In some cases, a parent who abducts a child and whisks him or her away to an international location will do everything possible to keep their final destination a secret. This may even mean changing the name of your child. You may feel as though you are all alone, but there are resources that can help you.
The Bureau of Consular Affairs located in the Department of State has an Office of Children’s Issues. When you contact this office to report that your child has been abducted or wrongfully retained by the other parent, they can provide resources to locate children in other countries. In addition, this office can serve as a liaison to law enforcement authorities, including INTERPOL.
Local and state law enforcement may be able to help, at least on the local level. If you know which country your child might be in, contacting that country’s U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the country might help. You’ll need to provide the following information to help the consular officer:
— Child’s full name as well as any aliases
— Child’s date and place of birth
— The other parent’s name as well as any aliases
— The other parent’s family and friends’ names, addresses and phone numbers
— The last known place your child was located
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has field offices across the country and those will provide the point of contact for anyone needed assistance in locating their missing children. Contact the Crimes Against Children Coordinator at your regional field office.
Not knowing where your child is can be exceedingly difficult. Your emotions are likely running the gambit. An attorney like Laura Dale, with experience in international child custody cases, may be able to assist in locating your child.