WHAT IS AN ABDUCTION?
A child abduction occurs when someone takes, entices away, keeps, withholds or conceals a child in violation of a custody or visitation order.
CAN A FAMILY MEMBER ABDUCT THEIR OWN CHILD?
The District Attorney's Office is involved when a parent or other family member abducts a child. Not only does child abduction involve violation of court orders, but it also involves a FELONY violation of the law even if the abductor is a family member!
ARE THERE ANY EXCEPTIONS?
A child may be taken or detained in violation of a custody or visitation order if there is a good faith and reasonable belief that the child(ren), if left with another person, will suffer immediate bodily injury or emotional harm.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOUR CHILD IS ABDUCTED?
If possible, call the police and file a report. They will require that you have certified copies of your most recent court orders regarding custody.
WHAT IS THE HAGUE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION?
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a treaty that has been signed by more than 50 countries to expedite the return of children abducted by a family member to another country. The Hague application, once completed, is forwarded to the foreign country where the child or children have been located. This begins a process which eventually ends in a court hearing in that country to determine if the children should be returned to their country of habitual residence. The court in the foreign country does not determine rights of custody or visitation. The purpose of the hearing is strictly jurisdictional, that is, does the child belong in that country. For additional information see International Parental Child Abduction.