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International Parental Child Abduction,

Wrongful Removal & Wrongful Retention







The Department of State's Office of Children's Issues, which serves as the Central Authority of the United States for the purposes of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, has received thousands of requests since 2007 for assistance in the return to the United States of children who have been wrongfully abducted or wrongfully retained by a parent or other legal guardian to another country.


More than 1,000 outgoing international child abductions are reported every year to the Central Authority of the United States, which depends solely on proactive reporting of abduction cases.


Only about one-half of the children abducted from the United States to countries with which the United States enjoys reciprocal obligations under the Hague Abduction Convention are returned to the United States.


The United States and other Convention countries have expressed their desire, through the Hague Abduction, "to protect children internationally from the harmful effects of their wrongful removal or retention and to establish procedures to ensure their prompt return to the State of their habitual residence, as well as to secure protection for rights of access."


The iSTAND Parent Network, along with our affiliates, aim to help prevent child abduction and help secure the safe return of abducted children to their country of habitual residence.



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