WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate yesterday affirmed its support for efforts to end international parental child abduction. In a resolution authored and cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the Senate sought to raise public awareness of this tragedy and designated April as ”International Parental Child Abduction Month.” The resolution was adopted unanimously.
“Our country has played an important role in reducing the number of parental abductions, but we can and should do more to prevent family separation when children are abducted by a parent and taken abroad. Raising this critical awareness is an important step. This resolution recognizes those who have suffered the heartbreak of losing a child to parental abduction and honors those who work to prevent such tragedies. I look forward to continued work on this issue with my colleagues,” Grassley said.
“It’s hard to imagine a more devastating situation for parents than having a child taken to or retained in a foreign country. Unfortunately, parental child abduction happens more frequently than one would expect and it can be incredibly difficult for parents to ever get their children back. By passing our resolution, the Senate is increasing awareness of this important issue,” Feinstein said.
“I’m grateful my colleagues joined together to adopt this resolution and affirm the United States’ commitment to ending international parental child abduction,” Cruz said. “I remain hopeful that more countries will join us in working together to end this abuse and reunite abducted children with their rightful, legal families.”
“I first learned about the extent of this horrific, heartbreaking problem when New Jersey native David Goldman began his extraordinary five-year battle to bring his son, Sean, home from Brazil,” Menendez said. “And while I’m incredibly proud that the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Act became law in 2014, there is still much more we must do to raise awareness and find ways to better assist parents whose children are abducted to get them back home where they legally and rightfully belong.”
Thousands of American children have been abducted by a parent and taken abroad, separating those children from their custodial parents in the United States. This can have devastating and lasting effects on both the child and the separated parent. Although various programs have reduced the number of international abductions by 25 percent in the last two years, the United States should continue to play a leading role in further reducing abductions through raising awareness and public education.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein, will hold a hearing on the issue of international parental child abduction next Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
Text of the adopted resolution can be found here.
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