Two professions that never get discussed…..
Lawyers do a lot of advertising and talking they are experienced in International Child Abduction/Kidnapping, but we can bet our left arms that most are not. It’s a unique field we some great lawyers and unfortunately not so great. CARI – Child Abduction Recovery International work very closely with only experienced and honest lawyers.
Almost in all cases CARI deals with, left behind parents are left extremely frustrated with their legal representation. Many parents come to us saying their lawyers did not do their job correctly. This is very alarming. The experience that legal practitioners dealing with cases of international child abduction is inadequate.
We have no doubt some lawyers out there see two things when they first hear a desperate parent on the other side of the phone for the first time. Firstly this is going to go on for a long time and secondly dollar signs…..
The frustration left behind parents experience with lawyers has two possible sources. The first is that parents expect to have their children back soon. In reality, the procedures take a long time. While this might in part be in the hands of lawyers, it is certainly partly beyond their control. Thus, the inadequacies belong partly to the law itself and partly to those who practice the law. To a parent in need, the distinction is irrelevant.
In such situations, communication is crucial. A lawyer must be able to explain to his or her client why the proceedings are lengthy and costly, and must help the client to adjust expectations to a realistic level.
The second possible source of the problem is that lawyers that are specialised in domestic family law are not necessarily knowledgeable or experienced in international child abductions. It is clear to CARI that in at least some cases the lawyers lacked the knowledge they needed to deal with IPCA – International Parental Child Abduction.
The matter of child abduction is technical and some effort is required to deal with it correctly. However, a lawyer that takes on a case has a duty to find the correct information. Such information can be found in legal instruments and legal literature. What we are trying to say is please seek advice from an experienced lawyer who specialise in international child abductions.
Do not just pluck a lawyer off any website which has a list of lawyers. Most of these ‘lawyer lists’ on charity sites only have to pay a small annual fee to join the list without the charity doing any due diligence on the lawyer. Do your research, ask questions and for references from other parents they have represented in international child abduction cases. Don’t be scared to ask questions because they are lawyers. Choosing the wrong lawyer can be a massive mistake both financially and time wasting.
Police play an important role in child abduction cases. As CARI has explained numerous times, parents are not always helped by police, actually very rarely. Thus, they have an important function to point parents that are at a loss in the right direction. Similarly, they also have an important role in the prevention of international parental child abduction. It’s very common our clients say to us, “When I told them (the police) beforehand, they said that they couldn’t do anything if the other parent had not left the country. And when they (the children) did get abducted, they said, “We can’t do anything, they have left. We can’t do anything in (that country).”
This is very concerning and shows there is a lack of trained police officers around the world relating to international child abduction.
These are your children so take the lead and don’t let a smooth talking lawyer convince you they will get your children home quickly. Police and lawyers don’t get on the ground and search for abducted children and they don’t see what CARI sees including the horrendous conditions most fugitive abducted children live in.
Both lawyers and police are needed in IPCA cases but like the troubled judicial system, don’t sit and rely on these two professions to step up and bring your abducted children home.
That’s reality…..and the sooner parents understand this the easier their rollercoaster ride through the toughest time of their life will be.
Most importantly do not let anyone say it’s impossible to get your children home regardless of where they are, if you know or don’t know where they are, and how long it has been. Keep yourself healthy and sane because you will need to give your children all the love they missed once they do get home.
Never ever give up because your children are out there hoping and thinking you are fighting for them. Just like little Morgan Carr below in the picture abducted by his mother, who after disappearing into horrendous and unbelievable conditions in Laos where no foreign child has ever been returned from, is now safely home in the UK after a team from CARI rescued him. Gordon was told by the UK FCO and others, “you won’t be able to get your son home”. Loas lawyers taking all his money as well as being scammed.
After years of separation Morgan’s father was on the verge of giving up (to be honest he did like so many parents do), but CARI didn’t let him and now look at Morgan a few years later. Great little man, healthy, happy with a loving family and even wants to go to school on weekends.