What Does a Severely Alienated Child look like?


  • The child has a relentless hatred for towards the targeted parent.
  • The child parrots the Obsessed Alienator, and makes statements against the targeted parent.
  • The child does not want to visit or spend any time with the targeted parent.
  • Many of the child’s beliefs are enmeshed with the alienator.
  • The child’s stated beliefs are delusional and frequently irrational.
  • The child is not intimidated by the court.
  • Frequently, the child’s reasons are not based on personal experiences with the targeted parent.  Instead, the reasons reflect what the child is told by the Obsessed Alienator. The child has difficulty making any differentiation between the two.
  • The child has no ambivalence in his feelings; it’s all hatred, with no ability to see the good.  (Black and White thinking)
  • The child has no capacity to feel guilty about how he or she behaves toward the targeted parent; The child cannot forgive any past indiscretions or parenting mistakes.
  • The child shares the Obsessed Alienator’s cause. Together, they are in lockstep to denigrate the hated parent.
  • The child’s obsessional hatred extends to the targeted parent’s extended family without any guilt or remorse.
  • The child can appear like any other normal and healthy child — until asked about the targeted parent, which then triggers the child’s hatred.

by Douglas Darnall, Ph.D.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

Visit our web site at: www.abpworld.com

Symptoms of Parental Alienation


by Douglas Darnall, Ph.D.

To prevent the devastating effects of Parental Alienation, you must begin by recognizing the symptoms of PA. You will notice that many of the symptoms or behaviors focus on the parent. When the child exhibits hatred and vilifies the targeted parent, then the condition becomes parental alienation syndrome. After reading the list, don’t get discouraged when you notice that some of your own behaviors have been alienating. This is normal in even the best of parents. Instead, let the list help sensitize you to how you are behaving and what you are saying to your children.

1. Giving children choices when they have no choice about visits. Allowing the child to decide for themselves to visit when the court order says there is no choice sets up the child for conflict. The child will usually blame the non-residential parent for not being able to decide to choose whether or not to visit. The parent is now victimized regardless of what happens; not being able to see his children or if he sees them, the children are angry.

2. Telling the child “everything” about the marital relationship or reasons for the divorce is alienating. The parent usually argues that they are “just wanting to be honest” with their children. This practice is destructive and painful for the child. The alienating parent’s motive is for the child to think less of the other parent.

3. Refusing to acknowledge that children have property and may want to transport their possessions between residences.

4. Resisting or refusing to cooperate by not allowing the other parent access to school or medical records and schedules of extracurricular activities.

5. A parent blaming the other parent for financial problems, breaking up the family, changes in lifestyle, or having a girlfriend/boyfriend, etc.

6. Refusing to be flexible with the visitation schedule in order to respond to the child’s needs. The alienating parent may also schedule the children in so many activities that the other parent is never given the time to visit. Of course, when the targeted parent protests, they are described as not caring and selfish.

7. Assuming that if a parent had been physically abusive with the other parent, it follows that the parent will assault the child. This assumption is not always true.

8. Asking the child to choose one parent over another parent causes the child considerable distress. Typically, they do not want to reject a parent, but instead want to avoid the issue. The child, not the parent, should initiate any suggestion for change of residence.

9. Children will become angry with a parent. This is normal, particularly if the parent disciplines or has to say “no”. If for any reason the anger is not allowed to heal, you can suspect parental alienation. Trust your own experience as a parent. Children will forgive and want to be forgiven if given a chance. Be very suspicious when the child calmly says they cannot remember any happy times with you or say anything they like about you.

10. Be suspicious when a parent or stepparent raises the question about changing the child’s name or suggests an adoption.

11. When children cannot give reasons for being angry towards a parent or their reasons are very vague without any details.

12. A parent having secrets, special signals, a private rendezvous, or words with special meanings are very destructive and reinforce an on-going alienation.

13. When a parent uses a child to spy or covertly gather information for the parent’s own use, the child receives a damaging message that demeans the victimized parent.

14. Parents setting up temptations that interfere with the child’s visitation.

15. A parent suggesting or reacting with hurt or sadness to their child having a good time with the other parent will cause the child to withdraw and not communicate. They will frequently feel guilty or conflicted not knowing that it’s “okay” to have fun with their other parent.

16. The parent asking the child about his/her other parent’s personal life causes the child considerable tension and conflict. Children who are not alienated want to be loyal to both parents.

17. When parents physically or psychologically rescue the children when there is no threat to their safety. This practice reinforces in the child’s mind the illusion of threat or danger, thereby reinforcing alienation.

18. Making demands on the other parent that is contrary to court orders.

19. Listening in on the children’s phone conversation they are having with the other parent.

20. One way to cause your own alienation is making a habit of breaking promises to your children. In time, your ex-spouse will get tired of having to make excuses for you.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

Visit our web site at: www.abpworld.com

Parental Child Abduction – Lesson 2


By: Jake Morphonios

If you suspect that your child is at risk of parental kidnapping, now is the time to prepare. Here is what to do first.

Parental child abduction is the unlawful kidnapping of a child by one parent which deprives the other parent of his or her lawful custodial rights. This kind of child snatching not only victimizes the other parent, but it is also a serious form of child abuse.

When the abducting parent chooses to go underground or flees the state or country, recovery of the child becomes exceptionally difficult – and sometimes impossible. Because of this, if you suspect that your child is at risk of abduction you must act now. There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of abduction, as well as actions designed to make the recovery of your child far more likely.

It takes time, time that you don’t have, to assemble sufficient documentation to provide to authorities following the abduction of your child. To complicate matters, should your child be kidnapped you will most certainly not be in a calm state of mind.  Focusing well enough to collect necessary materials will be difficult.  Therefore, preassemble two sets of the following documents:

On the Children

  • Several recent color photos of each of your children
  • Two sets of your children’s fingerprints
  • A list of your children’s social security numbers
  • Copies of medical insurance cards
  • A list of the child’s scars or other distinguishing physical marks
  • Any passport numbers or drivers license numbers
  • A list of your children’s bank account numbers
  • A copy of any court order regarding child custody
  • All your child’s email addresses or networking sites such as MySpace
  • Your children’s cell phone number(s)

On the Other Parent

  • Several recent color photos of the other parent or potential family abductor
  • A list of the other parent’s scars or other distinguishing physical marks
  • Two sets of the other parent’s fingerprints, if available
  • Any passport or drivers license numbers
  • A list of the other parent’s email addresses or social networking sites such as MySpace
  • The other parent’s telephone number(s) and all known addresses
  • The names and contact information of the other parent’s close friends and family
  • A list of all credit cards, bank accounts or other financial data
  • Car information including, registrations, serial numbers makes, models, descriptions
  • A list of any bank or retirement accounts, negotiable instruments and brokerage accounts
  • A list of any other assets which could quickly be liquidated for cash

The purpose in creating two sets of materials is so that the materials can be kept in two separate “safe” spots. If the abductor takes your set from your home, you will still be able to obtain the other set. Leave this other set somewhere you can access quickly, such as in the home of a local family member or friend. Do not leave the information in a safe deposit box because if the abduction takes place after banking hours you won’t be able to obtain your file.

Should your child be kidnapped, it is vital to quickly locate their whereabouts. Having materials gathered and well-organized will assist both you and the authorities in launching a quick and effective search for your children.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

Visit our web site at: www.abpworld.com

Parental Child Abduction – Lesson 1


By: Jake Morphonios

Imagine…

You wait for your former spouse to return your son following a schedule weekend visit. When your child isn’t returned, you go to the other parent’s home only to discover that the apartment has been vacated.

The physiological response in each of these situations is the same. Your heart begins to pound and your adrenaline starts to surge through your veins as the realization dawns that your children are gone. In an instant your brain considers possible explanations, but they each defy logic. Your brain already knows what your heart is desperately trying to deny. Your children have been kidnapped.

There are few horrors that can rival the experience of having one’s child kidnapped. Movies and television shows sensationalize child abduction. The nightly news further distorts correct understanding of child abduction by only reporting on the most dramatic of cases, for example, the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart. There exists, however, a less-glamorous form of child abduction which is perpetrated by the child’s own parent.

Parental Kidnappings

Each year there are more than 350,000 child abductions in America. The vast majority of these kidnappings are perpetrated by one of the child’s parents. The official term for this type of crime is “parental child abduction”, but it is also referred to as a “child kidnapping” or “child snatching”. Regardless of the terminology, the fact that the child is taken by the other parent does not diminish or negate the raw emotional trauma inflicted upon the other parent.

Parental kidnapping is the unlawful abduction of a child by one parent which deprives the other parent of their lawful custody of the child.  In divorce situations, the abductor may be the custodial or the non-custodial parent. This means that even if the abductor is the custodial parent or primary caregiver, if the abduction deprives the other parent of his or her court ordered visitation time then the custodial parent is guilty of parental child abduction.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention conducted an intensive and thorough research study on child abduction in America. The project is called the National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART). The section that focused specifically on children abducted by family members is called NISMART-2. This article extensively references the NISMART-2. The original study may be found at: http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org

Defining Parental Child Abduction

“For the purposes of NISMART-2, family abduction was defined as the taking or keeping of a child by a family member in violation of a custody order, a decree, or other legitimate custodial rights, where the taking or keeping involved some element of concealment, flight, or intent to deprive a lawful custodian indefinitely of custodial privileges.”

The NISMART-2 elaborates on the definition above by further defining the following terms:

  • Taking: Child was taken by a family member in violation of a custody order or decree or other legitimate custodial right.
  • Keeping: Child was not returned or given over by a family member in violation of a custody order or decree or other legitimate custodial right.
  • Concealment: Family member attempted to conceal the taking or whereabouts of the child with the intent to prevent return, contact or visitation.
  • Flight: Family member transported or had the intent to transport the child from the State for the purpose of making recovery more difficult.
  • Intent to deprive indefinitely: Family member indicated intent to prevent contact with the child on an indefinite basis or to affect custodial privileges indefinitely.

Conceptualizing the Problem

Of the 203,900 parental child abduction cases studied, 57% were labeled as “caretaker missing”, meaning that the victimized parent did not know where the child was for at least 1 hour, became alarmed and searched for the missing child. However, the NISMART-2 reveals:

“It is possible for a child to have been unlawfully removed from custody by a family member, but for that child’s whereabouts to be fully known. Thus, a child can be abducted but not necessarily missing.”

In fact, the study found that 43% of the children kidnapped were not thought of as “missing” by the victimized parent because the child’s whereabouts were known to the victim parent.

“Although the family abductions described in this study typically had certain disturbing elements such as attempts to prevent contact or alter custodial arrangements permanently, they did not generally involve the most serious sorts of features associated with the types of family abductions likely to be reported in the news. Actual concealment of the child occurred in a minority of episodes. Use of force, threats to harm the child and flight from the State were uncommon. In contrast to the image created by the word ‘abduction,’ most of the children abducted by a family member were already in the lawful custody of the perpetrator when the episode started. In addition, nearly half of the family abducted children were returned in 1 week or less.”

Even if the child is not considered missing, the abduction is still considered child abuse because of the damage that it inflicts upon the child. The NISMART-1 found that, “family abduction can result in psychological harm to the child” and the NISMART-2 states that “family abductions constitute an important peril in the lives of children it is important to remember that the potential harm to family abducted children exists whether or not they are classified as missing”.

Characteristics of Parental Abductions

Location and Season. 73% of parental abductions took place in the child’s own home or yard, or in the home or yard of a relative or friend. Children were removed from schools or day care centers in only 7% of the cases. In 63% of the cases, the children were already with the abductor in lawful circumstances immediately prior to the abduction.

Police Contact. In 40% of all cases, the aggrieved parent did not contact the police to report the abduction. The study found a number of reasons for this, but the majority of responses indicated that the parent did not believe that the police would intervene in the matter because the child’s whereabouts were known, they were in the care of a legal guardian, and it did not appear that the child was being harmed. The highest percentage of abductions took place during the summer.

Ages. 45% of abductors were in their 30’s. 44% of abducted children were younger than age 6.

Indicators of serious episodes. “The use of threats, physical force, or weapons was relatively uncommon in family abductions.” 17% were moved out of State with the intent to make recovery more difficult. 44% were concealed, at least temporarily, from the victimized parent-+. 76% included attempts to prevent contact. 82% included intent to permanently affect the custodial privileges of the aggrieved parent.

Conclusion

Parental child abduction is the unlawful kidnapping of a child by one parent which deprives the other parent of his or her lawful custodial rights. This kind of child snatching not only victimizes the other parent, but it is also a serious form of child abuse.

When the abducting parent chooses to go underground or flees the state or country, recovery of the child becomes exceptionally difficult – and sometimes impossible. Because of this, if you suspect that your child is at risk of abduction you must act now. There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of abduction, as well as actions designed to make the recovery of your child far more likely.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

Visit our web site at: www.abpworld.com

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Damage to the abducted child / Victim


  1. Alteration to Appearance -The abducted child’s appearance is often altered (hair cut and dyed, etc.,).
  2. Name Change – The abducted child’s name is often changed, with young children sometimes never knowing their true identity.
  3. Loss of true identity – The child is stripped of his true identity. He loses out on the love of his left-behind family and his roots.
  4. Health Neglect – The abducted child is often medically & physically neglected as abducting parents have the worry that their child may be discovered to be missing.
  5. Unstable Education – Abducted children receive unstable schooling as moves for them are common and getting proper paperwork to schools to enroll your child can be difficult under a new name.
  6. Unstable Living Conditions – Abducted children have unstable living conditions as they are on the run from the law, and often end up homeless or moving frequently.
  7. Lies and more lies – Abducted children are often told lies about the abduction and the left-behind parent. They can form a false hatred for the left-behind parent and family. Sometimes they are even told the left-behind parent is dead or in jail or doesn’t want them.
  8. The Life of Fugitives – Abducted children live the lives of fugitives. They are taught not to trust anyone, not to tell about their past, and live a life on the run. They have no opportunity to establish relationships with friends.
  9. Psychological and Emotional Distress – as a result of living life on the run and being subjected to this kind of abuse, the abducted child is subjected to severe psychological and emotional distress which show up for many years to come.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

Visit our web site at: www.abpworld.com

International Child Abductions From U.S. Rise Sharply


The Brazil abduction and custody case over 9-year-old Sean Goldman illustrates a growing problem of international child abduction that needs to be addressed with more laws and greater parent precautions, experts tell the Christian Science Monitor. The number of children being abducted from the U.S. and taken abroad has increased dramatically since 2007, say data from the U.S. State Department. More than 1,000 new cases involving 1,615 children abducted from the U.S. by a parent were reported in fiscal 2008, compared with a little over 500 cases involving 821 children in fiscal 2007.

Abductions from other countries also rose, with almost 500 children reported abducted from foreign countries and brought to the U.S. last year. One reason “international child abductions are on the rise is that it is fairly easy to accomplish in the United States,” says Chris Schmidt of the law firm Bryan Cave LLP. “In the United States, one parent can leave the country with a child without the consent of the other parent.” By contrast, many other countries such as China and Argentina require an official document giving permission of the parent who is not traveling before minor children can travel abroad with only one parent. In the Goldman case, Brazil’s chief justice ended a five-year custody battle when he ruled that the boy should be returned to his American father

Link: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2009/1223/Sean-Goldman-case-highlights-rising-international-child-abduction

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

Visit our web site at: www.abpworld.com

Parental Abduction At the Holidays


By: Samantha Wilson

We’re well into the holiday season, and I know that for some divorced parents, Christmas break brings fears of parental abduction. From time to time we hear the alarming news about a stranger abduction, but the reality is that they are very rare – most child abductions are by non-custodial parents.

Although non-custodial parental abduction can occur at any time throughout the year, reports of these incidents increase around the holiday season, where family stress can escalate.

If you’re the custodial parent, and have reason to believe there’s a risk of parental abduction:

  • Legally and formally establish all child custody and visitation.
  • Ask that the courts allow supervised access only. Your children will still be allowed to visit the other parent, but only in supervised situations.
  • Don’t allow a non-custodial parent to have access to any of the child’s travel documents such as a passport, birth certificate or visa.
  • Include a provision in the custody order that prohibits any school authority, babysitter or daycare centre from releasing your child to the non-custodial parent without your consent.
  • Use preventative measures such as the Passport Control List (Passport Canada/RCMP), which will prevent a child under the age of 16 from leaving the country.

One of the most difficult parts of divorce is being separated from your children, especially during the holidays. Try to keep the lines of communication open between you and your ex and your children, and remember, you are not alone. Look for support groups in your commuity that will assist you and your family with safety planning throughout the year.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

Visit our web site at: www.abpworld.com

How to Proceed If Your Child Is Abducted


This is something none of us wants to think about, but, it could happen. About 2,000 children are abducted daily in the US. It is horrific and something no one ever wants to have happen to them. If it does you need to be prepared and move fast to do all you can to get your child back quickly and safely.


Instructions:
  1. Step 1

    Don’t panic. You are of no help to the situation if you are a basket case. If ever there was a time to keep your wits about you this is it. Don’t expect the worst but remember the fourteen- to forty-eight-hour life expectancy of the criminally abducted. Atleast drink fluids so you don’t dehydrate and get sick.

  2. Step 2

    Search the house thoroughly. Be sure that every possible place is searched and all surrounding areas on your property. Don’t jump to call authorities until you are sure there is a reason to.
    Think back over those hide and seek places and the quiet spots they go to read or hangout alone.

  3. Step 3

    You should be aware of who your child’s friends are, what their phone numbers are and where they live. What is your child’s routine? What school activities is he a part of? Question friends as to where your child might have last been seen. And ask if there are new places you are not aware of where your child hangs out. Question the people at this places for possible sightings and any people seen there that seemed unusual.

  4. Step 4


    We all want our children to lead happy lives with nothing to upset that.

    It is a good idea to consider what category your child falls under: runaway, throwaway, parental abduction, or criminal abduction. Did your child runaway? Was he/she ordered to leave the house? Did a parent abduct the child? Or, could the child have been criminally abducted?

  5. Step 5

    Has there been any ongoing or newly established situations or changes such as violence, depression, found drug paraphernalia,
    mood changes, possible abuse, grade changes, child’s clothing or favorite belongings missing?

  6. Step 6

    Your next move is to call the police. Be sure you can supply a recent picture, what he was wearing, a physical description, any identifying marks such as birth marks and scars, and if you know where your child was last seen or his last known destination.

  7. Step 7
    Has your child been unhappy lately?

    Mobilize friends and family and have them network. Time is important. Go door to door in the neighborhood and see if anyone saw anything you are not aware of. Be sure someone is near the main phone at all times. Incoming calls should be kept very brief. Call the telephone company for call forwarding or call waiting services if needed.

  8. Step 8

    Have someone call the local radio stations and alert the television stations as well. The local newspaper’s city desk editor can be of help also. Be sure to do these things only when you know
    that your child is in danger. The financial obligations could be overwhelming otherwise.

  9. Contact ABP World Group child recovery services

Christmas/New Year period is the “ideal” time to abduct a child


According to an article published by the Daily Telegraph one single father’s group has actually advised their members that due to court closures over the Christmas/New Year period, now would be the ideal time to abduct a child from a custodial parent.
The holiday season sees a sharp rise in the number of parental abductions in Australia.  With emotions running high between separated and divorced parents during the Christmas/New Year period, a small number of parents will take the drastic step of abducting their own children.  Most of these children are eventually recovered, but a small number of parents will experience the agony of never seeing their children again.

According to an article published today by the Daily Telegraph one single father’s group has actually advised their members that due to court closures over the Christmas/New Year period, now would be the ideal time to abduct a child from a custodial parent.  Although the article did not name the group, there are several men’s groups in Australia who have deliberately flouted Family Court rulings in the past.  However, it must be acknowledged that almost half of all parental abductions are perpetrated by women.

ABP World Group Ltd. advises parents to be alert to the threat of parental child abduction over the holiday period.  Statisically, half of all threatened parental child abductions are acted upon, with children aged between 2 and 11 making up the bulk of those affected.  ABP World Group Ltd. assists those whose children have been abducted by the other parent.  You can contact us via our website.

This is an issue close to my heart.  I personally experienced the agony of parental child abduction back in November 1992.  My youngest son was taken by force from my arms when he was just 13 months old.  My then estranged husband (now ex-husband) and his parents were British citizens and I knew they wanted to return to England.  So my greatest fear was that they would take my young son overseas.  Because his father and I had recently separated and there weren’t any custody orders in place at the time, I was told by both the Local Court and the Police that there was nothing they could do.  Thankfully, his father did return about a week later, but for that period of time I didn’t know whether I would ever see my child again.

I cannot adequately describe in words just how it feels to be the parent left behind when your child is abducted.  What I can tell you is that the incident did leave a permanent emotional scar on both myself and my older child who was only 4½ at the time.  I thank God my youngest child was too young to remember the incident.

Statistics of Parental Child Abduction

  • Every year 650+ children are abducted by a parent or other family member in Australia.
  • 15% of abductions involve the use of physical force or violence.
  • 75-85% involve interstate transportation of the child.
  • 50% involve failure of a parent to return a child/children after an authorised visit or stay.
  • 25% occur before the relationship between the parents ends.
  • 50% occur more than 2 years after the relationship between the parents has ended.
  • Most (but not all) abductors have a history of violent behaviour, substance abuse, or emotional disturbance.  46% abductors have a criminal record.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

Visit our web site at: www.abpworld.com

Child Abduction Prevention -U.S


Guarding Against International Parental Child Abduction

Source: U.S Department of State

Parental child abduction is a federal crime.  It is also a tragedy that jeopardizes children and has substantial long-term consequences for the “left-behind” parent, the child, the family, and society. Children who are abducted by their parents are often suddenly isolated from their extended families, friends, and classmates. They are at risk of serious emotional and psychological problems. Similarly, left-behind parents experience a wide range of emotions including betrayal, loss, anger, and depression. In international cases, they often face unfamiliar legal, cultural, and linguistic barriers that compound these emotions.

In this section of our Web site, learn about the measures you can take to prevent your child from being wrongfully taken to or wrongfully kept in another country.  In addition to the materials below, also see these important links:

International Parental Child Abduction Is Illegal

Under the laws of the United States and many foreign countries, international parental child abduction is crime.  Removing a child from the United States against another parent’s wishes can be considered a crime in every U.S. state.  In some cases an abducting parent may be charged with a Federal crime under the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act (IPKCA).  This can be the case even when neither parent holds a custody decree prior to the abduction. Nevertheless, a custody decree can be helpful to prevent an international parental child abduction, or to recover your child if he/she is abducted.

The Importance of a Custody Decree

A well-written custody decree is an important line of defense against international parental child abduction. In your custody decree, it may be advisable to include a statement that prohibits your child from traveling abroad without your permission or that of the court. Ask your attorney if you should obtain a decree of sole custody or a decree that prohibits the travel of your child without your permission or that of the court.  If you have or would prefer to have a joint custody decree, you may want to make certain that it prohibits your child from traveling abroad without your permission or that of the court.

If your child is at risk of being taken to a country that partners with the United States under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), your custody decree should include the terms of the Hague Abduction Convention that apply if there is an abduction or wrongful retention (see country list).

The American Bar Association also suggests requesting the court, if the other parent is not a U.S. citizen or has significant ties to a foreign country, to require that parent to post a bond. This may be useful both as a deterrent to abduction and, if forfeited because of an abduction, as a source of revenue for you in your efforts to locate and recover your child.

REMINDER: Obtain several certified copies of your custody decree from the court that issued it. Give a copy to your child’s school and advise school personnel to whom your child may be released.

Two Parent Signature Law for a Passport

The United States does not have exit controls on its borders for holders of a valid passport.  This makes preventing a passport from being issued to your child without your consent very important.  Generally, if your child has a passport, it can be difficult to prevent the other parent from removing the child to another country without your permission.

U.S. law requires the signature of both parents, or the child’s legal guardians, prior to issuance of a U.S. passport to children under the age of 16.  To obtain a U.S. passport for a child under the age of 16, both parents (or the child’s legal guardians) must execute the child’s passport application and provide documentary evidence demonstrating that they are the parents or guardians.  If this cannot be done, the person executing the passport application must provide documentary evidence that he or she has sole custody of the child, has the consent of the other parent to the issuance of the passport, or is acting in place of the parents and has the consent of both parents (or of a parent/legal guardian with sole custody over the child to the issuance of the passport).

EXCEPTIONS: The law does provide two exceptions to this requirement: (1) for exigent circumstances, such as those involving the health or welfare of he child, or (2) when the Secretary of State determines that issuance of a passport is warranted by special family circumstances.

Read more: Passport Requirements for Minors

Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program

You may also ask that your child’s name be entered into the State Department’s Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP).  Entering your child into the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program will enable the Department to notify you or your attorney if an application for a U.S. passport for the child is received anywhere in the United States or at any U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. If you have a court order that either grants you sole custody, joint legal custody, or prohibits your child from traveling without your permission or the permission of the court, the Department may refuse to issue a new or renewal U.S. passport for your child. The Department may not, however, revoke a passport that has already been issued to the child. There is also no way to track the use of a passport once it has been issued, since there are no exit controls for people leaving the U.S. If your child already has a passport, you should take steps to ensure that it is kept from a potential abductor by asking the court or attorneys to hold it.

IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND:

  1. The United States does not have exit controls.
  2. The Department of State may not revoke a passport that has been issued to a child, but you can ask a court to hold onto it.
  3. There is no way to track the use of a passport once it has been issued.
  4. Your child might also be a citizen of another country (dual nationality).  Even if he/she does not have a U.S. passport, your child may be able to travel on the other country’s passport.

The Privacy Act and Passports

Passport information is protected by the provisions of the Privacy Act (PL 93-579) passed by Congress in 1974. Information regarding a minor’s passport is available to either parent. Information regarding adults may be available to law enforcement officials or pursuant to a court order issued by the court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with (22 CFR 51.27). For further information regarding the issuance or denial of United States passports to minors involved in custody disputes, please contact Passport Services.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

Visit our web site at: www.abpworld.com