parents of different nationalities raising children together can lead to “cultural differences that people may not be willing to compromise on,” said Donna Linder, executive director of the nonprofit Child Find of America.

Berg told The Washington Examiner that his ex-wife “felt like I was invading her turf” by sharing custody of Gunnar, now age 10, and Kianna, 9, after their divorce. She thought child care was a mom’s responsibility.

“That may be her culture, but that’s certainly not mine,” he said.

Gardner’s attorneys say tensions grew between Gardner and her husband, and he consented to her taking the children to Germany in 2004.

German court documents show that, in 2005, she was awarded custody of Alec, now age 8, and Dominic, now 7. In 2006, a federal warrant was issued for Gardner’s arrest. Her attorneys are trying to get the charge dropped. One of them, Steven Gremminger, said they’ve given authorities information from German courts and the prosecutor “has indicated that she’s having the FBI review that.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria and the FBI declined to comment.

“There’s nothing easy” about international abduction cases, said Stefanie Eye, a State Department division chief for abductions. “You’re dealing with the laws of two or more sovereign nations.” Resolutions are often hard to find.

In 1994, the ex-husband of Catherine Meyer — who would later marry British ambassador Christopher Meyer — abducted her sons to Germany. While in D.C., Catherine Meyer became an advocate on parental abduction issues. Over nine years, she saw her children for just a few hours. The case was only resolved when the boys became adults and free to reunite with her.

That’s the moment Berg is waiting for, he said. He has created Web sites he hopes Gunnar and Kianna will find so “they realize that their father loves them very much and realize I was trying to get ahold of them.”

No one keeps statistics on how often criminal prosecutions are pursued in such cases. But even that doesn’t guarantee a child’s return. The FBI doesn’t have jurisdiction overseas, so it must rely on foreign authorities. Many cases reach an impasse, where children remain with the parent who has them. Often, no one can force an abducting parent to give up a child or return home, said Preston Findlay, a lawyer with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

For the parents on both sides, it’s a frustrating wait.

Gardner is “not a kidnapper, she’s a mom, and a good mom,” Gremminger said. And Berg said he continues to lose sleep wondering if he’ll see his children again. “It’s all you can think about,” he said.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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Parental Abduction – The Philippines


Parental child abduction is not a crime under Philippine law.

Custody disputes are considered civil legal matters that must be resolved between the concerned parties or through the courts in the Philippines. Philippine authorities advise the American Embassy that generally the Philippine courts will give custody of children under the age of seven to the mother, provided there is no evidence that would indicate that the mother is unfit to raise the child. Although there is no treaty in force between the United States and the Philippines on enforcement of judgments, the Philippine courts will also take into consideration child custody decrees issued by foreign courts in deciding disputes regarding children residing in the Philippines.

General Information: The Philippines is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, nor are there any international or bilateral treaties in force between the Philippines and the United States dealing with international parental child abduction. Therefore, there is no treaty remedy by which the left behind parent would be able to pursue recovery of the child/ren should they be abducted to or wrongfully retained in the Philippines. Once in the Philippines, the child/ren would be completely subject to Philippine law for all matters including custody.

Child Abduction Recovery Services

Note: If your child is abducted to The Philippines, you will have very small chances to win the legal dispute there. The Philippines never returns abducted children. The only way is to re-kidnap the child or to make a deal with your ex spouse. It`s all about money in The Philippines.

 

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Six warning signs of possible child abduction


The incidence of international child abductions is greater than official figures reveal.

Some of the warning signs of impending abduction include:

  1. The other parent is planning a trip out of the country with your child;
  2. Your ex-spouse is coming from overseas, and you are worried they plan to abduct your child;
  3. Your ex-spouse wants you to co-sign your child’s passport without good reason;
  4. Your  child is a citizen of a country which allows one parent alone to apply for the child’s passport and you have a fear of child abduction;
  5. The other parent has a home, a family or other connections overseas and you are concerned that there is no reason for them to stay in your country;
  6. The other parent has no substantial property or employment in your country, and nothing keeping them here.

In addition, you should obtain urgent legal advice if:

  1. The other parent has already left the country with your child;
  2. You are not sure if they plan to return or if you believe they will not return;
  3. There is a link to overseas family or property;
  4. There is no other significant link to your country.

If any of the above applies to you, you should make an urgent appointment to see a family lawyer for further advice specific to your situation.

How to search for an abducted child

What steps can you take if you want to know the location of a child who you believe has been abducted? Under the Family Law Act, certain people can apply for a location order in relation to a child. A location order is an order made by a court that requires a person to provide information about a child’s location to the court.

The following people can apply for a location order: (Australia)

  • a person who a child is to live with in accordance with a parenting order;
  • a person who a child is to spend time with in accordance with a parenting order;
  • a person who a child is to communicate with under a parenting order;
  • a person who has parental responsibility for a child under a parenting order;
  • a grandparent of a child;
  • any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of a child;
  • For the purposes of the Child Protection Convention, a person (including the Commonwealth Central Authority) may apply to a court for a location order.

If you suspect a child is about to be abducted and taken out of the country you need to act quickly.

Source: Armstrong Legal

 

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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International Parental Child Abduction – Re-Kidnap / Re-Abduction


This is what The U.S Department of State recommend parents of abducted children. We disagree. Recover your child as quick as possible, before they get alienated or worse.

Source: U.S Department of State

We strongly discourage taking desperate and possibly illegal measures to return your child to the United States.  Attempts to re-abduct your child back into the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts you might wish to make in that country to stabilize the situation; and
  • Result in your arrest and imprisonment in that country — If you are arrested, the foreign court will not necessarily give weight to the fact that you might have custody of your child in the United States, nor will the United States Embassy be able to secure your release.

If you do succeed in leaving the foreign country with your child, you and anyone who assisted you may be the target of arrest warrants and extradition requests in the U.S. or any other country where you are found.

Finally, there is no guarantee that the chain of abductions would end with the one committed by you.  A parent who has re-abducted a child may have to go to extraordinary lengths to conceal his or her whereabouts, living in permanent fear that the child may be re-abducted again.

IMPORTANT NOTE: United States Consular officers cannot take possession of a child abducted by a parent or aid parents attempting to act in violation of the laws of a foreign country. Consular officers must act in accordance with the laws of the country to which they are assigned.

Emotional Consequences for Your Child:

If you are contemplating such desperate measures, we advise you to consider the emotional trauma inflicted on a child who is a victim of abduction and re-abduction. We discourage re-abduction not only because it is illegal, but also because of possible psychological harm to the child.

ABP World Group Ltd. can help you if your children are abducted or kidnapped. Our skilled operators can locate and recover your child from any country or region in the world.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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Abducted Children – We can bring them back


ABP International Child Recovery Service

The goal of Abp World Group international child recovery services is to locate, negotiate and recover your missing child.

We can dispatch personnel to most locations in the world; we specialize in locating missing children up to ages 18.

Areas of expertise: Parental abduction, Missing children, Kidnappings,
Runaway children and Counselling.

Unfortunately in this day and time parental kidnapping happens and we are here to help you trough this difficult period.
We are aware parental child abduction can be difficult to resolve, but we use professional operatives with the skills and expertise to help find a resolution.

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

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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International Child Abduction – Spain


By Velasco Lawyers

It is quite common to hear about separated parents living in different countries where one parent denies the return of a child after a temporary parental visit.

Spain protects parents who have child custody and who are residents in Spain through their national laws, international agreements and bilateral agreements between countries. In particular the Organic Law 9/2002, of the 10 December; The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction signed on the 25th October 1980; The European Council agreement related to judicial decisions for the custody of minors of the 20th May 1980 and the bilateral agreement between Morocco and Spain related to the enforcement of judicial decisions concerning the custody and the return of minors of the 30th May 1995. The latter was deemed a necessity due to the amount of legal cases regarding the return of children abducted by parents during visits to Spain or Morocco.

What is child abduction?
Spanish law is clear about what child abduction is, and it takes these cases extremely seriously:
The removal of a child from their place of residence without the consent of the parent with whom he usually lives or the people or institutions in whose care the child was entrusted.

The retention of a child is a serious breach of an established judicial or administrative decision.
The penalty can be from 2 to 4 years of imprisonment plus the loss of the right to parental authority (patria potestad) for 4 to 10 years.
If the abducting parent informs the other parent or the institution in charge of the child, of their exact location with the promise of immediate return, there will be no charges as long as the period of abduction is less than 24 hours.

International visitation rights
A parent who is a resident in Spain and who receives a request for visitation rights from the other parent in a different country has to legally comply with the request as long as it conforms to the divorce or separation agreement (convenio regulador). The situation can be a terrible dilemma for the parent with custody if they suspect that the other parent will not return the child. In this case a Spanish lawyer experienced in International Family Law should be consulted immediately.

Claiming the child back
For countries outside the international conventions cited above, once the child is abducted it might be difficult to legally force the authorities of the other country to return the child. For countries complying with the treaties above there is a legal route which must be followed to get the child back but the amount of time for the return can vary greatly. The UK, New Zealand and Australia for example will return the child very quickly.

In cases of abduction, time is of the essence. If the child is out of Spain for more than a year, the judge in the visiting country could stop the return process if the other parent can demonstrate that the child has integrated perfectly in their new environment.

Conclusion
If one of the parents suspects abduction it is important to immediately consult a Spanish lawyer, who is experienced in International Family Law, in order to preventively evaluate all options; even more importantly when abduction has already taken place, to be able to explore all possible legal ways for the safe return of the child.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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