What is Parental Child Abduction?

Parental child abduction occurs when a parent removes or keeps a child from the other parent's care—most often during or after divorce proceedings. Parental child abductions may occur within the same city, state or country, or may even occur internationally. Depending on the laws of the state and country in which the child abduction occurs, the abduction may or may not constitute a criminal offense.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty designed to help recover children abducted to another country by a parent or family member. The United States signed this into law in 1988. However, not all countries are signatories to the Hague Convention and recovering a child that has been taken overseas remains problematic.