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

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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

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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 And The I CARE Foundation Release International Travel Child Consent Form

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Peter Senese & The I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form:  Being Utilized By The Legal Community Worldwide In An Effort To Stop International Parental Child Abduction


Soon after the worldwide release of the I CARE Foundation’s groundbreaking International Travel Child Consent Form, it has now been made available in English, Spanish, French, and Korean.  Highly respected international family lawyers are referring to this landmark abduction prevention tool as a pioneering, leading-edge resource that is expected to reduce the number of worldwide international parental child abductions.

The International Travel Child Consent Form was conceptually created during an I CARE Foundation conference held at the United Nations on abduction. It was constructed to create a conclusive and categorically undeniable evidentiary agreement between two parents that affirms a child’s country of original jurisdiction prior to travel abroad is permitted while emphatically removing many common abduction defenses established under the Hague Convention child-kidnappers often use to mislead the courts during litigation.

Peter Thomas Senese of the I CARE Foundation stated, “The now released International Travel Child Consent Form is steep in Hague-oriented case law with focus on Articles 1, 12, 13 and 20 of the convention. It was created to affirm and uphold original jurisdiction of a child, affirm the child’s country of permanent residency, and remove any misleading legal defenses an abductor may attempt to utilize under Articles 12, 13, and 20 of the Hague Convention. One of the most important aspects of the new resource is that it also establishes strong support for a child’s immediate return under Article 1 of the Hague Convention. We may not have created a new international law; however, we have created a universal tool that will stop many international abductions.”

Esteemed Washington D.C. uber international family law attorney Armin U. Kuder, partner at the highly respected firm Kuder, Smollar & Friedman, has been named in every article identifying leading family lawyers in the prestigious ‘Washingtonian Magazine’ while also has been named in ‘The Best Lawyers in America’ since the publication’s inception, provided insight on the pragmatic usefulness of the ‘International Travel Child Consent Form’ when he said, “If there is no prior attempt at international abduction of a child, it is extremely difficult to convince a court that it is going to happen. The I Care Foundation International Travel Child Consent Form is a powerful tool for exposing a would-be abductor’s intent. If a parent will not sign the form, we have compelling evidence to present to a court in support of limitations on travel, use of passports, and conditions for access to the child.”

Carolina Marín Pedreño is a partner at the prestigious London-based law firm of Dawson Cornwell, Carolina Marín Pedreño is the Founding Member of FASIM, an international association of attorneys based in Barcelona created to prevent and assist with international child abduction cases. Additionally, Carolina is the Secretary of the British and Spanish Law Association, a member of the Spanish Association of Family Lawyers, AEAFA, Resolution, Reunite: International Child Abduction Centre, the Society of British and Argentine Lawyers, and the Association of Lawyers for Children. She added, “As a practitioner I am very optimistic about the effect the consent form will have in reducing kidnapping. I have just offered to use it in a case in London to offer reassurance to the other parent and minimize any concerns they have about agreeing to a holiday abroad due to a perceived risk of kidnapping. The international judiciary should embrace it as a preventive tool.”

The ‘Christopher Morris International Travel Consent Form’ is named in honor of New York police officer Christopher Morris’ and his legal fight to reunite with his daughter. Despite being a 911 hero, a former member of the FDNY, and a highly decorated police officer, Mr. Morris’ three year struggle to reunite with is daughter demonstrates nobody is immune to abduction. Mr. Morris was present at the conference on abduction held at the United Nations. He commented, “There are thousands of tragedies of abduction occurring each year because parents wrongfully detains a child abroad and then attempt to have a court sanction their disobedient act by further dishonest acts of trying to convince the court there was consent to relocate or it is in the best interest of the child to remain abroad due to abuse. If the I CARE Foundation’s travel consent form was available and had been signed before my daughter traveled to Germany, she would be in New York today. Peter Thomas Senese and the I CARE Foundation continue important and meaningful work to help children around the world. Every parent should utilize this form when a child is traveling abroad.”

Mexico’s Carlos Alvarado is a partner at the International Law Group and considered one of the most knowledgeable international family law attorneys in Mexico. Mr. Alvarado was responsible for codifying and translating the I CARE Foundation’s travel consent form into Spanish. Mr. Alvarado added, “The International Law Group has confidence this new International Travel Child Consent Form will be an excellent tool to prevent international child abductions by inhibiting parents or legal guardians abduct. I am confident governments and its agencies, including courts, will be willing to “enforce” the use of this form for all minors traveling abroad. There are no reasons for a parent or guardian not to sign it if there are no intentions to abduct. I have sent the form to a large number of colleagues in Mexico, including current Judges. Their unanimous opinions were the same: This may not stop international abduction but we all should spread and “enforce” the use of this form to prevent it, and, in case of litigation, have another element to build a stronger case. Litigation of abduction cases are difficult and extremely expensive. This new doctrine should drastically reduce the challenges of reunification in many cases.”

New York City attorney Barbara Bevando Sobal, a leading pioneer in Hague Convention Cases, and considered by many in the legal profession as one of the most knowledgeable international family law practitioners and who has been directly involved in over 450 international child abduction cases and who represents clients all over the world provided expert insight on the relevance and need of the I CARE Foundation’s landmark tool when she said, “As an attorney for 26 years, working on Hague Convention cases for 23 years, and having recovered, consulted, been involved with and participated in more than 450 Hague Convention cases, the I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form is crucial to Hague Convention Prevention cases. It is not only instructive, and, provides protections that can allay a consenting parents fear of a no-return, but, it is also helpful to Judges in the event that the parties reach an Agreement, consistent with this form, during a contentious travel litigation.”

Silvia A. Sejas Pardo, a highly respected Argentinean and Spanish international lawyer based in Spain and who is a Founding Member of FASIM, an international association of attorneys dedicated to preventing child abduction commented, “The consent form is simple and clear which makes it an easy instrument to implement globally. The I CARE is providing with the consent form a unique, applicable tool to prevent child abduction. The international community should welcome it. Hopefully it would become a common piece of paper to travel with.”

To download a copy of the ‘International Travel Child Consent Form’ in English or Spanish please visit the I CARE Foundation’s official websitehttp://www.stopchildabduction.org/

International Travel Child Consent Form and Parental Child Abduction Prevention

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Child Custody Fights, Divorce, Summer Vacation and International Travel Child Consent Forms: The I CARE Foundation

The I CARE Foundation: Dedicated To Stopping International Parental Child Abduction

When parents are involved in high conflict child custody disputes, especially those of an international nature, where a child may be traveling abroad… parents need to think carefully and be very aware of the risks involved for their child in relation to international travel.

International parental child abduction associated with child custody disputes and litigation related to travel permission granted by a court is commonplace.  In reality, if a parent wants to abduct a child and not return them, they have a good chance of succeeding and not returning with the child.

Often, parents 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.

I speak from personal travel when I tell you that unless there is an international travel child consent form that has immediate ramifications attached to it, then a parent and child targeted for abduction are in serious risk. Abduction is not in the best interest of a child.

Often the best agreements do not work because they do not take into consideration a wide range of abduction-related defenses a taking parent may use. This is true despite the best intent of lawyers and judges trying to come up with a smart solution during child custody litigation.

Unfortunately, there are many times when a targeted parent consents to travel with their spouse or partner – not knowing that they are a target of abduction.

They are tricked.

Remember, fraud, schemes, and conspiracy to fraud and kidnap a child are commonplace in international parental child abduction.

In essence, they travel with the child and other parent to another country. Once abroad, the other parent puts into action a plan to permanently remove the child from the other parents life. Often the best efforts of a targeted parent fail.

International parental child abduction is complicated.

The Hague Convention offers civil remedies for children and parents of abduction. However, the process can be difficult at times and often does not work due to the complexities of law and the limited support a targeted parent may receive litigating their case to reunite with their child.

The best way to prevent abduction is to stop international parental child abduction.

The I CARE Foundation has created a unique International Travel Child Consent Form intended to assist ensure the child’s return home should there be an abduction.

With a significant number of international child abductions that will occur this summer based upon wrongful detention of a child abroad, the I CARE Foundation’s International Travel Child Consent Form may be one of the best tools available to assist parents and children at risk of abduction.

The travel consent form for the child must be signed and notarized by both parents.

Please visit the I CARE Foundation website to download a free copy of the International Travel Child Consent Form.

Parents involved in child custody disputes, separation or divorce must be proactive in protecting their children.  Being proactive is the best way to protect your child.

Please visit The I CARE Foundation.

To read more about my writing and novels, including ‘Chasing The Cyclone’ please visit my official website.

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Kind regards to all,

Peter Thomas Senese

Scams and Fraudulent Acts Used To Kidnap Children During Summer Vacations

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

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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

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“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 –

Trinidad and Tobago To Sign Hague Convention On The Civil Aspects On International Child Abduction

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The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago will no longer tolerate international child abduction as it has now formally acceded into signatory status with the United States with respect to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction.

“Although international child abduction is not a new problem, the incidence of such abductions continues to grow with the ease of international travel, the increase in bi-cultural marriages and the rise in the divorce rate. International child abductions have serious consequences for both the child and the left-behind parent,” began an official statement issued by the Trinadad and Tobago government. “The child is removed, not only from contact with the other parent, but also from his or her home environment and transplanted to a culture with which he or she may have had no prior ties. International abductors move the child to another State with a different legal system, social structure, culture and, often, language. These differences, plus the physical distance generally involved, can make locating, recovering and returning internationally abducted children complex and problematic.”

The statement said that in keeping with the measures outlined in the convention, the ‘Civil Child Abduction Authority’ has since been established to act as the country’s Central Authority in order  “to deal with all matters relating to the civil aspects of international child abduction between Trinidad and Tobago and contracting territories”. The announcement was made following talks between Trinadad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and US Vice-President Joe Biden at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

The accession, which makes Trinidad and Tobago to become the 69th nation to be accepted by the United States would have happened sooner as the United States expressed interest in partnering with Trinidad and Tobago. However, discussions only began in November 2011 when the head of the central authority was appointed.

According to the International Child Abduction Act, 2008, a Central Authority known as the Civil Child Abduction Authority, was established in the Ministry of the Attorney General to deal with all matters relating to the civil aspects of international child abduction between Trinidad and Tobago and other countries. Under this authority to date, Trinidad and Tobago has partnered with 48 member states. The accession was confirmed in Cabinet note No. 121 dated May 21, 2013.

In commenting on the accession, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said, “It is a signal of the continued strengthening of diplomatic relations between the two nations,” and continued by emphasized the importance of “protecting the most vulnerable sect within our two societies—children.” The United States Central Authority continues to provide input to the Governments of Japan, Morocco, Russia, Singapore, and Thailand, as each country has drafted implementing legislation for Convention ratification or accession.

United States Central Authority officials have also met with foreign officials from the following countries to discuss IPCA and progress towards joining the Convention including Egypt, Ghana, India, Japan, Jordan, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.

Julie Rosen of the I CARE Foundation commented, “The foundation’s attorneys have worked closely with counsel in T and T as well as Anand Ramlogan’s office, in providing practical advice on the challenges of international abduction in a way that assists targeted children while also remaining true to the spirit of the procedures required from a Central Authority. This is a big step forward for our friends in the Republic of Trinadad and Tobago, as well as children living in the Caribbean.”