Sunday, June 30, 2013

Warning Signs of International Parental Child Abduction

Warning signs of an international parental child abduction threat are evident in the vast majority of parental child abduction cases. In itself, the act of international parental child abduction is a crime in most countries, including the United States and Canada. In these horrific, highly abusive acts, a child is often used by a narcissistic parent displaying sociopath behavior to cause great suffering and injury to the other parent. Generally, concern and care for the child’s well-being are not the relevant issue or concern amongst abducting parents. Tragically and as recently reported by the United States government, children who are crime-victims of parental abduction often face a high degree of severe violence and even murder at the hands of their parental child abductor. In fact, filicide – the act of parental child murder – is a large and highly disturbing issue that takes place in every country.
Anyone who has mistakingly thought that when one parent illegally removes or wrongfully retains a child in a foreign country without a court order or permission of the other parent that this act is not a severe and often dangerous act against a crime-victim child, but instead views this as a child custody act, is not aware of the severe emotional, spiritual, and possible physical abuse directed at the child by the abducting parent. It has accurately been said by a large number of leading child health experts that an abducted child becomes a prisoner of their parent-warden. Forced to obey their emotional jailer who happens to also control their every move and be their care-provider, these parentally abducted children are often brainwashed and taught to know and embrace hatred. Along the way, not only do they lose their identity, but they often lose sight of the true meaning and magic that exists in life.
The key to stopping international child abduction is to know and not dismiss these warning signs and clues that the child’s other parent may be planning abduction while also knowing exactly how to act in order to prevent the criminal act of parental child kidnapping once abduction becomes evident.
It is critically important for all parents who suspect their child’s other parent may be conspiring to abduct to realize abduction schemes are created and executed in secrecy. The parent planning abduction does not desire for their targeted parent to know they are planning a child kidnapping. In fact, concern amongst would-be parental child kidnappers that their abduction scheme may be exposed prior to being put into motion has increased ever since society has become more aware of the abusive and dangerous gravity and wide-spread infestation of child abduction around the world.
Organizations such as the I CARE Foundation, who are major combatants committed to fight against child kidnappers and act to defuse an abductor’s evil schemes by continued efforts to raise social awareness of the warning signs of parental child kidnapping while also advocating for new prevention laws, creating unique abduction prevention tools and resources, and successfully litigating child abduction prevention cases appear to be keenly aware of by those who abduct. These efforts are measurable.

For example, after nearly 30 years of increased reported cases of outbound international parental child abduction originating from the United States, including skyrocketing average growth of over 20% per year, the
United States international parental child abduction rate declined by over 15% during fiscal year 2011 and then by 16% during fiscal year 2012. These declines, though not inclusive to the formal period when the I CARE Foundation commenced its worldwide stewardship of raising awareness of international parental child abduction, are not coincidental, especially when considering the large number of abduction prevention cases the foundation has been involved with. And no comments made regarding the decline of abduction of U.S. citizens should be made without acknowledging the incredible and heroic work of the United States Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues and their Abduction Prevention Unit’s efforts to stop kidnapping: while the world’s child abduction rate continues to surge, reported cases of parental child abduction in America are on the decline.
Despite recent success, targeted parents of abduction appear to be more vulnerable than ever because individuals planning to abduct realize the difficulty they may have executing their abduction plans, especially if the child is in their home country of jurisdiction. So they take extra precautionary steps in order to conceal their true plans of abduction. Today, more than ever, parental child abductors need to act with chicanery and deception in order to execute their plans
Before I go any further, I want to point out that international parental child abduction connected to a child possessing a right of dual citizenship and dual passports remains an extraordinary concern. Additionally, removal of a child from any of the countries that are signatories to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Policy (The United States, Canada, Mexico, and many Caribbean island-nations) remains a serious concern.
It is important to note two paradigms are occurring in the international parental child abduction world at the same time.
Paradigms One - Increases In Abduction Amongst Married Couples
The first is it appears more international parental child abductions are occurring between couples who are still married and who have not separated from their primary household as opposed to abduction post-separation or divorce. Apparently, one of the primary reasons why this is occurring is the increased an increased awareness amongst abductors of the heightened degree of difficulty to execute their kidnapping plans if the targeted parent is aware of their intent. Thus, living in a hostile environment with a targeted parent does not create an ideal environment for an abductor to have their target let their guard down.
As you may suspect, many individuals planning abduction remain in the relationship because they do not want the other parent to have any reason for concern. In fact, it is common for a scheming parent to mislead their target by falsely displaying a deep commitment toward their relationship: increased acts of false affection and sincerity are commonplace in many of today’s pre-abduction cases.
Which makes it more difficulty to detect an abduction scheme is being planned or well under way. After all, many parents in a relationship may have a vested interest to be open to any new rekindling of the relationship by their child’s other parent.
The sad reality, exemplified in many of the hundreds of child abduction cases I have been involved with, is the parent planning abduction often successfully misleads the other parent into thinking that they were in committed to the relationship until it is too late. Alarmingly, parents planning abduction are successful in having their targeted parent dismiss the risks of child kidnapping because few targeted parents are willing to grasp that their child’s other parent could act so cleverly, shrewdly, and fraudulently.
Perhaps the biggest mistake targeted parents make is that in nearly every international parental child abduction case, the targeted parent underestimated the intelligence, cunningness, and capability of the predator parent to execute their abduction plan.
Paradigms Two - Increases In Child Abduction Due To Wrongful Retention Abroad
The second paradigm that appears to be taking place is that we are seeing more international parental child abductions as defined by the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction taking place when a child is wrongfully detained in a foreign country and not returned home. This path to abduction often occurs when either a court orders or a parent consents to allow the child’s other parent to travel with the child to a foreign country – which is often the country of origin for the would-be abductor.
In cases when an unsuspecting parent consents to allowing their child to travel abroad with the other parent, departure often occurs under the false guise of a vacation to see family members living in another country (often the scheming parent’s country of origin) or travel consent may be induced due to a false claim of a medical emergency.
Summer school vacation represents the time of year when the majority of children targeted for international parental child abduction are kidnapped. The majority of these children initially travel to another country with one or both parents under consent. Often, the scheming parent actually invites the targeted parent to travel with them under the idea of a family trip in order to be able to get the child out of their home country of origin without raising a red flag to the other parent.
Once a child is on foreign soil, the scheming abducting parent often unleashes an evil and cruel scheme against the targeted parent that often included intent to have their target arrested and removed from their and the child’s life by making false claims of abuse and violence directed at them, the child, or both.
Often local law enforcement in the abductor’s country of origin will arrest the targeted parent. This will be followed by a restraining order against both child and the parent who made the complaint. And as the once unsuspecting targeted parent is sitting in a jail cell waiting for bail or a court hearing, the scheming abductor is meeting with and making additional false claims to child protective services in the country they have abducted to. Often these claims are fraudulently affirmed by family members and friends of the abductor.
Once the false claims of abuse are filed, the abducting parent – now wrongfully claiming they are liberating parents freeing themselves from abuse – will file for no contact and divorce against the child’s other parent. And since there are pending charges for various forms of abuse, at least temporarily, the targeted parent will have no access to their child pending court proceedings (civil proceedings related to access to their child, and, possibly criminal proceedings connected to the false claims of abuse).
Wrongful retention of a child is a serious issue. In order to combat this cruel form of abduction, I CARE Foundation has created the Hague Convention-oriented International Travel Child Consent Form.
So much for a family holiday.
Warning Signs of International Parental Child Abduction
There are no fool-proof warning signs that your spouse or ex-spouse is thinking of taking your child across international borders, with or without your permission and knowledge. However, there are in fact many signs and signals that can provide you with insight that your spouse or former spouse is intending to abduct with your child.
Trust your instincts and do not bury your head in the ground and think abduction will not happen to you. It is a mistake tens of thousands of parents once made.
If you believe international parental child abduction is in process, immediately contact local and national law enforcement, and, immediately contact the United States Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues Abduction Prevention Unit.
If you have reason to believe that your spouse is contemplating the abduction of your child, you should immediately contact a qualified lawyer familiar with international parental child abduction to immediately discuss legal options available to you and your child. You should also immediately contact the United States Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues Abduction Prevention Unit. In addition, you should contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and open an abduction prevention case. You may also contact the I CARE Foundation to obtain additional information on abduction prevention and to receive an attorney referral of a qualified lawyer familiar with abduction prevention litigation.
You may need to file an ex parte (an Emergency without notice filing) motion to the court of jurisdiction where the child lives, seeking court intervention prior to when the abduction or wrongful retention occurs. Under most laws, the judge will have to hear your application so long as you present enough strong and credible evidence that your spouse or ex-spouse is planning to illegally take your child across state or international borders or intending to travel abroad with consent but may have no intent of returning the child to their country of habitual residency.
The following are a list of international parental child abduction warning signs. Each abduction case is unique so please consult with a qualified attorney to understand risk factors specific to your circumstances.
    • The most obvious warning sign is if the other parent communicates in any way that they have intent or a desire to remove the child of the relationship out of the country. In most instances, if the other parent threatens you with the idea that they are going to abduct your child, the fact is that in most cases, the abduction is already planned and may be in progress.
    • The majority of international parental child abductions originate when a marriage or partnership created between two individuals from two different countries occurs. The reality is that failure amongst multinational partnerships is high. Often, when one of these relationships fails and there is a child involved, the parent living in a foreign country may want to return to their country of origin, and when they do, they nearly always want to bring the child of the failed relationship with them. It should be exceptionally noted, as stated earlier, that often parents planning abduction will act with trickery in order to have the targeted parent not have concern over abduction.
    • The vast majority of international child abductions occur by a parent who is determined to cause hardship and harm to the other parent. The instrument that they use in order to cause this harm is the child or children of the marriage. A significant number of leading therapist from around the world have stated in numerous reports that revenge is the primary and leading reason why one parent will try to end the other parent’s relationship with their own child. Therefore, if you are involved with a person who has jealous or revengeful tendencies, you must be aware that these characteristics are common in the vast majority of would-be parental child abductors.
    • If your spouse or former spouse has in the past used the child of your marriage or relationship to cause you harm, pain, and suffering, or, has tried to control and manipulate your actions, then your concern should be magnified ten-fold. If the same individual has family members in another country or has lived in another country and has expressed a desire or threat to move there with your child, your concern should be magnified one-hundred fold.
    • If there is evidence of previous abductions, disappearances, or threats to abduct the child by your spouse or ex-spouse, these indicators demonstrate that any new abduction threat is real and in more likelihood already planned.
    • If your spouse or ex-spouse has citizenship in another country and/or has strong emotional or cultural ties to their country of origin.
    • A desire or intent by your spouse or ex-spouse to travel with the child to their own home country of origin with or without you. As stated earlier, it appears this is the most prevailing way a child is illegally abducted abroad. Often, the taking parent tricks their target into allowing travel, or is capable of fooling a court over their true intent. This is why the I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form must always be used during any type of international travel regarding a child.
    • Unexplainable removal of cash deposits and diminished assets, or unexplainable increases in credit card or bank debt.
    • Concealment of new credit cards or bank debt.
    • Concealed, hidden, and abrupt communication with individuals or family members living in a foreign country.
    • Concealed, hidden, and abrupt communication with a lawyer.
    • Frequent previous trips with child to a foreign country without other parent.
    • No strong ties to a child's home state including having no or limited assets, having no or limited job prospects, having no or few friends or family members, and having strong cultural difficulties with the child’s home country.
    • Strong foreign support network.
    • No financial reason to stay.
    • Possible use of the child as a pawn in order to gain access to non-joint assets.
    • Engaged in planning activities such as quitting job; selling home; terminating lease; closing bank accounts or liquidating assets; hiding or destroying documents; or securing a passport, a birth certificate, or school medical records.
    • A history of marital instability, lack of cooperation with the other parent, domestic violence, or child abuse.
    • An announcement of an unexpected trip to another country with the child.
    • The taking of easily transportable high-valued items such as jewelry upon departing to another country.
    • Adamant unwillingness to leave the child behind with you while spouse travels to a foreign country.
    • Shipping of personal items to a foreign country, including those ordered from a vendor that are directly shipped abroad.
    • A past tendency of your spouse or ex-spouse to relocate and live abroad.
    • If your spouse or ex-spouse has ties to another country and makes a false police complaint against you concerning conduct against them or the child, you should be aware this may be the beginning steps of an Article 13 Defense under the Hague Convention. In essence by creating a history of complaints of abuse, the parent intending to abduct lays track to have a court in a foreign country remain abroad and sanction the act of international kidnapping – except it will be viewed as an act of liberation from abuse. Tragically, claims of abuse are commonplace. After all, a parental child kidnapper has defend against the act of child kidnapping, and citing abuse is a common tactic equally used by men and women abductors.
    • If a parent living as an alien citizen of one country but has limited roots to that country and is intending to travel with the child abroad, the risks of an abduction are great. Additionally, if the parent who is planning to depart, say on a few week vacation, does not have the ability to purchase a return ticket back to the child's country of origin and/or does not have employment and/or does not have housing, then you can bet that upon departure for the so-called 'vacation', that parent is not returning. Remember, Intent and Sustainability issues are critical. If a person can't sustain themselves in the country that their child was born, and, they have no deep roots, why in the world would they want to stay?
    • If an alien-parent has deep connections to another country, and has deep connections to that country's senior government officials, there is a clear risk. Recently, I have been advising on a situation where the potential abductor has immediate family members in charge of overseeing a fleet of aircraft owned by a Middle East family (or you could say government). Obviously, access to aircraft and departing under immunity of a foreign government are very concerning.
    • If you are planning to allow the child’s other parent consent to travel abroad with your child or if a court is willing to grant travel – and the other parent is not willing to sign the I CARE Foundation’s Travel Consent Form which was designed to uphold jurisdiction of the child’s country of habitual residency while also creating evidence that could moot an abductor’s legal defense strategies, then this too is a serious warning sign that abduction is planned.
International parental child abduction is complex. There are many warning signs of abduction. The most important being that parents need to be mindful that international parental child abduction is a real threat.

On behalf of the I CARE Foundation, we hope this information may be helpful to you. Should you have any questions, please consult with a qualified attorney in the state of jurisdiction applicable to you and your child.

Kind regards to all,
Peter Thomas Senese
Founding Director
The I CARE Foundation