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Preventing international parental child abduction

Abduction of a child is a parent’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, some divorced parents endure the additional nightmare of an international parental child abduction.

These types of abductions occur when a parent kidnaps a child and takes him or her outside of the country. Bringing internationally abducted child home can be a complicated and stressful process for a parent at home.

If you believe there is a possibility that your child’s other parent might attempt to take your child outside the country against your wishes, the United States Department of State encourages parents to take the following steps, including:

Attain necessary legal documents: If you believe there is a chance your child’s other parent might try to take them outside of the country, request an order from the court immediately. This can be your best chance of preventing your child from international parental child abduction. Without an order from a court, authorities might not be able to stop the other parent from taking your child outside the country.

Call the authorities: If someone abducts your child, regardless of whether you think international abduction is a possibility, contact law enforcement immediately. Authorities will inform local and surrounding police departments to keep a look out for your child and his or her abductor, especially on roads traveling to airports. Also, if you have attained any legal documents, let the authorities know so they can take the appropriate steps to prevent your child from leaving the country.

Alert surrounding airports: Call the airports in your city and surrounding states to let them know of your child’s potential abduction. Additionally, call the airlines and provide your child’s information to determine if a flight has been booked for him or her.

Child abduction can be a terrifying situation. In order to help you obtain appropriate legal documents before it happens, consider hiring an experienced family law attorney. Additionally, in the event that someone abducts your child, an attorney can help you fight to bring your child home safely and resolve any other custody disputes that might arise.

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