International Parental Child Abductions [November 2, 2009]   [open pdf - 142KB]

"Since 1988, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction ('Hague Convention') has been the principal mechanism for enforcing the return of abducted children to the United States. While the treaty authorizes the prompt return of the abducted child, it does not impose criminal sanctions on the abducting parent. Congress, to reinforce the Hague Convention, adopted the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act of 1993 (the 'Act') to impose criminal punishment on parents who wrongfully remove or retain a child outside U.S. borders. However, the Hague Convention is not always applicable in such cases. This report will discuss the applicability of the Hague Convention and current U.S. laws, both civil and criminal, which seek to address the quandary of children abducted by a parent to foreign nations. In addition, pending legislation including H.R. 3240 and H.R. 3487 is discussed. This report will be updated as events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS21261
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