Parental Child Abduction

Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you can separate your child from your spouse whenever, wherever, and for whatever reason. Families, divorcing or not, are bound by law. Taking a child away from his home without the consent of those with parental responsibility or the court constitutes parental child abduction.

In just under a decade, parental child abduction cases have increased by 88%, reports the Foreign Office. The increasing number of cross-cultural marriages, soaring divorce rates, more lenient immigration law and the falling cost of international travel have all been causes for the increasing numbers of international child custody cases, some of which have led to parental abduction.

A survey sponsored by the Foreign Office reveals that the public has a very little understanding of parental child abduction. It was found that 24% of people are not aware that taking a child overseas without the permission of the other parent or a special guardian, among others, is a criminal offence under the Child Abduction Act of 1984.

Interestingly, 74% of survey participants believe that fathers are more likely to carry out such an act. However, statistics from Reunite International Child Abduction Centre showed that, in 70% of the charity’s cases, it is the mother who commits abduction.

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