Having a child abducted by a non-custodial parent or family member, can be a parent’s worst nightmare. Panic, desperation, anxiety and a feeling of helplessness all pour in. But short of calling local law enforcement, what else should you do? Time is of the essence.
In the US, start with activating the Amber alert system. Time and distance are not your friends. The longer the child is missing, the more distance the abducting parent can put between you and your child. The Amber alert network may help spot your child and alert authorities.
Gather all the information you can for law enforcement. Current pictures and description are crucial. Include any identifying marks, clothing and accessories (like stuffed animals, dolls, favorite toys, etc.) that they might have.
Create a list of family members and their addresses, especially those of the non-custodial parent or family member. People tend to gravitate to a familiar surroundings, like another family member. Alerting law enforcement in those areas may help locate your child sooner.
But what happens when the non-custodial family member has family outside the US? Now, the abducted child recovery effort has multiplied exponentially. Once the child is outside the border of the United States, you are now dealing with multiple law enforcement agencies. What’s their motivation to help someone from another country recover a child from one of their citizens? Will they recognize your court custodial order? Do they have the resources to devote to finding your child or will it be one of those tasks that sits on someone’s desk until they have time to get around to it?
If you are concerned about the possibility of international abduction, contact the U.S. State Department Office of Children’s Issuance Alert Program. This program allows you to confirm if a passport has already been issued for your child and to receive a notification if a passport is requested.
Ultimately, it boils down to being diligent in your children’s safety. Preparation is key.
Child Abduction specialist, Delta International has been helping recover abducted children for over 40 years. With trained recovery personnel around the world, Delta can react quickly to help bring your child back home.