Reflecting On The I CARE Foundation’s Dedicated Work Protecting Children From Abduction

Standard

1c402-icarelogoAs I look back over the past four years of the I CARE Foundation‘s activity working to protect children from international child abduction, my eyes and my spirit reflect upon a sea of faces of children and parents we have helped. However, there are other faces – the faces of the dedicated I CARE Foundation staff who work day-in and day-out on behalf of at-risk children. And today, on America’s Independence Day, I applaud each member of the I CARE Foundation family around the world as each of your unselfish acts have, in reality, made a significant and immeasurable positive difference on the lives of so many others. Unquestionably, it is through each of your acts of dedication to fighting the fight against child abduction that we, as a private non-profit organization, have created a large, positive, and formidable footprint on behalf of children everywhere.

Since we formally commenced our operations, our achievements continue to grow. Yet, it is in the challenges that lay ahead that we continue our dedicated daily work. In these challenges and tasks that lay ahead of us, we are reminded that if we continue our work, we will continue to realize our goals of creating a global environment where children are not at risk of abduction. Some of the achievements we have accomplished include, but are not limited to:

  1. The United States outbound international parental child abduction rate has dropped by 38.06% while in the rest of the world the outbound child abduction rate continues to rapidly grow. For example, in England the outbound child abduction rate has reportedly grown by nearly 100% over the past decade. God willing, the I CARE Foundation’s reach in England via our landmark and groundbreaking international travel child consent form will reduce the abduction rate in England and nearly every other country in the world, where, in reality, the abduction rate has grown to pandemic levels.
  2. The I CARE Foundation’s creation and global implementation of our international travel child consent form has been directly responsible for ensuring the safety of a large and growing number of children around the world. In fact, the scholarly and legally sound travel consent form has been called the first and only global child abduction prevention tool: one that in a year’s time has changed the landscape of child abduction prevention. We take great pride in knowing that not only has our travel consent form been called ‘Remarkable’ by the Hague Conference Secretary General, but due to its success, plans are underway within the Hague Permanent Bureau to create an official Hague International Travel Consent Form using the I CARE Foundation’s form as a model.When we consider that studies show that at least 70% of all international parental child abductions occur when a child is wrongfully detained abroad, and less than 20% of all children are court-ordered to be returned to their country of habitual residency, not only has our work protected the lives of many, but in a very real way, the I CARE Foundation’s travel consent form protects the integrity of the Hague Child Abduciton Convention.
  3. Our work implementing the Prevent Departure Program has prevented a large and growing number of abductions in the United States.
  4. Our work associated with preventing child abduction in connection with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative has made a meaningful and measurable impact protecting American children.
  5. We have helped pass numerous laws and altered existing government policies geared to protect children while also successfully altering proposed legislation that could have been catastrophic in the real fight to protect all children from abduction.
  6. We have become one of the leading organizations conducting research and publishing our findings on parental child abduction. In fact, our research has helped create new tools and policy that has had a giant impact on behalf of children.
  7. We have raised society’s awareness of international parental child abduction, including awareness amongst potentially targeted parents. Our social media outreach has had immeasurable results: the 38.06% U.S. abduction decline is directly related to our outreach campaigns.
  8. We have prevented the abduction of a large and growing number of children.
  9. We have successfully reunited a large and growing number of children with their families.
  10. Perhaps most of all, we have acted with our compassionate hearts.

Today is Independence Day in America. Personally, it is a very important day for it celebrates liberty.

On this special day, I am reminded that children around the world have a God-given right to live in freedom.  Our work continues.

To all my friends who I am proud to work side-by-side with, I wish to each of you a Happy Independence Day – wherever you are in the world.

And America – Happy Birthday!

– Peter Thomas Senese –

Zero Tolerance For International Child Abduction And The Need For An Educated Judiciary

Standard

1c402-icarelogoWhen it comes to international parental child abduction, the I CARE Foundation believes in zero tolerance for individuals involved in such schemes. Under no circumstance should a parent feel they have the right to abduct a child.  As well, a parent should never think that planning an abduction is in the best interest of the child.  It is not! Short and long-term ramifications on the child are well-documented.  The underlying reality is that once abduction occurs, regardless if the kidnapping is done by a known person or stranger, the child’s safety is placed in grave risk.

When issues arise regarding mobilization (when a parent wants to relocate to another country with the child but without the child’s other parent), these issues should be rectified in accordance with the law. Not by creating an evil scheme filled with false innuendos and accusations against the other parent so to create a misleading impression that abduction is critical for the child’s safety and well-being. It is not. Seeking legal assistance via criminal and civil remedies if abusive conditions exist is the option that must be sought.

A would-be abducting parent puts their child in harm’s way, and this is not acceptable! The I CARE Foundation takes the position that international parental child abduction is a severe form of child abuse with consequences that will be extreme and will impact all phases of the child’s life.  With that being said, we also acknowledge the severe negative impact that abduction has on the victimized targeted parents. Both parties, the child and the targeted parent, are victims when we are dealing with parental child abduction.

In nearly all cases of parental abduction, children are used as pawns by the abducting parent in order to carry out their extensive premeditated plan which includes, but is not limited to causing severe suffering to the child’s other parent. One of the greatest challenges that children and their targeted parent face is the lack of accountability through the courts.  If a court neglects to hold abductors or would-be abductors accountable, this not only means that the targeted parents may remain at the mercy of a vengeance-seeking abducting parent that has already caused considerable harm, but it also sends a very dangerous global message that parental child abductors have limited risks when it comes to legal accountability, both in respect to the courts, but also law enforcement.  This needs to change!

The I CARE Foundation believes strongly that the Hague Child Abduction Convention is the right mechanism that all nations should participate in and adhere to.

As we look forward and create changes to help protect the hundreds of thousands of children each year who are targeted for international abduction, we see the critical need to create an International Judiciary College.

The fact is that the vast majority of judges who oversee international child abduction cases have not been trained in the very complex legal, psychological, political, financial and logistical matters that impact all cases of international abduction.  We face a reality that has untrained judges and courts contributing to many failures, including properly and expeditiously overseeing legal proceedings that seek the return of abducted children to their country of habitual residency.  An International Judiciary College, ideally under the guidance of the Permanent Bureauwould have a dramatic impact on reducing the global abduction rate, but also increasing diplomatic relationships among countries. As well, it is highly conceivable that the issues that exist today regarding the lack of judicial compliance would be greatly reduced as more judges become trained on Hague matters.

The reality is that today many targeted parents who have experienced abduction and who have been abused by the abducting parent remain targets of their child’s kidnapper.  Courts are hesitant to hold parental child abductors accountable for their act. Part of the problem lies heavily in an untrained judiciary – judges who are not trained in the deep understanding of parental abduction matters.  Tragically, the result of untrained judiciary and actors involved in abduction matters is that the targeted parent will believe that the courts will not hold the abductor accountable and equally alarming – by failing to hold the abductor accountable – the courts in essence empower the abductor who has returned with the child after the kidnapping – to attempt to abduct again or to continue making allegations against the targeted parent.

Tragically, when a targeted parent of abduction receives little or no support or protection from the court while they are working to protect their child from abuse (including but not limited to abduction), then that parent can become disenchanted with the legal system they once believed would protect them and their child. They lose hope.

Sometimes claims of abuse are real, and we acknowledge this reality.  In such cases we urge all parents to seek all intervention and assistance available to them under the rules of law.  Conversely, we have also seen in a great number of international child abduction cases when both men and women make false claims against one another.  This is a reality.

As always we encourage all parents to be familiar with the RISKS AND WARNING SIGNS of international parental child abduction.  Being aware of these warning signs is critical in preventing an international abduction from occurring.  Never think that you or your child(ren) could not become a victim of this inhumane crime.  Be proactive and protect yourself… and your child(ren).

If you happen to be a parent that has a child that is traveling abroad, either by choice or by court order, please consider using the I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form.

For more information on international parental child abduction, please visit the I CARE Foundation’s official website.

Kindest regards,

Peter Thomas Senese
Executive Director
I CARE Foundation

Peter Senese Discusses The Warning Signs Of International Child Abduction

Standard

Attention: Parents With Children Traveling Abroad – Please Consider Utilizing The I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form To Prevent Abduction

International parental child abduction is a crime in most countries, including the United States and Canada, as it is a highly abusive act toward a child, often at the hands of a narcissistic parent that displays sociopathic behavior to cause suffering and injury to the other parent.  Generally, concern and care for the child’s well-being are not the relevant issue or concern among abducting parents.  In the majority of abduction cases there are warning signs, and parents need to be aware of these.

Tragically recent reports by the United States government stated that children who are crime-victims of parental abduction often face a high degree of severe violence and even murder at the hands of their parental child abductor. In fact, filicide – the act of – is a large and highly disturbing issue that takes place in every country.

Anyone who ever thinks that when one parent illegally removes or wrongfully retains a child in a foreign country without a court order or permission of the other parent is not a dangerous and severe act against the taken child, and instead views this as a ‘child custody issue’ is not aware of the severe emotional, spiritual, and possible physical abuse directed at the child by the abducting parent. It has accurately been said by a large number of leading child health experts that an abducted child becomes a prisoner of their parent-warden. Forced to obey their emotional jailer who happens to also control their every move and be their care-provider, these parentally abducted children are often brainwashed and taught to know and embrace hatred. Along the way, not only do they lose their identity, but they often lose sight of the true meaning and magic that exists in life.

The key to stopping international child abduction is to know and not dismiss these warning signs and clues that the child’s other parent may be planning abduction while also knowing exactly how to act in order to prevent the criminal act of parental child kidnapping once abduction becomes evident.

It is critically important for all parents who suspect their child’s other parent may be conspiring to abduct to realize abduction schemes are created and executed in secrecy. The parent planning abduction does not desire for their targeted parent to know they are planning a child kidnapping. In fact, concern amongst would-be parental child kidnappers that their abduction scheme may be exposed prior to being put into motion has increased ever since society has become more aware of the abusive and dangerous gravity and wide-spread infestation of child abduction around the world.

Organizations such as the I CARE Foundation, who are major combatants committed to fight against child kidnappers and act to defuse an abductor’s evil schemes by continued efforts to raise social awareness of the warning signs of parental child kidnapping while also advocating for new prevention laws, creating unique abduction prevention tools and resources, and successfully litigating child abduction prevention cases appear to be keenly aware of by those who abduct. These efforts are measurable.

For example, after nearly 30 years of increased reported cases of outbound international parental child abduction originating from the United States, including skyrocketing average growth of over 20% per year, the United States international parental child abduction rate declined by over 15% during fiscal year 2011 and then by 16% during fiscal year 2012. These declines, though not inclusive to the formal period when the I CARE Foundation commenced its worldwide stewardship of raising awareness of international parental child abduction, are not coincidental, especially when considering the large number of abduction prevention cases the foundation has been involved with. And no comments made regarding the decline of abduction of U.S. citizens should be made without acknowledging the incredible and heroic work of the United States Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues and their Abduction Prevention Unit’s efforts to stop kidnapping: while the world’s child abduction rate continues to surge, reported cases of parental child abduction in America are on the decline.

Despite recent success, targeted parents of abduction appear to be more vulnerable than ever because individuals planning to abduct realize the difficulty they may have executing their abduction plans, especially if the child is in their home country of jurisdiction. So they take extra precautionary steps in order to conceal their true plans of abduction. Today, more than ever, parental child abductors need to act with chicanery and deception in order to execute their plans

Before I go any further, I want to point out that international parental child abduction connected to a child possessing a right ofdual citizenship and dual passports remains an extraordinary concern. Additionally, removal of a child from any of the countries that are signatories to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Policy (The United States, Canada, Mexico, and many Caribbean island-nations) remains a serious concern.

It is important to note two paradigms are occurring in the international parental child abduction world at the same time.

Paradigms One – Increases In Abduction Amongst Married Couples

The first is it appears more international parental child abductions are occurring between couples who are still married and who have not separated from their primary household as opposed to abduction post-separation or divorce. Apparently, one of the primary reasons why this is occurring is the increased an increased awareness amongst abductors of the heightened degree of difficulty to execute their kidnapping plans if the targeted parent is aware of their intent. Thus, living in a hostile environment with a targeted parent does not create an ideal environment for an abductor to have their target let their guard down.

As you may suspect, many individuals planning abduction remain in the relationship because they do not want the other parent to have any reason for concern. In fact, it is common for a scheming parent to mislead their target by falsely displaying a deep commitment toward their relationship: increased acts of false affection and sincerity are commonplace in many of today’s pre-abduction cases.

Which makes it more difficulty to detect an abduction scheme is being planned or well under way. After all, many parents in a relationship may have a vested interest to be open to any new rekindling of the relationship by their child’s other parent.

The sad reality, exemplified in many of the hundreds of child abduction cases I have been involved with, is the parent planning abduction often successfully misleads the other parent into thinking that they were in committed to the relationship until it is too late. Alarmingly, parents planning abduction are successful in having their targeted parent dismiss the risks of child kidnapping because few targeted parents are willing to grasp that their child’s other parent could act so cleverly, shrewdly, and fraudulently.

Perhaps the biggest mistake targeted parents make is that in nearly every international parental child abduction case, the targeted parent underestimated the intelligence, cunningness, and capability of the predator parent to execute their abduction plan.

Paradigms Two – Increases In Child Abduction Due To Wrongful Retention Abroad

The second paradigm that appears to be taking place is that we are seeing more international parental child abductions as defined by the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction taking place when a child is wrongfully detained in a foreign country and not returned home. This path to abduction often occurs when either a court orders or a parent consents to allow the child’s other parent to travel with the child to a foreign country – which is often the country of origin for the would-be abductor.

In cases when an unsuspecting parent consents to allowing their child to travel abroad with the other parent, departure often occurs under the false guise of a vacation to see family members living in another country (often the scheming parent’s country of origin) or travel consent may be induced due to a false claim of a medical emergency.

Summer school vacation represents the time of year when the majority of children targeted for international parental child abduction are kidnapped. The majority of these children initially travel to another country with one or both parents under consent. Often, the scheming parent actually invites the targeted parent to travel with them under the idea of a family trip in order to be able to get the child out of their home country of origin without raising a red flag to the other parent.

Once a child is on foreign soil, the scheming abducting parent often unleashes an evil and cruel scheme against the targeted parent that often included intent to have their target arrested and removed from their and the child’s life by making false claims of abuse and violence directed at them, the child, or both.

Often local law enforcement in the abductor’s country of origin will arrest the targeted parent. This will be followed by a restraining order against both child and the parent who made the complaint. And as the once unsuspecting targeted parent is sitting in a jail cell waiting for bail or a court hearing, the scheming abductor is meeting with and making additional false claims to child protective services in the country they have abducted to. Often these claims are fraudulently affirmed by family members and friends of the abductor.

Once the false claims of abuse are filed, the abducting parent – now wrongfully claiming they are liberating parents freeing themselves from abuse – will file for no contact and divorce against the child’s other parent. And since there are pending charges for various forms of abuse, at least temporarily, the targeted parent will have no access to their child pending court proceedings (civil proceedings related to access to their child, and, possibly criminal proceedings connected to the false claims of abuse).

Wrongful retention of a child is a serious issue. In order to combat this cruel form of abduction, I CARE Foundation has created the Hague Convention-oriented International Travel Child Consent Form.

So much for a family holiday.

Warning Signs of International Parental Child Abduction

There are no fool-proof warning signs that your spouse or ex-spouse is thinking of taking your child across international borders, with or without your permission and knowledge. However, there are in fact many signs and signals that can provide you with insight that your spouse or former spouse is intending to abduct with your child.

Trust your instincts and do not bury your head in the ground and think abduction will not happen to you. It is a mistake tens of thousands of parents once made.

If you believe international parental child abduction is in process, immediately contact local and national law enforcement, and, immediately contact the United States Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues Abduction Prevention Unit.

If you have reason to believe that your spouse is contemplating the abduction of your child, you should immediately contact a qualified lawyer familiar with international parental child abduction to immediately discuss legal options available to you and your child. You should also immediately contact the United States Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues Abduction Prevention Unit. In addition, you should contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and open an abduction prevention case. You may also contact the I CARE Foundation to obtain additional information on abduction prevention and to receive an attorney referral of a qualified lawyer familiar with abduction prevention litigation.

You may need to file an ex parte (an Emergency without notice filing) motion to the court of jurisdiction where the child lives, seeking court intervention prior to when the abduction or wrongful retention occurs. Under most laws, the judge will have to hear your application so long as you present enough strong and credible evidence that your spouse or ex-spouse is planning to illegally take your child across state or international borders or intending to travel abroad with consent but may have no intent of returning the child to their country of habitual residency.

The following are a list of international parental child abduction warning signs. Each abduction case is unique so please consult with a qualified attorney to understand risk factors specific to your circumstances.

  • The most obvious warning sign is if the other parent communicates in any way that they have intent or a desire to remove the child of the relationship out of the country. In most instances, if the other parent threatens you with the idea that they are going to abduct your child, the fact is that in most cases, the abduction is already planned and may be in progress.
  • The majority of international parental child abductions originate when a marriage or partnership created between two individuals from two different countries occurs. The reality is that failure amongst multinational partnerships is high. Often, when one of these relationships fails and there is a child involved, the parent living in a foreign country may want to return to their country of origin, and when they do, they nearly always want to bring the child of the failed relationship with them. It should be exceptionally noted, as stated earlier, that often parents planning abduction will act with trickery in order to have the targeted parent not have concern over abduction.
  • The vast majority of international child abductions occur by a parent who is determined to cause hardship and harm to the other parent. The instrument that they use in order to cause this harm is the child or children of the marriage. A significant number of leading therapist from around the world have stated in numerous reports that revenge is the primary and leading reason why one parent will try to end the other parent’s relationship with their own child. Therefore, if you are involved with a person who has jealous or revengeful tendencies, you must be aware that these characteristics are common in the vast majority of would-be parental child abductors.
  • If your spouse or former spouse has in the past used the child of your marriage or relationship to cause you harm, pain, and suffering, or, has tried to control and manipulate your actions, then your concern should be magnified ten-fold. If the same individual has family members in another country or has lived in another country and has expressed a desire or threat to move there with your child, your concern should be magnified one-hundred fold.
  • If there is evidence of previous abductions, disappearances, or threats to abduct the child by your spouse or ex-spouse, these indicators demonstrate that any new abduction threat is real and in more likelihood already planned.
  • If your spouse or ex-spouse has citizenship in another country and/or has strong emotional or cultural ties to their country of origin.
  • A desire or intent by your spouse or ex-spouse to travel with the child to their own home country of origin with or without you. As stated earlier, it appears this is the most prevailing way a child is illegally abducted abroad. Often, the taking parent tricks their target into allowing travel, or is capable of fooling a court over their true intent. This is why the I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form must always be used during any type of international travel regarding a child.
  • Unexplainable removal of cash deposits and diminished assets, or unexplainable increases in credit card or bank debt.
  • Concealment of new credit cards or bank debt.
  • Concealed, hidden, and abrupt communication with individuals or family members living in a foreign country.
  • Concealed, hidden, and abrupt communication with a lawyer.
  • Frequent previous trips with child to a foreign country without other parent.
  • No strong ties to a child’s home state including having no or limited assets, having no or limited job prospects, having no or few friends or family members, and having strong cultural difficulties with the child’s home country.
  • Strong foreign support network.
  • No financial reason to stay.
  • Possible use of the child as a pawn in order to gain access to non-joint assets.
  • Engaged in planning activities such as quitting job; selling home; terminating lease; closing bank accounts or liquidating assets; hiding or destroying documents; or securing a passport, a birth certificate, or school medical records.
  • A history of marital instability, lack of cooperation with the other parent, domestic violence, or child abuse.
  • An announcement of an unexpected trip to another country with the child.
  • The taking of easily transportable high-valued items such as jewelry upon departing to another country.
  • Adamant unwillingness to leave the child behind with you while spouse travels to a foreign country.
  • Shipping of personal items to a foreign country, including those ordered from a vendor that are directly shipped abroad.
  • A past tendency of your spouse or ex-spouse to relocate and live abroad.
  • If your spouse or ex-spouse has ties to another country and makes a false police complaint against you concerning conduct against them or the child, you should be aware this may be the beginning steps of an Article 13 Defense under the Hague Convention. In essence by creating a history of complaints of abuse, the parent intending to abduct lays track to have a court in a foreign country remain abroad and sanction the act of international kidnapping – except it will be viewed as an act of liberation from abuse. Tragically, claims of abuse are commonplace. After all, a parental child kidnapper has defend against the act of child kidnapping, and citing abuse is a common tactic equally used by men and women abductors.
  • If a parent living as an alien citizen of one country but has limited roots to that country and is intending to travel with the child abroad, the risks of an abduction are great. Additionally, if the parent who is planning to depart, say on a few week vacation, does not have the ability to purchase a return ticket back to the child’s country of origin and/or does not have employment and/or does not have housing, then you can bet that upon departure for the so-called ‘vacation’, that parent is not returning. Remember, Intent and Sustainability issues are critical. If a person can’t sustain themselves in the country that their child was born, and, they have no deep roots, why in the world would they want to stay?
  • If an alien-parent has deep connections to another country, and has deep connections to that country’s senior government officials, there is a clear risk. Recently, I have been advising on a situation where the potential abductor has immediate family members in charge of overseeing a fleet of aircraft owned by a Middle East family (or you could say government). Obviously, access to aircraft and departing under immunity of a foreign government are very concerning.
  • If you are planning to allow the child’s other parent consent to travel abroad with your child or if a court is willing to grant travel – and the other parent is not willing to sign the I CARE Foundation’s Travel Consent Form which was designed to uphold jurisdiction of the child’s country of habitual residency while also creating evidence that could moot an abductor’s legal defense strategies, then this too is a serious warning sign that abduction is planned.

International parental child abduction is complex. There are many warning signs of abduction. The most important being that parents need to be mindful that international parental child abduction is a real threat.

On behalf of the I CARE Foundation, we hope this information may be helpful to you. Should you have any questions, please consult with a qualified attorney in the state of jurisdiction applicable to you and your child.

Kind regards to all,

Peter Thomas Senese
Founding Director
The I CARE Foundation

Scams and Fraudulent Acts Used To Kidnap Children During Summer Vacations

Standard

Peter Thomas Senese Discusses Parental Child Abduction Summer Scams:  Ways Abductors Fraudulently Trick Targeted Parents In Order To Kidnap Children

48282-icarelogo

THE ARTICLE 13 CONSENT OR ACQUIESCENCE DEFENSE: PETITIONERS CONSENTED TO OR ACQUIESCED IN THE REMOVAL OR RETENTION.

I have previously written that during the summer school break children are at the highest risk of being a victim of international parental child abduction.  Often, cases of international child abduction that occurs during this time of year is when a parent initially travels with their child abroad with consent from the child’s other parent. Often, the other parent (typically unsuspecting of any acts of abduction) will travel with scheming parent who is in reality, in the process of fraudulently planning an international child abduction.  Once the scheming parent arrives in the country they are visiting, they unleash their abduction scheme, which can include legal petitions stating that the other parent had in fact consented to a relocation before they left the child’s country of original jurisdiction, or had subsequently agreed to relocate while in the new country.

This is a very serious matter, and I know many parents who were victimized by abduction under The Hague Convention’s Article 13 – Consent or acquiescence Defense.

During the coming summer … parents traveling abroad really need to understand some of the do’s and do not’s!

Under Article 13(a) of the Hague Convention, the court is not bound to return a child if the respondent establishes that the petitioner consented to or subsequently acquiesced in the removal or retention. Both defenses turn on the petitioner’s subjective intent, but they are distinctly different. The defense of consent relates to the petitioner’s conduct before the child’ removal or retention, whereas the defense of acquiescence relates to “whether the petitioner subsequently agreed to or accepted the removal or retention.” The respondent must prove these defenses by a preponderance of the evidence; however, even if one of these defenses is proven successfully, the court nonetheless retains discretion to order the child’s return.

Courts have expressed that such consent can be proved successfully with relatively informal statements or conduct. Because consent requires little formality, courts will look beyond the words of the consent to the nature and scope of the consent, keeping in mind any conditions or limitations imposed by the petitioner. Conversely, the Friedrich v. Friedrich (Friedrich II) court held that acquiescence requires “an act or statement with the requisite formality, such as testimony in a judicial proceeding; a convincing written renunciation of rights; or a consistent attitude of acquiescence over a significant period of time.” The following are some of the most common arguments and actions that parents use in their attempts to prove or disprove the defenses of consent and acquiescence.

1.      Authorization To Travel.

Often, a respondent produces a signed “Authorization to Travel” document as evidence that the petitioner gave consent for the child to change residences. Courts rarely accept this as evidence that the other parent consented to the child’s removal. In Mendez Lynch v. Mendez Lynch, the court held that an Authorization to Travel, which allowed the children to travel freely, did not indicate that the other parent gave up his legal rights of custody. There, a father signed a broad Authorization to Travel that allowed the mother of the children to take the children out of Argentina. The court held that the “evidence [was] clear that the written consents to travel were given to facilitate family vacation-related travel, not as consent to unilaterally remove the children from Argentina at the sole discretion of Respondent.”

2. Words And Actions Of Left-Behind Parents.

Courts frequently echo the warning of the Friedrich II court that “[e]ach of the words and actions of a parent during the separation are not to be scrutinized for a possible waiver of custody rights.” Here, a third-party claimed that Mr. Friedrich stated that he was not seeking custody of his child because he lacked the means to support the child. The Sixth Circuit responded that, even if the statement was made, it is “insufficient evidence of subsequent acquiescence.” Additionally, “isolated statements to third parties are not sufficient to establish consent or acquiescence.”

3. Nature Of Children’s Removal.

When the abducting parent removes the child in a secretive fashion – for example, during the night, while the other parent is away, or without informing the other parent – a court is more likely to find that the other parent did not consent or acquiesce to the child’s removal. In Friedrich II, the Sixth Circuit stated that “[t]he deliberately secretive nature of [the mother’s] actions is extremely strong evidence that [the father] would not have consented to the removal of [the child].” One court referenced the abducting parent’s “deception,” which prevented any acquiescence by the left-behind parent.

For more information on International Parental Child Abduction in the United States, please visit the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues website.  In Canada, please visit the Ministry of Justice. You may also visit the I CARE Foundation or the official website of Peter Thomas Senese’s Chasing The Cyclone for extensive information on abduction.

Remember, each of us can help protect children by raising awareness of IPCA.  I invite you to read just how important it is to stop abduction by reading ‘Testimonial letters about Peter Thomas Senese and the I CARE Foundation’.

~Peter Thomas Senese

Parental Child Abductors Retaliate With Threats Of Violence And Death

Standard

“Unfortunately, the threat of violence—and death—in these cases is all too real,” said Ashli-Jade Douglas, an FBI analyst in our Violent Crimes Against Children Intelligence Unit who specializes in child abduction matters.  “Most non-custodial parental abductors want retaliation. They feel that if they can’t have the child full time—or any amount of time—then the other parent shouldn’t have the child, either.”

The above statement, which was shared on the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s website, shares with us the reality that children who become the innocent victims of abduction are subjected to brutal crimes  – and that includes murder.  Along with my colleagues at the I CARE Foundation, I have been sharing this statement for some time: children of international parental child abduction are at risk of murder.  Parental child abductors are willing to break the laws as well as the orders of a court – as well, they have no concern with perjury or contempt.  Parental child abductors kidnap children in order to cause the targeted parent hurt and suffering.  Keeping this in mind it is no wonder that children are put in grave risk at the hands of the abducting parent.  The aggressive act of kidnapping – and using a child to cause harm – is the reality of parental child abduction.

It is imperative that every social services program, every child welfare organization and every family protective service agency charged with investigating any claims of child abuse carefully analyze any allegations of abuse. Critically, these organizations must carefully scrutinize any claims made by a parent who was previously charged with child abduction, especially if a court determined that parent had committed a criminal act of child kidnapping, or in Hague cases during international parental child abduction that uses a civil procedure for the return of a child despite the federal act of kidnapping being committed, it is imperative that all social service personnel charged with investigating any claims of abuse or neglect made by a child abductor against their previous targeted parent be cautiously examined.  Critically, all social service agencies acting on a complaint against a child made by a parent child abductor must commence their investigation with the hard reality that the child was a victim of kidnapping along with other forms of serious abuse, and carefully review the sociopath tendencies of abductors.As published on the United States Department of State’s website, “When non-custodial parents resort to kidnapping, they believe they are acting in the best interests of their children. Although a minority of parental kidnappers may actually save their children by taking them out of the reach of the other parent, the motives of most parents who steal their children are not at all altruistic. Parents find a myriad of reasons or self-justification for stealing a child from another parent Some abductors will find fault with the other parent for nonsensical transgressions; others will steal a child for revenge.”

The State Department’s report includes, “[A] profile [of] the parent who shows signs of flagrant paranoid beliefs or psychotic delusions. In this situation, the intervention must focus on the child and his or her safety and well-being . . . Unfortunately, the other parent and the child must be informed about a safety plan at all times.”  Continuing, the Department of State’s report specifically states, “[The] profile [of an international parental child abductor] is the sociopathic personality.”

Again, nobody wants to think about a parent killing their child.

However, we must take into heavy consideration the statement by the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)  concerning the sociopathic behavior of abductors. Grave concern was expressed, “As with paranoid and delusional parents, sociopathic parents are unable to perceive their children as having separate needs or rights. Consequently, they often use their children blatantly as instruments of revenge or punishment or as trophies in their fight with the ex-partner. Hence, the sociopathic parent believes that domestic violence and child abduction can be perpetrated with impunity. Like paranoia, a diagnosis of severe sociopathy is rare (4 percent of the studies’ samples).

Filicide is not a term that I like to talk about, but the reality is, we need to talk about it more.  For those that are not aware, the term filicide refers to the deliberate act of a parent killing his or her own child.  In the United States, hundreds of children are murdered by their parents each and every year. Proportionately, filicide occurs everywhere. It is not a phenomenon isolated within American borders: parents do kill children. And we can’t put our head in the sand and think this does not exist.

According to a recent statement released by the FBI, there is a trend that I find incredibly disturbing coming from non-custodial parents – and that is the rate in which they are abducting and threatening to harm their own children… all with the intent of retaliation against the parent who has been given legal custody.

Now, with a large number of American children being born to unwed parents, 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 – do we need to be concerned?  You bet we do!

In the FBI statement there were some recent cases of filicide that occurred at the hands of non-custodial parents:

  • In 2009, a non-custodial mother abducted her 8-month-old son from his custodial father in Texas. She told the father she killed the boy to prevent the father from employing his custodial rights and in retaliation for his alleged involvement with other women.
  • In 2011, a 2-year-old girl was abducted by her non-custodial father in California. A week later, both were found dead. The father committed suicide after shooting his daughter.
  • In 2012, a non-custodial father in Utah abducted and killed his 7- and 5-year-old sons and then committed suicide. He was angry over not being afforded sole custody of the children.

Ashli-Jade Douglas offers up this advice to help keep children safe:  “Custodial parents should inform schools, after-care facilities, babysitters, and others who may at times be responsible for their children about what custody agreements are in place so that kids are not mistakenly released to non-custodial parents.”

The common misconception that parental abductions are considered a family matter has to end.

Parental child abduction is a serious crime. The act of abduction leads to ongoing forms of abuse toward a child.

When a child is abducted they should immediately be considered to be in great danger!

Law enforcement agencies need to act quickly to ensure that these innocent children are not going to be harmed.  The sociopathic behaviors that a kidnapping parent exhibits has them believing in their own mind what they are doing is in the best interest of the child.  When we think again about the fact that many of these cases revolve around revenge or retaliation, you can see it’s not out of the question to have the ultimate revenge be at the expense of the innocent child… with the act of filicide.2abc2-icarelogo

This is all very disconcerting, but one thing is for certain:  raising awareness and stewarding the message about the warning signs of international parental child abduction is the key.  This awareness has played a role in reducing the number of reported outbound child kidnapping cases originating in the United States by 15% during the last two consecutive years after nearly 30 years of continued growth.

If I may ask you to please share the warning signs of international abduction – you may very well be getting this information out to a family that needs it… ultimately possibly saving the life of an innocent child.  It is that desire, that is so ingrained in me, that I continue my fight each and every day!

Together we can, and are, making a difference.

– The I CARE Foundation –

International Parental Child Abduction: False Documents, Dual Passports And Border-Crossings

Standard

Peter Thomas Senese: “Illegally Obtained Child Passports At Core Of International Parental Child Abduction And Demonstrate Well-Planned Schemes of Kidnappers.”

In the wake of another international parental child abduction enabled because a parent-kidnapper was able to illegally obtain a valid passport for their child by allegedly forging the signature of the child’s other parent, one thing is certain: as the summer vacation approaches, many children will be targeted for international abduction.  This past memorial day, news traveled across North America because a young Colorado child was parentally abducted from his assaulted mother, and illegally removed to Canada despite an Amber Alert.

The abduction of three year old Luke Turner sounds the alarm of several serious concerns regarding a parent and a nation’s ability to protect children from abduction.

Of noteworthy concern are the following issues:

1. The abducting father was able to obtain a valid passport for the child by allegedly forging passport documents on behalf of the child’s mother.

2. The Amber Alert that was issued failed to reach the Canadian Border Control, and was limited to only several states.  Thus, creating concern over how local, untrained law enforcement charged with abduction cases may handle concern over illegal border exits based upon either a parent obtaining a valid passport under fraud, or, by traveling to an adjacent border (Mexico or Canada), or by traveling abroad by sea via a cruise ship under the existing Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative policy which requires a minor under 16 years of age to cross the border by land or sea by presenting a photocopy of a naturalization document.

3. The physical and potentially life-threatening length an abductor may go to cause the targeted other parent grave harm.

4. Concerns over international parental child abduction associated to dual passports and the inability of countries to effectively safeguard against abduction when a taking parent has in their possession a passport for their child issued by another nation (this occurs when that parent is a citizen of another country, which is always the case in multinational relationships).

Luke Turner’s abduction highlights many immediate challenges and grave concerns targeted parents of abduction are going to face as the summer approaches. Knowing the warning signs of international parental child abduction is critical. .

As stated by Detective Commander Jeff Satur, Mrs. Turner was not aware that Luke had an American passport.  According to U.S. law, both Mr. and Mrs. Turner were required to sign the passport application for their child. Clearly this did not happen, as the notion of abduction to Canada was initially not considered by law enforcement because Mrs. Turner did not know of the passport.

In a similar case of international parental child abduction case that utilized illegally obtained passports the I CARE Foundation was heavily involved in and played a key role in reunification, another Colorado mother had her two-year old son abducted to the not-so-cooperative non-Hague Convention country of Nigeria last year.

At the time of her son’s abduction, the child’s father had illegally obtained a valid U.S. passport for the child by forging the mother’s signature on the passport application. Then, under the guise of a weekend visitation, the father, who lived in Colorado, but possessed dual citizenship, fled to Africa.

Through great effort and cooperation from key individuals in Nigeria, the child was returned to the United States.  Seargent Paul Cortapasso, based out of New York, and who assisted the I CARE Foundation during the reunification process said, “It is very troubling to see how these illegally obtained passports for children are being obtained with relative ease and are unknown to the targeted parent.  The parallels between the two Colorado mothers and how the abductor was able to leave the country present a serious concern for society, particularly now as the summer months approach and abduction rates dramatically increase. I will never forget the sense of happiness I felt seeing the young child when he was returned from Nigeria.”

Raising awareness of international parental child abduction is one of the main defenses against abduction.In fact, over the past two years, international parental child abduction reported outbound cases originating from the United States has declined by 15% per year. This was accomplished in great part because of social stewardship about abduction.

Clearly, the key to stopping child kidnappings is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

One of the things we can do is modify the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative policy so that all children traveling abroad, regardless if they are traveling by land, sea, or air, must present a valid passport.

In addition, we must create a stronger verification system in place when passports are being requested for children.

We must be mindful that parents who possess a right of citizenship to another country provide a child of a multinational relationship the same right of citizenship.  Children who possess dual citizenship have a high rate of being victims of international parental child abduction when a marriage or relationship fails.

For more information of international parental child abduction, please visit the I CARE Foundation and Chasing The Cyclone. In Canada, please visit I Cheapeau.

Summer Vacations and Parental Abduction: When School Ends… Abductions Occur

Standard

As the summer vacation draws near, thousands of children will be victims of international parental child abduction – Peter Thomas Senese

f872b-icarelogocalltoarmsHi, I’m Peter Thomas Senese, the Founding Director of the I CARE Foundation and as the summer school vacation period approaches, I would like to share with you the assortment of warning signs and risk factors associated international parental child abduction that targets thousands upon thousands of unsuspecting parents and defenseless children each year primarily who are a product of a multi-national relationship or marriage that is or has ended. In sharing some key warning signs today, it is my hope that children will be protected from kidnapping and overwhelming abuse.

Now if you’re like hundreds of thousands of parents around the world the term international parental child abduction may be one you are not familiar with. . . . . . until a child you know is kidnapped and illegally detained in a foreign country by the child’s other parent.

Before I go any further, let me say this: the vast majority of children abducted abroad never come home. Tragically, some can’t – they are gone forever.

According to United States Federal Law, the illegal removal of a child from the country without consent of a court or the child’s other parent is a criminal act of kidnapping. The conspiracy that leads up to the child snatching is generally filled with a host of illegal activities, including false allegations toward the targeted parent of abuse toward the child or other parent. This is something I will touch upon later. However, one thing more than anything else should be clear: parental child abduction is not just an act of kidnapping against an innocent child, but inherently, an abducted child becomes a prisoner of the kidnapper forced to follow and obey the predators instruction under the deplorable acts of parental alienation that the kidnapper deploys as they need to rationalize their behavior toward the child-victim.

Generally, the vast majority of abductions are well-planned and are orchestrated so that the other parent is off-guard when the abduction occurs. Blindsided by the act of international parental child abduction – that tragically is treated very differently than a stranger abduction by law enforcement despite the act being a federal crime of kidnapping – parents who attempt to reunite with their child often enter a dark and dangerous world that will change their world forever.

But what are we fighting for?

Lives.

We’re fighting for a child’s life.

Filicide – a term you may not know – is the act of child murder by a parent. In the United States, hundreds of children are murdered by their parents each year. This is not a phenomenon – parental child murder is a reality that knows no borders.

In cases of parental child abduction the kidnapper uses the child as a pawn to cause hurt and suffering toward the other parent. Denying that parent access to the child is a common theme and often the reason why abduction occurs.

The fear is – the reality is – that many abductors exhibiting sociopath behavior often believe that if they can’t have sole custody of a child – nobody will. Additionally, there appears to be a strong correlation of adult suicides connected to child abduction victims.

None of its easy to discuss yet we’re all only three degrees of separation from knowing someone who may be a target of abduction.

In the course of events leading up to the actual abduction or attempted abduction there are clear warning signs that may allow a parent to protect themselves and their children. And with the summer months upon us – the time of year when most child kidnappings take place – I hope that some insight I will share may be of use to you.

On behalf of my colleagues at the I CARE Foundation, one thing is certain: raising awareness and stewarding the message about the warning signs of international parental child abduction has played a role in reducing the number of reported outbound child kidnapping cases originating in the United States by 15% during the last two consecutive years after nearly 30 years of continued growth.

Make no mistake; the reality is that tens of thousands of children living in cities and on farms across our nation are targeted for kidnapping each year. It is carefully estimated that only 10% of these children will ever come home when we consider the ‘reported’ and ‘unreported’ cases of abduction.

Do you really want to play those odds?

Now before I get into a list of warning signs of international abduction you may ask yourself why is international parental child abduction affecting tens of thousands of families?

The answer is complex, but in general terms, we are seeing a substantial increase in multi-national relationships, which personally I think is great; however, with the notion of ‘global citizenship’ comes some challenges.

You see, as our world becomes a closer, more connected society, individuals from different nations develop relationships with one another, some leading to the birth of a child. Unfortunately, some of these relationships end, and when they do, the foreign-born national parent often desires to return to their home country – and when they do – they usually have a desire to take the child with them.

Except they have one problem: the other parent does not want their child to live abroad after being born and raised in their home country.

Knowing that the likelihood of a court granting them permission to live abroad with their child more than likely will not occur, the parent seeking to relocate to a foreign country often creates a clever, well thought-out plan to either abduct the child from the child’s country of original jurisdiction, or, they will create a deceitful scheme that will enable them to legally remove the child from the country they live in – such as plans to travel on a family vacation with intentions of permanent removal.

Once they are abroad, the scheming parent will often lay a host of criminal charges against the other parent, including domestic physical and mental abuse, threats of murder, and outlandish acts of child abuse and neglect – all for one purpose: to sever the other parent’s relationship with the child and to gain legal actions to the foreign courts they are now physically located in by having the targeted parent arrested and prevented from seeing either them or the child.

Now what most individuals do not realize is that once that child steps foot on foreign soil, that child’s temporary welfare becomes the responsibility of the rules of law and courts of the country they are located in.

Which means this: the police and courts must follow the procedures established under their law: the targeted parent more than likely will be arrested, issued restraining orders against them, and have their access to their child denied until an investigation is done. In the meanwhile, the scheming taking parent files a host of legal motions in the country that will further restrain the targeted parent.

Welcome to a scheming kidnappers idea of a vacation.

Sometimes – and I have seen this happen many times – but a kidnapper will say that the other parent actually consented to have the child relocate . . . so that they can litigate ‘what’s in the child’s best interest’ abroad – in their country of origin – and at a tremendous disadvantage to the child’s other parent.

I want to make this very clear: the scheme of a parental child abductor does not discriminate by gender. Men and women generally abduct equally and often cite abuse and mistreatment as the reason why they abducted. They make the claim that they are not abductors but liberators fleeing abuse. The majority of these claims are false. They are lies created to defend against Federal kidnapping charges. They are lies created in hope a court would sanction the abduction under Article 13 of the Hague Convention – a rule that allows an abductor the ability to relocate if they can prove it is not in the child’s best interest to return to their home country. These lies are intended to cruelly cause the targeted parent suffering, including arrest in hope to make any litigation they may bring to reunite with their child difficult or impossible.

So if you think that since you may have a U.S. custody order, and that THAT order will allow you to simply go and bring your child home, you should know this: that once your child is in a foreign country, the pragmatic reality of the custody order you are in possession of may mean very little, especially if the abductor has made a criminal complaint against you and/or filed a civil action for custody. Usually, they happen at the same time.

And so here’s your reality: should you attempt to remove your child and take them home with you, you may be violating laws in the country you and your child are located in and you may be arrested . . . . Your custody order is at least temporarily, useless. Welcome to the world of parental child abduction.

But like Dante’ descending into the Inferno, your nightmare as a targeted chasing parent has only just begun. For example, as an American citizen, do you know that even though the abduction was a criminal act toward you and your child, you are responsible for 100% of all costs associated with finding, monitoring, and litigating your case, including the costs to bring your child home unless you become dead-broke – which often occurs for many targeted parents because the cost to reunite with a child often costs parents hundreds of thousands of dollars. So if you don’t have a large amount of money available, chances are you’re not going to bring your child home. But that’s not it: you still have to deal with the false charges and claims, and litigate abroad. If you don’t think foreign courts have prejudice, you are sadly mistaken.

And if you think you’ll simply be able to get an arrest warrant issued and seek extradition proceedings against the kidnapping parent, you’re in line for some serious disappointment because numerous countries that the United States has extradition agreements with do not have agreements in place regarding parental abduction. In fact, in certain countries, this is not even a crime!

Do you get the sense of hopelessness? If you do – welcome to the world of many chasing parents.

Add to it that while your child is gone, he or she is taught by the abductor to think you are a bad mother or father out to hurt them and their taking parent. Yes, parental alienation and parental isolation are alive and well – and in its abuse, it destroys the innocence and very fabric of your child.

So as the summer approaches, this is the time of year when parents need to be aware of the warning signs of parental child abduction.

I have often heard from parents who tragically stuck their head in the sand and didn’t pay attention to the warning signs that ‘Their partner was not that clever’, to find out just how cunning and deceitful they really were only after their child or children were gone.

The key to stopping child abduction is to prevent it from happening.

The MOST IMPORTANT WARNING sign of abduction is to understand the present relationship you have with the child’s other parent and ask yourself ‘May that parent have the intent, desire, ability, and means to take your child to another country without your permission, or possible intent to keep your child in a foreign country should you grant permission for your child to travel abroad with you, the other parent, or both of you?

Abduction often occurs as a prelude to parents separating or beginning divorce proceedings, though there are a significant number of abductions that occur post-divorce commencement litigation. In many cases, the abduction is a planned scheme, which means that generally, the parent intending to abduct a child will try to create an atmosphere that is opposite of their intent: meaning that they will try lull the other parent to thinking that they are committed to the relationship, when in fact they are not. This is a critical issue because it is easier to abduct a child when the targeted parent is not seeking to prevent abduction. So having the targeted parent think that there is a loving, committed relationship is critical for the abductor.

So – if you have been in a difficult, strained relationship with a person who has deep ties to a foreign country, and suddenly that person is demonstrating a new-found love or new-found commitment . . . and they eventually pose the idea of traveling abroad with the child so the child could visit that person’s family, THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS WARNING SIGN that abduction may be planned.

Remember, even if you are invited to travel with the other parent and child, this does not mean you or your child are safe. I know many parents who traveled abroad with the other parent and child who were in possession of custody orders – only to have false claims of abuse, neglect, or acts of violence made against them within days of touching down in the foreign country. Once that happens, the legal nightmare begins – despite possessing joint custody, there is very little that the targeted parent can do to remove the child from the inbound country because the abducting parent usually has filed legal documents seeking court relief to remain abroad – typically in their country of origin.

So here we are – the school summer vacation season is upon us. Parents need to ask themselves this question: Has my relationship with my child’s other parent been strained, and all of a sudden there is a new-found love or commitment by that parent – and is there a trip abroad being suggested or planned? Because if so – you should be very concerned.

As touched upon earlier, if you believe the other parent may remove or retain the child abroad in order to gain an advantage in expected or pending child-custody proceedings by seeking the jurisdiction of the courts located in their country of origin, you should be very concerned.

For example, if a child is taken to a nation in the Middle East, there is a high probability that that nation will allow the abductor to keep the child abroad since the legal environment or cultural traditions may provide the abductor the safe harbor they seek.

In fact, there are many nations who simply do not return internationally kidnapped children, and this includes the majority of countries found in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, who outrageously, are not signatory members of international treaties on abduction. And before I let you think that having a child abducted to European or South American countries is any better you better think again. For example, I have a good friend who is a highly decorated police officer in New York who had his daughter abducted to Germany. For nearly 4 years this loving, honest, compassionate father has fought to reunite with his child. Yet she remains in Germany and he is as close as bringing her home today as he was when the kidnapping first occurred.

Unfortunately, there are countries, particularly in the Middle East, that have cultural environments that make it very difficult for a woman to recover their child. Cultural norms in Asia make it equally difficult for a man to recover their child. But child recovery and reunification is rare. In fact, there are many cases when the international courts order for a child to be returned to their country of original jurisdiction, and the kidnapping parent does not follow the court orders and does so without fear of retribution or arrest . . . . it’s a common theme.

Now back to the WARNING SIGNS – If the other parent threatens you that they will take your child abroad and you will never see them, don’t take this threat as a non-event. Many abductors who have successfully kept a child abroad did in fact make at least one threat that they were returning to their own country of origin.

Another WARNING SIGN is if the other parent presses you to sign a passport application for your child to obtain a passport from their country of their origin. Remember – your child has a right to dual citizenship if their other parent is a foreign-born national.

BEWARE that many nations do not require a second parent’s signature in order to obtain travel documents for a dual national child. . . for example France – so you very well may not know if the other parent has a secondary passport issued from another country. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT because even though the U.S. courts may obtain or even cancel your child’s American passports, they have no control on passports issued by another country. The fact is that even though a U.S. court order may restrict international travel for the child – passports issued by a foreign country are accepted without question at points of departure from the U.S. “

So if abduction is going to occur – there is a high probability that foreign issued passports will be used to leave the United States.

NEEDLESS TO SAY, if you discover a foreign passport for your child issued from another country that you were not aware of, you have a serious problem on your hand.

Often the scheming parent will use a sudden illness of a family member abroad as a scheme to play on the targeted parent’s heart, often seeking to have their child, ‘See their grandmother or grandfather before they pass away.’ I can’t even begin to tell you how many scenarios like that I am aware of – when the targeted parent who let their child travel with the other parent – soon finds out that there was no family emergency, but instead – an abduction scheme.

A CRITICAL WARNING SIGN is if you soon realize that the other parent is sending large sums of money or other personal belongings abroad – or if they are removing all financial ties to the country they presently live in . . . such as selling their home, quitting their job, selling their car. You get the idea.

There is one other VERY IMPORTANT WARNING SIGN that I would like to touch upon here: if there is a false police complaint and incident report filed by your child’s other parent against you, there is a likelihood that they are establishing a case against you based upon domestic violence and abuse which will be very beneficial to them in court should they abduct your child.

Disgracefully, both men and women abductors are known to make false claims of abuse toward the other parent when planning to abduct . . . if you think it can’t happen to you – you better think again.

With false police complaints in mind, there is something every parent should be aware of: generally, a parent seeking to abduct a child will often make a false police report against the other parent on Thursday afternoons thru Friday afternoon in hope to have their targeted parent arrested and detained by law enforcement over the weekend so that while the child’s other parent is in jail, they have an unimpeded path to depart the country.

When the abductor arrives in the inbound country where they had schemed to abduct the child to – they have established a paper trail of domestic abuse or violence reports that may provide the court in the foreign country with all the evidence they need to allow the abductor the right to keep the child there, thus becoming a ‘liberator’ as opposed to an ‘abductor’ because they created the false appearance that they had to run to protect their lives.

Remember, children under 16 years of age living in the United States, Canada, or Mexico are not required to present a valid passport when traveling within North America so long as they travel by land or sea under policies established by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative . . . . which means that a closed circuit cruise ship that starts and ends in the same port, but that may travel to foreign ports, is in fact a vehicle for abductors to use.

Hopefully the I CARE Foundation’s efforts will cause our government to modify this policy and mandate that children traveling abroad, regardless of age must present a valid passport.

The Truth is that there are a substantial amount of warning signs of abduction, and parents need to pay attention to them TODAY.

Should you believe that your child is at risk of abduction, please contact a qualified attorney who has true experience litigating international child abduction prevention cases.

If child abduction is in process, please contact law enforcement immediately as well as a qualified attorney familiar with abduction. You should also immediately contact the United States Department of State’s OFFICE OF CHILDREN’S ISSUES.

As the summer approaches, the reality is that thousands of children will be targeted for abduction. It is anticipated that several thousand children will be kidnapped abroad when combining reported and unreported cases of abduction.

Of these children taken, only a small number will ever return home . . . ever see their targeted parent again . . . ever return to the community they were raised in . . . ever see their family now left behind.

In the process, their identity will be stolen . . . who they are will be denied . . . they will learn to know hatred because that is what an abductor will preach to them in order to have that child hate their left behind parent . . . and they will live a life as a fugitive.

Most of all they will become prisoners illegally detained by a vengeful abductor who is using that child to cause harm and destruction to the other parent.

Tragically, these children will lose their innocence. As I said earlier, many will never come home . . . some simply will never have the opportunity to . . . . they can’t.2570b-chasingthecyclonehardcoverjacket

For more information I urge you to visit the I CARE Foundation’s website. You may also visit the official website for Chasing The Cyclone, which is the website of my deeply inspired novel about international child abduction that contains an extensive amount of resources. And of course, you should visit the United States Department Of State Official Website, particularly if abduction is in progress.

Protect yourself and your child. Educate yourself.

~ Peter Thomas Senese