Warning Signs Parental Child Abduction

It’s long, but if your a parent read everything….

Based on both CARI’s and our clients experiences, we have put together a list of International Parental Child Abduction warning signs. Please note the warning signs are not limited to this list.

If you are or you know someone who is in a international relationship, please take note of these warning signs and share share share. 80 percent of our clients did not have a clue an abduction was being planned.

Every abduction case is unique so please consult with a qualified and experienced lawyer to understand risk factors specific to your circumstances. CARI works closely with experienced and reputable law firms around the world. The most important step if your child has been taken, is to get in contact immediately with a experienced lawyer, which CARI can help you to find.

CARI will NOT help a left behind parent who does not have the relevant legal paperwork.

The number one method abductors are using to carry out the abduction is to ask the other parent if he/she can take the child or children out for the day during their agreed visitation times (if seperated). We have heard abductors use the cinema, theme parks, shopping in another town, going to the beach, as deviate tactics to have enough time to get to the airport and on a flight.

-The most obvious warning sign is if the other parent communicates in any way that they have intent or a desire to remove the child of the relationship out of the country. In most instances, if the other parent threatens you with the idea that they are going to abduct your child, the fact is that in most cases, the abduction is already planned and may be in progress. You need to take immediate efforts to stop a imminent abduction.

-The majority of international parental child abductions originate when a marriage or partnership created between two individuals from two different countries occurs. The reality is that failure amongst multinational partnerships is high. Often, when one of these relationships fails and there is a child involved, the parent living in a foreign country may want to return to their country of origin, and when they do, they nearly always want to bring the child of the failed relationship with them. It should be exceptionally noted, as stated earlier, that often parents planning abduction will act with trickery in order to have the targeted parent not have concern over abduction.

-The vast majority of international child abductions occur by a parent who is determined to cause hardship and harm to the other parent. The instrument that they use in order to cause this harm is the child or children of the marriage. A significant number of leading therapist from around the world have stated in numerous reports that revenge is the primary and leading reason why one parent will try to end the other parent’s relationship with their own child. Therefore, if you are involved with a person who has jealous or revengeful tendencies, you must be aware that these characteristics are common in the vast majority of would-be parental child abductors.

-If your spouse or former spouse has in the past used the child of your marriage or relationship to cause you harm, pain, and suffering, or, has tried to control and manipulate your actions, then your concern should be magnified ten-fold. If the same individual has family members in another country or has lived in another country and has expressed a desire or threat to move there with your child, your concern should be magnified one-hundred fold.

-If there is evidence of previous abductions, disappearances, or threats to abduct the child by your spouse or ex-spouse, these indicators demonstrate that any new abduction threat is real and in more likelihood already planned.

-If your spouse or ex-spouse has citizenship in another country and/or has strong emotional or cultural ties to their country of origin.

-Frequent previous trips with child to a foreign country without other parent.

-No strong ties to a child’s home state including having no or limited assets, having no or limited job prospects, having no or few friends or family members, and having strong cultural difficulties with the child’s home country.

-A desire or intent by your spouse or ex-spouse to travel with the child to their own home country of origin with or without you. As stated earlier, it appears this is the most prevailing way a child is illegally abducted abroad. Often, the taking parent tricks their target into allowing travel, or is capable of fooling a court over their true intent.

-Unexplainable removal of cash deposits and diminished assets, or unexplainable increases in credit card or bank debt.

-Visits or corrospondence to and from an embassy. This is a very strong sign a new passport is in the pipeline. Please note; many foreign embassies have no problem with issuing a passport for it’s citizens child or children. Some countries allow children to be added to a parents passport, meaning no physical passport is needed for these children.

-A past tendency of your spouse or ex-spouse to relocate and live abroad.

-Secretly opening or concealment of new credit cards or bank debt.

-Concealed, hidden, and abrupt communication with individuals or family members living in a foreign country.

-An announcement of an unexpected trip to another country with the child.

-Strong foreign support network.

-Possible use of the child as a pawn in order to gain access to non-joint assets.

-A history of marital instability, lack of cooperation with the other parent, domestic violence, or child abuse.

-Shipping of personal items to a foreign country, including those ordered from a vendor that are directly shipped abroad.

-An announcement of a family member, usually a grandparent to the child, is sick or terminally ill.

-Concealed, hidden, and abrupt communication with a lawyer.

-The taking of easily transportable high-valued items such as jewelry upon departing to another country.

-Adamant unwillingness to leave the child behind with you while spouse travels to a foreign country.

-If your spouse or ex-spouse has ties to another country and makes a false police complaint against you concerning conduct against them or the child, you should be aware this may be the beginning steps of an Article 13 Defense under the Hague Convention. In essence by creating a history of complaints of abuse, the parent intending to abduct lays track to have a court in a foreign country remain abroad and sanction the act of international abduction – except it will be viewed as an act of liberation from abuse. Tragically, claims of abuse are commonplace. After all, a parental child kidnapper has defend against the act of child kidnapping, and citing abuse is a common tactic equally used by men and women abductors.

-No financial reason to stay.

-Engaged in planning activities such as quitting job; selling home; terminating lease; closing bank accounts or liquidating assets; hiding or destroying documents; or securing a passport, a birth certificate, or school medical records.

-If a parent living as an alien citizen of one country but has limited roots to that country and is intending to travel with the child abroad, the risks of an abduction are great. Additionally, if the parent who is planning to depart, say on a few week vacation, does not have the ability to purchase a return ticket back to the child’s country of origin and/or does not have employment and/or does not have housing, then you can bet that upon departure for the so-called ‘vacation’, that parent is not returning. Remember, Intent and Sustainability issues are critical. If a person can’t sustain themselves in the country that their child was born, and, they have no deep roots, why in the world would they want to stay?

-If an alien-parent has deep connections to another country, and has deep connections to that country’s senior government officials, there is a clear risk. Recently, we were advised on a situation where a potential abductor has immediate family members in charge of overseeing a fleet of aircraft owned by a Middle East family. Obviously, access to aircraft and departing under alternative methods are very concerning.

Lets face it, International Parental Child Abduction is extremely complex and always will be. There are many warning signs of abduction. The most important being that parents need to be mindful that International Parental Child Abduction is a real threat and can happen to you or a friend or other family member.

CARI hopes this information may be helpful to you. Should you have any questions, please contact CARI and please consult with a qualified and ‘experienced’ lawyer in your jurisdiction. CARI also has a list of experienced lawyers.

CARI will soon post about a very easy and effective way a child can be traced through gps tracking. GPS trackers are the future to help prevent and locate, children missing or abducted.

Remember, prevention is better then cure.

Please help prevent a child from being abducted by sharing this post…..


CARI – Child Abduction Recovery International

(picture of little Amani, after he was recovered safely and legally by CARI in 2013, with the assistance of police, local governors office, Turkish immigration, British embassy staff in Instanbul and Akinci Law firm in Istanbul). Another great team effort.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Mea Berge says:

    This has now happened to my granddaughter living in Dubai, Australian born. After my daughter left her Egyptian so called husband after 4 years on and off of bashing, she left with the 2 children. She had temporary custody till things were settled in court. The father took my granddaughter for the day, papers being signed at the police station to bring her back within 24 hrs but didn’t. She has now been illegally been taken out of Dubai to Egypt by one of husbands sisters to Egypt. My daughter is distraught. Police are involved. Is there a chance of getting her out of Egypt.

    Mea Berge

    1. Hi Mea it’s a horrible situation and Egypt is a very big problem country for having kids returned from. Please contact us on info@childabductionrecovery.com

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