Posted by familylaw on 4th March 2020
Last updated 29th March 2023
What should I do if my child is abducted?

Child abduction is when a person takes a child under 16 out of the UK without the permission of those with Parental Responsibility or permission from the court. There are some circumstances a parent with Parental Responsibility can remove a child for up to 28 days. However, we would suggest that you seek legal advice regarding this.

If you know or believe your child to have been abducted and taken to another country, you should report the incident to the police immediately. You should then contact a specialist solicitor and the central authority within your country. In the UK, the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) is the name of our central authority. Where applicable, your matter will then be referred to a specialist Solicitor on the ICACU referral list, such as The Family Law Company.

If a child has been abducted from or to the UK, there are two international Conventions that assist a parent in tracing and returning their child. The Conventions are known as The Hague Convention and the European Convention. These Conventions have created a network of countries who work together with the intention in most cases to return the abducted child back to their place of residence. The countries that have joined the Conventions are known as Contracting States. The UK is a Contracting State to both Conventions.

If you have any concerns about your child’s whereabouts and need specialist advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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