Christmas holiday is the high season for International Parental Child Abduction.


December 1 , 2013 repost

ABP World Group Ltd.

Every year, during or after the Christmas holiday, ABP World Group are contacted by frantic parents who have had their child or children abducted while on holiday. ABP World Group provides advice on what to do if your children are abducted.

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Very often there is a parent who has had children with someone of foreign origin and has allowed a holiday trip to that parent’s homeland. But it also happens that parents abduct the children when on holiday abroad as visitation sabotage.

Sometimes the abduction happens as quick as a lightning bolt and when the other parent returns home, the house is empty. All these forms are defined as international child abduction, and have a maximum penalty up to 3 years in prison.

Many parents ask us for advice on how to prevent one parent from taking the child abroad on holiday. However, this is very difficult to prevent when the courts in many countries often do not take parental concerns seriously.

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Child abductors are not penalized in their homeland, since The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction is only a vehicle for the return of children and does not deal with punishment.

As few as 3 out of 10 children abducted return.

What should you do if your child is abducted?

  • If you have evidence that the child has been abducted or held back after vacation, immediately contact a lawyer who has expertise in international child abduction.

•You can also get guidance by contacting ABP World Group.
•You must report the situation to both the police and the Ministry of Justice. (Ministry responsible for any claim for return under the Hague Convention).
•Time is of utmost importance, so you must work fast and focused. It is best if the police have initiated a quick inquiry before the abductor can leave the country with the child/children.
•It is also important to act quickly in terms of The Hague Convention.

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Which parent abducts children?

Sociopath is an American term which is very close to what we define as antisocial personality disorder. These parents lack conscience, guilt and remorse, they are aggressive and have little respect for the norms, laws and regulations.

The U.S. study emphasizes sociopaths or antisocial personality disorder, but also parents with narcissistic, paranoid and borderline personality disorder are high risk for child abduction and visitation sabotage.

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Parental Child Abduction – More Than a Legal Issue


November 25 , 2014

Source: digitaljournal.com 

Kidnapping of any form is driven by a strong ulterior motive. But it takes more complex overtones when the victims are children, and the perpetrators are their own parents.

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The number of parental child abduction cases has more than doubled over the last decade. And almost 80% of the abductors are non-custodial parents.

While this might place the blame squarely on the non-custodial parents, the situation on the ground is much more complex. Divorces and legal separations take a heavy emotional toll on both the parents. The children invariably face collateral emotional trauma that could affect them for years.

There are three distinct possibilities to any parental abduction. One is the possibility of being wrongly accused for a kidnapping. Second, the parent might have acted in the interest and wellbeing of the child. In other words, the act of abduction itself might have been to safeguard the child from physical or emotional harm. And finally, wrongful, illegal abduction, in violation of the rights of the parent’s rights of custody and access to the child.

In all three cases, it is important to consider and choose from a wide range of legal recourses, both before and after the incident.

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For example, parents caught in a difficult custodial dispute could first file a complaint for divorce, followed by an injunction saying that the child cannot be removed from the state. While this is not something that one cannot circumvent, it is definitely a good start.

Even in the absence of such an injunction, parents could consider the Hague Convention, an international agreement that came together for the sole purpose of addressing the problem of parental abductions.

In a relevant portion, the Convention provides for the return of a child who has been wrongfully removed by a parent from his or her country of habitual residence against the other parent’s custodial rights. The child is to be returned to his or her home country until a final determination is made with regard to the child’s custody and visitation.

But in addition to legal recourse, a deeper understanding of the issue must arise among the parents involved and the society as a whole. While the parents are bound to undergo emotional stress, it is the children on whom it will tell the most. They not only have to deal with the stress of the parents’ separation, but also with feelings of insecurity, fright and the Stockholm syndrome that is bound to impact their impressionable psyche.

Which is why one needs an attorney who is not just adept at the legal proceedings, but exhibits genuine empathy for the client. Attorney at law Shana J. Black is an ideal example of a lawyer who aggressively represents the interests of the client without underplaying the emotional ramifications. It is due to this unique work ethic that she has had phenomenal success in bringing back children to the rightful parent.

About Shana J. Black
Attorney Shana J. Black is a San Diego based lawyer who has championed numerous cases for the underdog. Her legal repertoire is extensive and her client base is varied.

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Flight from Dulles to Beijing forced to return due to attempted kidnapping


September 5 , 2014

Source: Myfox / ABC News

An international flight, an apparent kidnapping and an unknowing plane full of passengers made for a bizarre scenario Thursday that unfolded 35,000 feet above the ground.

It should have been a routine flight for 180 passengers bound for Beijing Thursday; little did they know they were in the middle of a custody dispute.

The United Airlines flight departed Virginia’s Dulles International Airport at 12:39 p.m. When it reached Canadian air space, the FBI ordered the Boeing 777 back to Virginia after learning a kidnapping suspect was on board.

Flight 897 landed back at Dulles five hours after its departure.

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Once at the gate, passenger Lane Bailey says the pilot made an announcement; the incident stemmed from a child custody investigation. According to law enforcement sources, a child was traveling with his mother.

The child’s father, an American citizen, alerted the FBI fearing the mother was taking the child to China with no plans of returning.

At the airport, the mother was taken into police custody on attempted kidnapping charges. The child was returned safely to his father.

The ordeal soon started to make sense to the passengers onboard.

“The pilot came on board and said we were experiencing mechanical problems,” Bailey said. “After they left, the pilot came back on and said that he deliberately mislead us, he thought that, in his judgment that it was the best thing to do, given the circumstances of potential abduction that that’s the reason we had diverted.”

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The child’s mother, who was arrested on Thursday at Dulles, is expected in court later today.

Had the plane landed in Canada or China and had the FBI, not intervened, the incident may have turned into a protracted international custody battle.

In 2009, David Goldman’s case drew worldwide attention after his son Sean was taken by his then-wife to Brazil.

After a five year legal battle, Goldman gained custody of his then nine-year-old.

Updates from CNN:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had received an alert that a mother on that flight was allegedly taking her child out of the country illegally, an FBI spokesman told CNN.

Upon the flight’s return “the flight was met by law enforcement including FBI agents and three individuals were removed from the plane to include a grandmother, mother and child,” FBI spokesman Andrew Ames confirmed, via email.

“The mother was taken into custody on suspicion of committing an international parental kidnapping and the child was reunited with the father. The grandmother was not detained.”

The criminal complaint charges that Wenjing Liu, also known as Linda Liu, unlawfully attempted “to remove a child from the United States with intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights.”

After separating and starting divorce proceedings in 2013, Liu and William J. Ruifrok III were awarded joint custody of their 4-year-old son, who was born in China and is a dual U.S.-Chinese citizen, the complaint stated. The 2014 custody agreement doesn’t allow either party to travel outside of the United States without “express written and notarized consent of the other party, provided in advance of the trip,” according to the complaint.

In an interview with law enforcement after being removed from the flight, Liu admitted violating the custody order by removing her son from the United States without his father’s consent, according to the complaint.

She made her first appearance in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia on Friday and has a bond hearing scheduled for Monday.

After the aircraft returned to Dulles, United assigned a new crew due to crew flight time limits, and the flight departed again for Beijing at 7:47 pm ET, the United spokesperson said.

CNN’s initial attempts to reach a representative for Liu were not successful.

It’s a federal crime in the United States for parents to take or attempt to take their children out of the United States or keep them out of the country to obstruct another parent’s custodial rights. But while federal authorities may prosecute one parent, they can’t necessarily return a child who is already outside the country to the other parent.

About one quarter of the 1,800 to 2,000 annual missing children reports received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are for international parental abductions, according to Maureen Heads, a supervisor in the center’s missing children division.

The U.S. Department of State tries to return kidnapped children through negotiation, sometimes made easier if the other country is also a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction. The United States and more than 70 other countries have signed the convention, but it only applies if both countries involved are signatories.

“That leaves many countries where there is no partner” for the United States to negotiate with, said Heads. “It can be a real challenge at times for parents.”

China is not a signatory to the convention, which Heads said could have made it harder for the father in the United Airlines case to get his child back.

 

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Queensland mother Dorothy Lee Barnett to be extradited to US for alleged child abduction


September 4 , 2014

Source: Brisbanetimes

A mother accused of abducting her infant daughter 20 years ago will be extradited to the United States.

The federal government has ordered Dorothy Lee Barnett, 53, be surrendered to US authorities to face international parental kidnapping charges, despite an appeal from her lawyers.

Ms Barnett was arrested on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast last year and charged with kidnapping her 10-month-old daughter, Savannah Todd, in 1994 and fleeing the US.

A digitally aged photo of Dorothy Lee Barnett released by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children during the search for the alleged kidnapper.

A digitally aged photo of Dorothy Lee Barnett released by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children during the search for the alleged kidnapper. Photo: Supplied

In November 2013 Australian and US police found Ms Barnett and her daughter, who now goes by the name of ­Samantha Geldenhuys, living in the suburb of Mountain Creek, west of Mooloolaba.

When arrested, Ms Barnett consented to extradition but then reneged.

Her lawyers asked the federal government to prevent the extradition, but federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan ordered this week that Ms Barnett be surrendered.

Savannah Harris Todd was taken when she was 11 months old.
Savannah Harris Todd was discovered at the age of 20 living in Australia.

Savannah Harris Todd was discovered at the age of 20 living in Australia

“The minister arrived at his determination following careful consideration of the provisions of Australia’s extradition law and taking into account representations made by, and on behalf of, Ms Barnett,” a government spokeswoman said in a statement to Fairfax Media.

According to US authorities, Samantha’s American father, millionaire stockbroker Benjamin Harris Todd III, had been granted sole custody of the then-10-month-old.

It is alleged Ms Barnett left for a birthday party with her infant daughter in South Carolina and never returned.

Mr Todd has spent the last two decades searching for his daughter, making public appeals for information on her whereabouts and circulating age-progressed photos of Samantha and her mother on international missing persons websites.

Ms Barnett is alleged to have fled to Europe on a false passport, changing her name to Alexandra Canton.

In 1995, she married a man named Juan Geldenhuys in South Africa with whom she had a son.

The family moved to New Zealand, before settling in Australia in 2007.

Mr Geldenhuys returned to South Africa about five years ago and is believed to have died from bone cancer in October, just weeks before his former wife’s arrest.

Samantha attended the local high school on the Sunshine Coast and, after graduating, moved to Townsville to study nursing at James Cook University, where she found a boyfriend in an engineering student.

Ms Barnett faces more than a decade in a US prison if convicted of international parental kidnapping and passport-related offences.

She has remained in custody since her arrest last year, but has regular visits from her daughter and son.

US authorities have two months in which to escort Ms Barnett to the US, subject to any application for a review of Mr Keenan’s order.

 

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US Congress acts to prevent international child abductions


29 August , 2014

Source: nation.com 

WASHINGTON : Congress gave its final approval Friday to legislation that compels US authorities to assist American mothers and fathers whose children are victims of international parental abductions.

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More than 1,000 international child abductions each year are reported to the State Department, with children often taken illegally from the United States by a foreign parent to countries like Brazil, England, India, Japan and Russia. Most of them are not returned.
By simple voice vote, the House of Representatives approved the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act, named after son Sean who, through an intense US diplomatic intervention, was returned to his New Jersey home years after being taken to Brazil by his mother.
The bill passed the House last December, but the Senate tweaked it and approved its version last week. The House on Friday passed the final legislation and it now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.
The international Hague Convention on child abductions provides a civil framework for speeding the return of children, but the rules are not consistently enforced.
The Goldman act, first drafted in 2009, “ensures that (American parents) will now receive significant help from the US government in their fights to recover their children,” said House Republican Chris Smith, who wrote the original legislation.
“With this bill, for the first time ever, parents with children held in non-Hague countries can work with the State Department. They won’t be on their own, far from the United States, desperately trying to get their children back.”
The law, once signed, would call for increasingly severe steps taken by US authorities if a foreign government does not cooperate in helping resolve abduction cases, beginning with diplomatic demarches and escalating to cancellations of official visits, suspension of economic aid, and formal requests for extradition of individuals engaged in abductions.
It would also urge the administration to forge bilateral agreements with Hague Convention and non-Hague Convention countries to help locate and return abducted children and protect access rights for the “left-behind” parent. “These abductions are a form of child abuse and a human rights violation,” Smith said.

 

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NSU Law Professor Recognized by U.S. Department of State


August 29 , 2014

Source: PRnewswire.com

Tim Arcaro recognized for his efforts in assisting parents of abducted children.

FORT LAUDERDALEDAVIE, Fla., Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — NSU Shepard Broad Law Center Professor and Associate Dean Tim Arcaro, J.D., has been formally recognized by the U.S. Department of State for his work on the Hague Convention Attorney Network. Arcaro’s work involved representing parents attempting to recover children who have been internationally parentally abducted from South Florida, or who may be targets of international parental abduction.

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Beth Payne, director, Office of Children’s Issues, United States Central Authority for the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction issued a certificate of appreciation thanking Dean Arcaro for generously donating his legal services in assisting parents and for contributing to the effective operation of the Hague Convention in the United States. Arcaro also received commendations from Patricia Hoff, legal assistance coordinator for the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Dean Arcaro’s participation in the Hague Convention Attorney Network underscores his commitment to addressing this fundamental human rights issue and to the South Florida community,” said Jon Garon, JD., dean of NSU’s Law Center. “Parental abduction is a growing issue in the U.S. and there is a tremendous need for attorneys with training and commitment similar to Tim’s. I applaud him and each of our faculty members here at the Law Center who give of themselves in service to our community. Tim’s work reflects the fundamental values our faculty, student, and staff embrace at NSU and the Shepard Broad Law Center.”

The Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues actively seeks lawyers who are willing to participate and assist parents involved in international family law and child abduction cases. By joining the Department of State’s Hague Convention Attorney Network, attorneys provide the critical assistance necessary to navigate through the legal system with a view toward obtaining the return of the child and, in a proper case, to make arrangements for organizing or securing the effective exercise of rights of access. More information on the program can be obtained by visiting http://bit.ly/1wmRwjJ .

Arcaro is a graduate of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He has been admitted to the Florida and Pennsylvania bars, as well as the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Arcaro has been a member of the Law Center’s faculty since 1994. After serving as a clinical instructor in the Civil Law Clinic, he was appointed Director of the Children and Family Law Clinic in 1998. He became director of the Master of Science in Health Law Program in 2003, and served in that capacity until being appointed director of the Master of Science in Education Law Program in 2005. Professor Arcaro teaches both online and on-site courses, including Administrative Law, Professional Responsibility, International Human Rights, and Immigration Law.

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Arcaro has lectured extensively on professional responsibility, domestic violence, child advocacy, and developing clinical legal education programs. In addition to memberships in local, state and national bar associations, Arcaro also maintains professional memberships in numerous legal, clinical and educational associations, such as the Education Law Association, International Society for Technology in Education, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and the Association of American Law Schools Clinical Legal Education section. He has served on the Florida Legal Aid Corporation’s Executive Board of Directors, the [Florida] Governor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence, and the Florida Coalition against Domestic Violence Legal Clearinghouse. Arcaro has received many awards in recognition of his service to both colleagues and the community, among them: the 2007 Faculty Professionalism Award from the Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism; Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, from the Broward County Guardian Ad Litem Program; Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year, from the Broward Legal Aid Service, Inc.; and Pro Bono Recognition from the Broward Lawyers Care (Broward County Bar Association).

About the Shepard Broad Law Center: Nova Southeastern University’s Law Center offers a rigorous traditional academic program in three-year day and four-year evening versions, as well as dual-degree programs. Additionally, NSU Law offers three online Master of Science degrees in law in the areas of education, employment, and health. NSU Law prides itself on preparing graduates to make a smooth transition from the classroom to the courtroom or boardroom. Lawyering Skills and Values (LSV)-Every student completes a four-semester LSV sequence that combines traditional legal reasoning, writing, and research with an introduction to lawyer interviewing, counseling, negotiating, mediating, advocating, and other critical skills in a simulated law firm experience. For more information please visit http://www.nsulaw.nova.edu/

About Nova Southeastern University: Situated on 314 beautiful acres in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic fully accredited research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at all levels.  NSU is a not-for-profit independent institution with 27,000 students. NSU awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields. NSU is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and it is one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification. For more information, please visit www.nova.eduCelebrating 50 years

 

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Parental Child Abduction – International Child Recovery Services


ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

The goal of ABP World Group international child recovery services is to locate, negotiate and recover your missing child. We can dispatch personnel to most locations in the world; we specialize in locating missing children up to ages 18. Areas of expertise: Parental abduction, Missing children, Kidnappings, Runaway children and Counseling.

Unfortunately in this day and time parental kidnapping happens and we are here to help you trough this difficult period. We are aware parental child abduction can be difficult to resolve, but we use professional operatives with the skills and expertise to help find a resolution.

We also provide:

• Executive protection
• Close protection high or low profile
• Surveillance
• Investigation
• Security consulting
• Medical services
• Anti kidnap logistics and planning
• Abducted and missing children recovery
• Missing person investigations
• Panic room / Safe room construction
• Risk Management

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