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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Parental Kidnapping


Term Definition Parental Kidnapping - the act of one parent illegally taking a child in violation of a court order.
Application in Divorce Parental rights do not include illegal removing a child to outflank a custody arrangement approved by a court.

Parental kidnapping is a crime. According to the Department of Justice, some 200,000 children were kidnapped by a family member in 2002. Some of these children disappeared in America; some were taken abroad.

The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) requires states to cooperate with each other in returning kidnapped children. In addition, the United States, along with 35 other countries, is a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. ICARA, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, is an international law that effects the return of children from abroad under the Hague Convention.

See also Hague Convention; PKPA; ICARA; NCMEC.

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