It is every parent’s worst nightmare.
One day their children are playing in the backyard, and the next they are gone – whisked away to a foreign country by a former spouse.
This nightmare becomes reality for many American parents each year, when their ex-spouse decides to take the children and move them out of the country without warning or consent.
Oftentimes, these removals are done illegally and without justification, leaving parents struggling to get their children back home.
This issue is gaining more attention as more and more families find themselves in this position, but there are still many things that need to be done in order to protect these parents and children.
If you find yourself facing this unfortunate situation, try not to panic (I know it’s easier said than done).
There are systems that are in place to help bring your child back home.
What Can You Do If Your Child Was Taken To A Foreign Country By Your Ex
If your child has been taken to another country by your ex, know there are steps in place that can help you.
For instance, the United States is a member of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty that provides a framework for the prompt return of children who have been wrongfully abducted or retained by a parent or guardian.
The Convention applies when a child has been removed from their country of habitual residence without the consent of the other parent or guardian, and when one of the parties involved seeks the child’s return.
It sets out procedures for determining whether a child should be returned to their country of habitual residence, and for ensuring that any custody or visitation orders made by a court in one country are recognized and enforced in another country.
You can start by contacting the U.S. Central Authority for the Convention.
They can help you locate your child and start the process of getting them back to the United States.
How The Hague Convention works:
- File a Hague Application Form DS-3013-You have to include proof that you’re the Custodial parent not a temporary one. Including Court Orders, birth certificate, photos and any other important information.
- All the documents submitted must be translated in the language of the Country where your child is.
- The application must be submitted to the State Department Office of Children’s Issues.
Other forms needed:
- Article 28 Statement
- Privacy Act Waiver Form DS-5505
- Entry into the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program Form DS-3077.
- Location Questionnaire.
I know it’s a lot to take in all at once especially when your emotions are running high and that’s ok.
One of the most important things you can is to contact an attorney who specializes in international abduction cases. They can help you navigate the legal system and advocate for your rights.
Questions? I’m here to help you.