Coates & Davenport, P.C.

Christmas time is high season for international child abductions

Parental child abductions have reached epidemic proportions around the globe. Every year child recovery organizations see an increase in the number of international child abductions during the holiday season. They receive call after call from distraught parents whose child has either been taken from their own home, or who has been abducted while spending holiday time with another parent abroad. These are extremely difficult and distressing cases.

The first thing any parent of an abducted child should know, and that cannot be stressed enough, is that time is of the essence. You should immediately report an abduction, even if it only a suspicion. The more time that law enforcement has to locate and detain a child abduction suspect before he or she can make it across a border, the better it is. The best chance of intercepting a child is while an abductor is still in the country.

Most countries do not take child abduction as seriously as the United States. Often, an abductor will face no criminal repercussions in his or her homeland. Instead, in most countries, they will only be held subject to what is known as The Hague Convention, which only addresses the expedient return of a child. It does not address punishment for an offender.

If your child has been internationally abducted, contact an attorney as soon as possible to assist with proper reporting and guidance. It is of utmost importance that you work quickly and efficiently. As it is often difficult for a parent dealing with such a gut-wrenching circumstance to stay focused and think clearly, an attorney can act in your best interests and on your behalf.

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Coates & Davenport, P.C.
5206 Markel Road Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23230

Phone: 804-729-5537
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