G'day folks,

I have mentioned this subject, and also the ICARE Foundation previously. However, with Christmas looming, it is important to spread the word about international child abduction and how it can be prevented. Peter Thomas Senese and the I CARE Foundation have made a significant contribution in protecting children from international abduction. Since the I CARE Foundation’s inception, the reported U.S. outbound child abduction rate has declined 38% since 2009. Under Peter’s leadership, the I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form has been called a ground breaking global child abduction prevention tool praised by the international legal community including the Hague Secretary General. So, please read on, and send this link to any people whom you think could be involved. This does happen. Child abduction causes massive grief to innocent people.

An abducting parent can use their child as an instrument of REVENGE!  Should this concern us as a society?  Most defiinitely!  According to a statement released by the FBI, there is a disturbing trend coming from non-custodial parents, which is not only the rate at which we are seeing parental abductions occurring, but the fact that these parents are threatening to harm their own children all with the intent of revenge against the other parent who most likely has been given legal custody.

Taking these facts into consideration, is it any wonder why we say that a parentally kidnapped child needs to be considered in grave danger… immediately!  If you are unfamiliar with the term “filicide”, it is the deliberate act of a parent killing his or her own child, and is serious concern when we speak of international parental child abduction.  Dr. Phillip Resnick, the Director of Forensic Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland stated in an article that was published by the Denver Post a few years ago about parental child killing, “Historically, one out of 33 homicides is a parent killing a child younger than 18.” Dr. Resnick, who conducted a study on filicide in 2005 states “Filicide, the deliberate act of a parent killing his or her own child, is the third-leading cause of death in American children ages 5 to 14.” As well in this Denver Post report was that fact that, “Researchers estimate 250 to 300 children are murdered by their parents each year in the U.S.”

The fact is that with the large number of American children being born to unwed parents today, along with the high rate of marriages ending in divorce, the reality is that there is an increasing number of cases where a single parent is going to have custody of the child. The FBI’s statistics show that between the years 2010 and 2012 there was an increase of 41% in child abduction cases that involved custody matters.  So if we add that to the increased number of those parents seeking retaliation through harming their own child – again, do we need to be concerned? – you bet we do!

These facts all support what the I CARE Foundation has been saying for some time: Children that are parentally abducted are being murdered.

So, as parents, what can you do to prevent international parental child abduction?

Well, here is where it is important to share that we are entering the Christmas holiday season, which is the time of year where we see a dramatic increase in the number of international parental child abduction cases, particularly the week following the holiday.  It is imperative that parents are aware not only of the WARNING SIGNS of international parental child abduction, but also know what to do if there is an international parental child abduction is in progress.

Those families that need to be extra vigilant this holiday season would be those that are considered to be high-risk for international abduction.  This would include those that are in a high-conflict situation… divorce or separation with child custody issues… particularly with couples that are in a cross-cultural relationship (parents born in two different countries).  As well, those in a relationship where one parent has strong ties to another country and may have limited assets where they are currently living with the child and the child’s other parent.

The I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form:

If you are a parent that has a child traveling internationally, the I CARE Foundation strongly urges that you utilize our Hague-oriented International Travel Child Consent Form to protect your child from abduction while traveling.  This ground-breaking travel consent form has been embraced by the legal community around the world, as well as by key stakeholders in the area of abduction prevention such as Hague Permanent Bureau Secretary General Dr. Christophe Bernasconi, who stated,

“I have had the possibility to look at the travel form and must say that I am impressed: this is the most comprehensive document of its kind that I have seen so far and there is little doubt in my mind that this is a most valuable and important effort to prevent child abduction. I applaud your efforts and wish to congratulate you and your team . . . It is really impressive to see how quickly your international travel child consent form has started to yield practical results and how well you monitor its operation – this really is remarkable.”

If you happen to be one of those high-risk families – again, one that is involved in a child custody dispute, separation or divorce, especially if your partner has ties abroad – you must be proactive in protecting your children.  Often, parents that are involved in international child custody disputes and who may be targeted for abduction think that their child is best protected from abduction when there is a court agreement in place for the child to return if the other parent is granted travel. The truth is that unless there is an international travel consent form that has immediate ramifications attached to it, the parent and child targeted for abduction are at serious risk.  The I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form can help protect a parent and child in this type of situation. 

Currently, to the best of our knowledge, every child that has traveled under the protection of the travel consent form has returned home to their country of origin.  With approximately 70% of all international child abduction cases revolving around wrongful retention, which is the focus of the International Travel Child Consent Form, if parents and the legal community are aware and utilizing this document, it can make a tremendous impact in the area of abduction prevention on a worldwide scale… the fact is, it already has.

Most recently, in an effort to make the International Travel Child Consent Form even more effective and accessible, it has been translated into 20 different languages from around the world with more translations coming soon.  Please click the FURTHER INFORMATION link below to be taken to the official I CARE Foundation websitewhere you can see the translations that are currently available.  If you should have any questions regarding the form please contact the I CARE Foundation at legal@theicarefoundation.org

Know The Warning Signs of International Parental Child Abduction:

The WARNING SIGNS of international parental child abduction are evident in the majority of parental child abduction cases, but many times the targeted parent doesn’t see them until it is too late.  As shared earlier, we see a dramatic increase in the number of international parental child abduction cases during the Christmas holidays as many times the would-be-abductor uses a family vacation for the holidays as a guise for their elaborate scheme to abduct the child from their country of origin.  Planning a family vacation could, in essence, show their partner that they are willing to work on their relationship despite any issues that may have happened in the past.  This is part of the life of deceit that a would-be-abducting parent lives… all while scheming how to get their child abroad.

A common scenario might go something like this:  The would-be-abducting parent tells his/her partner that they would like to plan a trip to a foreign country… perhaps their country of origin… maybe to visit a sibling or parents over the holiday season.   Once the family arrives in the foreign country, the abducting parent might file false allegations of abuse and neglect against the other parent and then notify the other parent that they and the child will not be returning back to the country of original jurisdiction.  At this point, the targeted parent, who didn’t suspect any of this, is generally forced to return back home without their child where they then need to seek legal assistance.

Being aware of the warning signs could realistically help protect you and your child from the cruel and unforgivable world of international child abduction… a world that no parent or child should ever have to be exposed to.


Clancy's comment:  I am always pleased to offer assistance to my good friend, Peter Senese. He has worked diligently on these matters for many years and achieved amazing results. So, I guess the idea is to be aware, be careful and act accordingly. Do not take situations for granted.

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