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Chicago Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Family Law Hague Convention > U.S. Department Of State Releases Guidance On Immediate Steps To Prevent International Child Abduction

U.S. Department Of State Releases Guidance On Immediate Steps To Prevent International Child Abduction


Perhaps the worst thing a parent going through the divorce process can imagine is the limitation of their parental rights and ability to see their child. In a highly contentious divorce case where child custody issues take center stage, parents on both sides often fight vigorously over child custody in an effort to gain physical custody and decision-making power over the child or children at issue in the divorce. However, a more horrifying situation may arise when a parent has international ties, the motivation to take the child overseas, and the means to abscond to another country. In these cases, a parent going through the Chicago divorce process may be faced with their child being abducted by the other parent and taken abroad. If this terrifying scenario happens or is at risk of happening to the parent residing in the United States, they should take immediate action.

In an effort to help prevent and combat international child abductions, The United States Department of State has issued 2022 guidance for parents who may be or are at the center of an international child kidnapping case. According to the guidance, a parent who is faced with their child being abducted and taken overseas by another parent should immediately do the following:

  • Consult with an international family law/Hague convention lawyer and obtain a court order prohibiting the child from travel outside of the United States;
  • Involve law enforcement by contacting police and other agencies to inform them of any court orders involving the child and the concern that the child may be or is being abducted;
  • Get in touch with airport police at the departing airport to advise them of the potential or in-progress international child abduction;
  • Contact the airlines that operate at the departing airport and advise them of the situation so that they are aware and involved in the situation;
  • If the child has dual nationality, contact the nearest foreign embassy or consulate to advise and involve them in the potential or in-progress child abduction.

A parent of an abducted child may also reach out to the Department’s Office of Children’s Issues for non-emergency assistance. The Department’s guidance includes the contact information of the Office of Children’s Issues, and urges parents to get in touch with questions and concerns as they arise, to prevent instances of international child abduction.

International Family Law/Hague Convention Lawyer

No parent and child should have to go through an international child abduction case, but it can and does happen. If you reside in Chicago and believe that your child may be abducted and taken internationally, or your child has been abducted and taken outside the U.S., it is extremely important to contact an experienced Chicago international family law/Hague Convention lawyer. The lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux are experienced Chicago international family law/Hague Convention lawyers and offer a confidential consultation to hear your story. Contact the law offices of Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux today to learn your rights and next steps and to see if they can help.



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