If a child has been abducted from a person with Parental Responsibility but remains in this country, you need apply for a court order to ensure that the child is located and returned home.
In cases where a child has already been taken out of the country, the remedy depends on the country where the child is currently staying.
If the country is a member of the Hague Convention, there is a clear procedure about how to apply for the child to be returned home.
You will need to apply to the High Court for a declaration that the child was wrongfully removed from the jurisdiction. This will assist in obtaining an order in the other country for the child to be returned. A solicitor will then liaise with the Child Abduction and Contact Unit to ensure that an application is made for the return of the child.
The following steps should be taken immediately on learning of a child abduction or on suspecting child abduction:
- Notify the child’s school and any other third party carer of your concerns and request that extra vigilance is exercised.
- Control the whereabouts of the child’s passport. You can lodge this with your solicitor, or secure a court order that the passport is surrendered.
- Ask the police to issue a “port alert” where a note can be put on to the police national computer to warn port authorities at airports, seaports and the like.
- Apply to the court for a range of orders including residence/prohibited steps orders for disclosure of information concerning a child or the delivery up of a child.
- Ensure that you have an up to date photograph of your child in case this needs to be provided to the police in an emergency.
In England and Wales, child abduction is a serious offence. It is a criminal offence for a person who is connected with a child to take or send the child out of the UK, unless all of those with Parental Responsibility consent to the removal.
If an individual is found guilty of child abduction, they can be sent to prison for up to 7 years.
How We Can Help
A member of our specialist team will be happy to help.
To discuss Child Abduction issues, please either use the contact form on the right, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us today on +44(0)161 941 4000 to speak to a member of our team.