Ukraine Parental Child Abduction

A signatory to The Hague Convention that has a massive problem with the amount of children being abducted to or retained illegally in, that rarely gets mentioned is, Ukraine. Parental Child Abduction is a crime that happens with frightening regularity. Sometimes a Ukrainian-born mother cannot adapt to her new life abroad and returns to the safety of her native Ukraine, taking along her child without the father’s consent. Or a divorce has gone wrong, and the mother takes the child back to Ukraine despite a court order that allows the father visitation rights.

As a general rule, the Ukrainian Interpol Bureau, a part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, should take action based on Interpol notices for missing children and kidnapping parents. This warrant information is also shared with the Ukrainian State Border Control Service. Unfortunately, there is no national coordinating agency for such searches.

The State Execution Service of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine enforces related court decisions on a case-by-case basis and the Court’s Execution Service involves other relevant agencies, such as local police or children’s services. The entire system is quite bureaucratic and unpredictable, and often precious little gets done in the way of returning the child to the foreign parent.

Fact: Interpol do NOTHING to assist in International Parental Child Abduction. They do not see this as a serious crime. Victim parents often have high hopes with Interpol, which are quickly thrown out once they realize they are on their own. On September 1, 2006, the 1980 Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction entered into force in Ukraine, which has two important goals: to secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in any signatory country, and to ensure that the rights of parents for custody and access to their children under the law of one signatory country are respected in other signatory countries.

Court decisions regarding parental responsibility, access, and contacts are made taking into consideration the best interests of the child. Legal System:  Ukraine follows a civil law legal system, in which there is judicial review of legislative acts. Absent a court order, parents in Ukraine have equal rights and responsibilities toward their children, regardless of whether they ever marry. There are no separate family courts that hear custody disputes.

According to current Ukrainian legislation, custody cases are first considered by children’s welfare offices (custody and care offices), whose decisions can be appealed and reconsidered by the local Ukrainian court of general jurisdiction.  Hague return and access cases are handled by local courts of general jurisdiction.

Every left behind parent knows by law, the case should be finalized within 6 weeks of the application date. In rare cases, this can be extended by court decision for one more month. Appeals take up to three months. Fact, the average processing time for Hague cases is 12 months and more. Fact, very rarely do foreign parents get awarded custody even through The Hague Convention and in any case if they do, the abducting parent disappears with the help of family, friends and sometimes local authorities in Ukraine.

Fact: Ukraine State Execution Service, who are there to enforce court rulings ‘DO NOTHING’, in IPCA cases. Corruption in Ukraine is a major issue, including when it comes to Parental Child Abduction. Authorities including the Police ‘DO NOT HELP’ to locate or search for children missing through Parental Child Abduction, abducted into or illegally retained in Ukraine. Ukraine is no different from countries like Poland, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Singapore, and many other countries who are signatories to The Hague Convention, who continue time and time again to refuse to uphold the Hague Laws.

Why is this so common?

CARI knows all to well how the corrupt system works, after a number of recoveries from Ukraine. CARI currently has clients where their children have been abducted to Ukraine, and the way in which they are treated by the system in Ukraine, is nothing short of a joke. This highlights the truth of another country that should be ashamed in it’s dealings towards the foreign left behind parent and their abducted children.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding International Parental Child Abduction feel free to contact CARI Child Abduction Recovery International 24/7. We are always available at or by calling our CEO Adam Whittington directly +46 707834328

We don’t just talk, we actually recover children!