International child abduction has been a problem for centuries. When a child is taken unlawfully by one of the parents -- or by another individual -- to another country, it presents the potential for legal difficulties. Parents may have a hard time convincing a foreign court to order their child returned. However, if the foreign country has signed the Hague Convention, parents will have an easier time working with foreign courts in their efforts to get their children back home where they belong.
Here are some of the central provisions offered under the Hague Convention:
- Hague Convention countries must establish a "Central Authority," which serves as the point of contact for governments and parents alleging that a child abduction took place.
- The Central Authority will assist in locating abducted children and support the amicable resolution of parental abduction matters. The Central Authority will also assist in returning the children when deemed appropriate.
- Documents collected by the Central Authority may be used as court evidence in partnering countries without the formalities that may normally be required when submitting documents in court from a foreign country.
- Hague Convention countries must accept proof of parentage that satisfies the laws of the countries where the child is from.
- The immigration status and nationality of the child and/or the parents will not be information that determines where the child's residence should be.
If your child was abducted or taken unlawfully to another country, it's important to act fast in order to try to get your child back. Parents facing this kind of situation will therefore want to speak with a Pennsylvania child custody lawyer who has experience representing parents in their efforts to get their children returned from foreign countries.
Source: U.S. Department of State, "Important Features of the Hague Abduction Convention - Why the Hague Convention Matters," accessed Aug. 31, 2017