Preventing Child Abductions

 

Below are a few ways to help prevent parental child abductions. Contact your local authorites if you feel at risk of abduction. 

 

  • Obtain detailed custody orders that  specify  beginning and ending visitation dates; relocation restrictions; supervised visitation for the potential taking parent; court’s approval to take the child out of the state or country; court stipulations which require a neutral third party to hold passports.

 

  • Consult your attorney about the drawbacks to joint-custody orders in parental abduction cases, if ordered.  Ensure that you clearly specify the child’s residential arrangements at all times.

 

  • Do not ignore any abduction threat.  Notify police and give them copies of any restraining order on your ex-spouse.  You may also request restricted locations for visitation rights if you can prove potential harm to your child.

 

  • Be on the alert for sudden changes in the other parent’s life.  Changes, such as quitting a job, selling a home, or closing a bank account, may be signs that the parent may be planning to leave the country.

 

  • Don’t delay action if you think your child has been taken by the other parent. Make sure that if your child is abducted, the police take a detailed report and that your child is entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system right away (a warrant is not required)

 

  • Be aware that if one parent is a citizen of another country, your child may have dual nationality.  Contact the embassy of that country and inquire about passport requirements for minors.

 

  • There is a specific process to getting a potential abducting parent & child at risk registered on the DHS/CBP prevent departure program. This includes contacting the Dept of State's Office of Children's Issues Abduction Prevention Team at 1-888-407-4747. They function as the liaison to Dept. of Homeland Security's Customs & Border Protection  http://travel.state.gov/content/childabduction/en/contact-us.html

 

We also recommend you obtain a DNA Kit for your child(ren).  DNA Kits are available for purchase on various websites and at your local pharmacies, including Walgreens and CVS.