Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2014

Does Canada have a central department that helps families struggling to deal with international abduction issues? Strongly recommend reading the entire legislation from the United Stated or an excerpt below with the sheer volume of families impacted every year. What this article fails to mention is the costs born by every citizen of a country associated with international abduction. pdf file



(a) FINDINGS.—Congress finds the following: (1) Sean Goldman, a United States citizen and resident of New Jersey, was abducted from the United States in 2004 and separated from his father, David Goldman, who spent nearly 6 years battling for the return of his son from Brazil before Sean was finally returned to Mr. Goldman’s custody on December 24, 2009.

(2) The Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues, which serves as the Central Authority of the United States for the purposes of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (referred to in this Act as the ‘‘Hague Abduction Convention’’), has received thousands of requests since 2007 for assistance in the return to the United States of children who have been wrongfully abducted by a parent or other legal guardian to another country.

(3) For a variety of reasons reflecting the significant obstacles to the recovery of abducted children, as well as the legal and factual complexity involving such cases, not all cases are reported to the Central Authority of the United States.

(4) More than 1,000 outgoing international child abductions are reported every year to the Central Authority of the United States, which depends solely on proactive reporting of abduction cases.

(5) Only about one-half of the children abducted from the United States to countries with which the United States enjoys reciprocal obligations under the Hague Abduction Convention are returned to the United States.

(6) The United States and other Convention countries have expressed their desire, through the Hague Abduction Convention, ‘‘to protect children internationally from the harmful effects of their wrongful removal or retention and to establish procedures to ensure their prompt return to the State of their habitual residence, as well as to secure protection for rights of access.’’

(7) Compliance by the United States and other Convention countries depends on the actions of their designated central authorities, the performance of their judicial systems as reflected in the legal process and decisions rendered to enforce or effectuate the Hague Abduction Convention, and the ability and willingness of their law enforcement authorities to ensure the swift enforcement of orders rendered pursuant to the Hague Abduction Convention.

(8) According to data from the Department of State, approximately 40 percent of abduction cases involve children taken from the United States to countries with which the United States does not have reciprocal obligations under the Hague Abduction Convention or other arrangements relating to the resolution of abduction cases.

(9) According to the Department of State’s April 2010 Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, ‘‘parental child abduction jeopardizes the child and has substantial long-term consequences for both the child and the left-behind parent.’’

(10) Few left-behind parents have the extraordinary financial resources necessary—

(A) to pursue individual civil or criminal remedies in both the United States and a foreign country, even if such remedies are available; or

(B) to engage in repeated foreign travel to attempt to obtain the return of their children through diplomatic or other channels.

(11) Military parents often face additional complications in resolving abduction cases because of the challenges presented by their military obligations.

(12) In addition to using the Hague Abduction Convention to achieve the return of abducted children, the United States has an array of Federal, State, and local law enforcement, criminal justice, and judicial tools at its disposal to prevent international abductions.

(13) Federal agencies tasked with preventing international abductions have indicated that the most effective way to stop international child abductions is while they are in progress, rather than after the child has been removed to a foreign destination.

(14) Parental awareness of abductions in progress, rapid response by relevant law enforcement, and effective coordination among Federal, State, local, and international stakeholders are critical in preventing such abductions.

(15) A more robust application of domestic tools, in cooperation with international law enforcement entities and appropriate application of the Hague Abduction Convention could—

(A) discourage some parents from attempting abductions;

(B) block attempted abductions at ports of exit; and

(C) help achieve the return of more abducted children.


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