Monday, November 5, 2012

Christmas, Divorce and Child Abduction: Letting Your Child Travel Abroad With Their Other Parent During The Christmas Holiday Season

Chasing The Cyclone
Peter Thomas Senese
Parents Dealing With Divorce Should Not Let Their Children Travel Abroad With The Other Parent During The Christmas Holiday Season - International Parental Child Abduction.

The Christmas Holiday Season is also one of the most prominent times of year when many children are internationally abducted by one parent from another. It is critically important that any parent who is in a partnership with an individual who originates from or has family abroad to be highly suspect of the possibility of international parental child abduction during this time of year.

As in all cases of parental abduction, these crimes against children are well-thought-out, well-planned and designed to catch a targeted parent off-guard and unsuspecting that a horrible scheme is underway to have their child taken. 

And the schemes that eventually see children abducted or illegally detained abroad are being carried out right now.

However, if you know the warning signs to look for, parents have a fair chance of protecting their child or children from abduction

With 100,000 to 125,000 American Children and anywhere from 12,500 to 20,000 Canadian children reported to be expected to be internationally abducted over the next ten years DO NOT STICK YOUR HEAD IN THE GROUND:  International parental child abduction is a pandemic that silently steals children.  

Don't let your child be abducted.  Educate yourself.

You should know only an estimated 10% of all children internationally abducted ever come home. 

What To Look For

In many instances of cross-border parental child abduction that occurs during the holiday season, generally the largest number of incidents takes place when one parent travels to another country with their child or children of a relationship accompanied by, or with the initial consent of the other parent.  

Generally, the travel takes place under a guise of a holiday trip abroad to visit family members of the parent intending to abduct.  Of course, the targeted parent is clueless as to what is really going on. 

So for example, Father X was born and raised in the Middle East but married Woman Y, who is an American citizen.  The couple lives in the United States, where their child was born and raised. 

Unknown to the the woman in the relationship, the husband wants to end the relationship and relocate back to his country of origin back in the Middle East.  However, he has one problem: he knows that his wife will never allow for him to legally take the child with him.

So instead of announcing his true intent to separate, the husband will create critically important misdirection.  Meaning, he will do everything possible to make his wife believe that he is happy and committed in the relationship.   

I did say everything possible.  


Becuase it is critical that she put her guard down and not suspect any foul play or scheme.

In the meantime, little things - that are really big things - may be taking place visibly or without knowledge of the targeted parent.  There are many warning signs to look for, but if the subtleties are not carefully considered, then the would-be abductor will get away with their plan.

So the husband who is intending to abduct the child by wrongfully detaining the child abroad will continue to create a facade of being happily married and committed to the relationship while carefully laying out a plan to get the child abroard.

Eventually, and right about this time of the year, the would-be abductor makes the suggestion that it would be 'great' or 'nice' or 'meaningful' to travel abroad together or without the other parent (depending on reasonable circumstances) in order to see his parents, siblings, and extended family.  And of course, all of this is in the best interest of the child of the partnership. 

Now, since the wife may believe the husband is committed to their relationship and does not even consider that he may have intent to not return to their marital home, she more than likely is willing to consent to the holiday vacation. 

Unfortunately for the mother and child, the trip takes place.  

Unknown to both, the parent intending to abduct has already hatched a well-thought out plan, including what may be necessary to keep the child abroad while removing the other parent's rights to the child abroad. 

Everything is deception - and everything must be considered. 

For example: the husband may ship certain belongings like a crib or a stroller and other items of the child that may create the appearnace the other parent knew he was relocating - and gave consent! Or, he may have begun to move his assets abroad. 

Once abroad with his wife and child, the woudl-be abductor may make false accusations of child or spousal abuse (men and women both claim abuse in cases of of planned abduction), claims of drug use, or any other claim that may indicate that the child is at risk.

By stating the child is at risk, this could potentially allow a local court in the foreign country to grant him immediate custody of the child - even though the child's original jurisdiction is in the country they were born and raised.  In addition, in cases where a Hague Application may be filed, the abductor has laid ground for an Article 13 Defense (which evolves around the best interest of the child). 

If it sounds complicated, it is. 

It is important for individuals married or in a relationship with partners who originate from non-Hague countries such as those located in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to understand that if you are traveling to nations located in these areas and the other parent intends to not return to the child to the country of original jurisdiction, there is a very good chance they will be successful in keeping the child abroad . . . and your contact will be limited or absolved completely. Additionally, it is important to pay careful attention to Hague-Convention non-complying countries such as Germany, Brazil, Mexico, and Poland. 

Of course, if you ever plan to travel abroad and have been involved in a suspecious or strained relationship, please contact an attorney who is familiar with international parental child abduction prevention.  

Though I am not an attorney, I would highly advise you consider obtaining a court order prior to travel that the child is to be returned.  However, remember - in countries that are not members of internatinal treaties regarding abduction or do not comply to such said treaties - if a child is taken - it will be very costly and difficult to bring your child home. 

So - if you have any suspecion that an abduction might be planned - and this time of year is the planning period for the high number of Christmas Holiday Abductions that occur - seek the advice of a qualified lawyer - and do not let your child travel abroad under any circumstance.  Pay attention to the warning signs and act now!

Raising Awareness - The Power Of A Book

The American Flag
U.S. Senate Citation
As many know, I am committed to not only raising awareness about child abduction, but through the I CARE Foundation I am the Founding Director of, I am absolutely committed to stopping abduction by creating new laws and policiies that help prevent abduction or reunite children  who have been abducted.  And whenever possible, the I CARE Foundation will do what is necessary to help safely and legally bring a child home - something we have accomplished on numerous occassions thus far this year. 

I am pleased to share my deeply inspired novel Chasing The Cyclone continues to have a significant impact on a large and growing number of children and targeted parents of international abduction.  

In fact, the natural progress of events beginning from the initial e-book publication of Chasing The Cyclone led to the creation of the not-for profit I CARE Foundation.  I am happy to share that through the efforts of the I CARE Foundation dozens of children who have either been internationally kidnapped or who have been targeted for international abduction have either been safely reunited with their families or were actually protected from abduction, and remain safely home.

This is a fairly significant statement when considering that the foundation's volunteer reunification efforts represents a  noteworthy number of all American children who have come home.  Truth is, the majority of children will never come home. Some simply can't: they are gone forever.

And this sentiment is not a piece of fiction: it is reality.  And it sucks. And it is worth standing up and fighting for.
Best-Selling Author
Peter Thomas Senese 
I think for any author, the biggest goal when writing any book is to have an impact on your intended audience.  The financial success of a book is obviously important; however, the desire to influence others is the real intent.

And with dozens of children either rescued or protected from abduction thus far, combined with the many initiatives the I CARE Foundation has under way that will further help others, I am pleased with Chasing The Cyclone's impact thus far. But there is a long way to go.
Having seen first-hand the horrors of abduction, I am committed to continuing fighting this fight. Fortunately, governments from around the world are taking notice of the I CARE Foundation's work - which means we're making a difference. 
In fact, last month I had the opportunity to participate in the United State's Department of State's 'International Visitor Leadership Program' at the United State's Mission to the United Nations concerning the foundation's advanced work in child abduction and human trafficking prevention.  It was a great honor, particularly when considering some of the incredible global leaders who have previously participated in the program. 
Unquestionably, the publication of 'Chasing The Cyclone' has helped many parents and children new laws have been passed, new policies implemented, and new legislation that could help stop abduction and trafficking is on the horizon - and children are home. 
From Left to Right
Chris Morris, Eugene Pothy &
I CARE Founder Peter Thomas Senese

My financial commitment to the I CARE Foundation and support of the organization's efforts to help children remains steadfast as shared by I CARE Board Member, Hague Convention Attorney Network member and highly respect attorney Joel Walter in a very kind article he shared on his website. In fact, I have donated 100% of all of my various novel's proceeds over the past year to the I CARE Foundation: it is a commitment I intend to continue (outside of the month of November, when all proceeds will be donated to help victims of Hurricane Sandy).
Being able to assist the I CARE Foundation has been a responsibility of mine that in truth has been a privilege to uphold.   But truth is, nearly seven years ago I never even knew the collective words international parental child abduction were.  Nor did I realize that I was one of a surging number of individuals who were not familiar with this vonocular.  And quite frankly, at that time, most individuals in society did not realize the severity of this crime or what a chasing parent will go through to safely bring home their child.  Nor did they realize that sociopathic tendancies of an abusive abductor, who, not only would kidnap a child, but would attempt to slander and defame the targted other parent because international law has established a loophole known as the 'Abductors Defense' (Hague Convention: Article 13) that know targeted parent is immune from.

To read about Chasing The Cyclone's impact, click here.  To purchase Chasing The Cyclone, please visit Amazon or BN.                                     

Most of all, if you are in a multi-cultural relationship and you think there may be a chance that your spouse or partner may try to abduct your child during the coming holiday season, please pay attention to the information I have provided.  International parental child abduction is only three degrees of seperation from impacting someone you know.