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The Hague Convention and international child abduction

It is every parent’s worst nightmare – the kidnapping of their child. Yet, stranger abductions are rare and 90% of the time, it is a parent who is responsible for taking their child.

However, that doesn’t make the scenario any less terrifying, especially if there is a chance that the parent may try to leave the United States.

What is the Hague Conference?

The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) is a worldwide organization dedicated to unifying private international law rules.

They also develop legal instruments, known as Hague Conventions, which respond to global needs in cross-border situations. One of the most well-known is the 1960 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This treaty provides a legal framework for securing the prompt return of wrongfully removed children across international borders. Its purpose is to protect children from parents wrongfully removing them from their homes and keeping them in a foreign country.

When a child has been taken by one of their parents to another country, the left-behind parent can file a petition for the child’s return under the Hague Convention.

It’s important to note that the Hague Convention does not decide on the merits of a child custody dispute; it merely determines the appropriate jurisdiction for such matters to be resolved. Furthermore, it applies to both the custodial and non-custodial parent.

If you’re concerned that your former partner may take your child across international borders and keep them there, it’s imperative that you seek help immediately. Having someone advocate on your behalf can help protect your and your child’s rights.