Three out of every four children who are internationally abducted by one of their parents are never returned to the parent left behind.
Despite violating US custody laws, parents who manage to run away with their children across national borders often find it relatively easy to hide behind complicated international conventions and bureaucracy. The Japanese abduction cases highlighted in one of our previous blog posts provides an excellent example of just how difficult it can be to resolve international abduction cases. These discouraging facts emphasize how fortunate one father is after being recently reunited with his 5-year-old daughter who was taken to Europe by her mother 10 months ago.
The young girl and her mother were found by authorities in Germany, after the child’s father was alerted as to their whereabouts by an informant. The father had published information about his missing daughter on the Internet, which promoted a German citizen to recognize the child’s face and contact her father.
The 5-year-old’s mother violated the couple’s custody agreement last June, when she reportedly told the girl’s father that they were taking a vacation to Arizona. The father first became concerned when he found himself unable to contact his ex-spouse and the police started investigating the case after the mother sent an email confessing that she had taken their daughter “somewhere else.”
Fortunately, thanks to the informant’s tip, authorities were able to track down the mother-daughter pair and placed the child with a temporary German foster family while she waits to be extradited back to the US. The girl’s father described their reunion as an emotional, joyous event for both himself and his daughter.
The girl’s mother will face felony charges for breaking the family’s legal custody arrangement.
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