Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Treaty provides a provides a legal framework for securing the prompt return of wrongfully removed or retained children to the country of their habitual residence where a competent court can make decisions on issues of custody and the child’s “best interests” and to secure protection of access rights.
Explanatory Report Known as the “Perez-Vera Report,” this commentary explains the legislative history and intended meaning of the Convention’s articles.
Legal Analysis Department of State’s legal analysis of the Hague Abduction Convention. 51 Federal Register 10494 et seq.
International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA) Establishes procedures for bringing Hague Abduction Convention cases in United States courts, and authorizes the U.S. Central Authority to access federal databases to locate abducted children, among other provisions. 22 U.S.C. § 9001 et seq. (formerly 42 U.S.C. § 11601 et seq.)
International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA), 22 U.S.C. § § 9101 - 9141 The International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA). President Obama signed into law H.R. 3212, ICAPRA, on August 8, 2014. The overall goals of ICAPRA are to return abducted children as expeditiously as possible, to prevent new abductions, and to strengthen and expand the Hague Abduction Convention worldwide. For information about Title III, Prevention of International Child Abduction, click here.
Fugitive Felon Act (Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution, “UFAP”), 18 U.S.C. 1073 When a person accused under state law of felony parental kidnapping flees the jurisdiction, local and state prosecutors may seek a federal “UFAP” warrant, pursuant to which the FBI may investigate. The fugitive, once arrested, is prosecuted under state law upon return to that jurisdiction.
International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act of 1993, 18 U.S.C. 1204 It is a federal felony to remove a child younger than 16 from the United States, or attempt to do so, or retain a child outside the United States with the intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights. Parental rights are broadly defined and do not depend upon a court order. The act provides affirmative defenses. The Act states Congress’ intention that Hague Convention remedies be pursued where available.
Extradition Treaties Interpretation Act of 1998, 18 U.S.C. 3181 This federal statute authorizes the U.S. to interpret “kidnapping” in “list” treaties to include parental kidnapping. Missing Children Laws
42 U.S.C. 653, 654, 663, Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980 This federal statute allows “authorized persons” to obtain address information from the Federal Parent Locator Service in connection with the enforcement or determination of child custody/visitation, and in cases of parental kidnapping. Missing Children’s Act, 42 U.S.C. 5771 Requires law enforcement to enter complete descriptions of missing children into NCIC, even if the abductor has not been charged with a crime National Child Search Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5779-5780 This federal law requires each Federal, State, and local law enforcement agency to enter information about missing children younger than age 21 into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database within two hours of receiving a missing-person report.
Passport issuance U.S. law requires both parents to consent to the issuance of U.S. passports for children under the age of 16, unless the applying parent is the sole parent, or unless there are serious concerns about the child’s welfare. The child and at least one parent must generally appear in person to apply for the child’s U.S. passport.