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Child Abductions

Child abduction seems like a strange blog topic. But, it is very relevant in the immigration world. The general rule is, for one parent to remove a child from one country to another (whether temporarily or permanently), he/she needs the consent of the child's other parent, or a Court Order giving the parent sole custody.

I came across an Article today about the abduction of American children by their Japanese parent, back to Japan. The article struck me because not so long ago, I had a file where child custody and removing a child from a country without the other parent's authorization was at issue. Thankfully, my case was resolved positively.

International child abductions are governed by international law. The law in question is the Hague Convention, which deals with this particular issue, among a host of others. However, in order to rely on this law, both countries must be signatories to the Convention. If so, there are mechanisms for the "home" court to compel the return of the children from a foreign country, and usually such an order will be enforced by the foreign courts.

Canada, much like the US, is a signatory. As are a number of other countries. However, Japan is not. As a result Japanese parents are able to unilaterally remove children from the U.S. without the consent of the other parent. As a parent, I cannot imagine the grief and distress this must cause to the parent left behind, who has very few options open to them to ever see their child again!


  1. Thanks for providing good information. Hope such kind of information creates awareness among people.
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  2. This is one of the most common problems that happen to a divorced couple. If one parent has the sole custody for the child, the other parent will do everything to get the child and abduction happens. This needs action and it essential for the parent who has a sole custody to file a complaint.

  3. I think it's better if the court will decide to give the custody to both parents so that abductions and other unacceptable acts will be prevented. However, any parent would love to have a sole custody and it always happens. las vegas divorce lawyers


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