Where a child has been taken away from the person who provides their day-to-day care without that person’s permission this is known as child abduction. The threat of removal may require urgent legal action to prevent it from happening.
The legal protections that are available depend on the case and the country to which the child has been taken:
- Child abduction within England and Wales (including the prevention of abduction)
- Child abduction within the UK
- Child abduction between Convention countries
- Child abduction and non-Convention countries
At TV Edwards, our family solicitors can advise you on what to do in the case of an actual or potential child abduction.
Child is in England and Wales
If the child has been abducted within England and Wales, and it is thought that they are still here, the English courts can be asked to help trace and/or recover them.
Child is outside England and Wales
If the child has been taken to or kept in a country that has signed up to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, known as the “Hague Convention” then the legal process can be complex. The Hague Convention can be used to enable the child to quickly be returned to the country in which they usually live.
This is very specialist work, and our family law team is one of a small number in England and Wales to be appointed to the Ministry of Justice’s International Child Abduction & Contact Unit panel of solicitors. That means that our family solicitors can be instructed in Hague and European Convention cases (ICACU).
If a child is abducted and taken out of England and Wales to a country that has not signed the Hague Convention, there may be an agreement between England and the other country, about returning abducted children.
You may find the Reunite website helpful.
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