What can I do if my child is abducted?

International child abduction is on the increase, according to family lawyers.
This fact is highlighted by the latest case to hit the newspapers - a seven year old child living abducted by her father Clark Rockefeller, during a supervised visit to him in America.
Reigh Boss, who lives in London with her mother, has not yet been found and, according to the press,  it seems that her father planned to take her, with  Reigh bundled into an accomplice’s waiting car, despite the attempts of a supervising social worker to stop him.  
As family lawyers point out, marriages between couples of different nationalities have become more common over the last few decades - and international child abuction is consequently on the increase. Travel is now between countries and continents, which makes it  easier to abduct children. 
Since it is usually the mother with whom young children are living, fathers are more often the abductors.  
The problem has become so acute that the majority of civilised countries have signed international agreements to ensure that their courts will order the return of a snatched child to the parent from whom he or she was removed.  
Sadly, there are some countries which are not signatories to these agreements.   When a child is removed to one of these, it may be difficult or even impossible to recover the child.
If you are afraid that your child might be abducted and taken abroad  by the other parent, you can alert your local police station.  
 If the threat of removal is ‘real’ and ‘imminent’ and you have evidence  to support your fear, police will circulate details of the possible abductor and child to all UK points of departure via the Police National Computer.  
You can also write to your regional office of the UK Passport Service requesting them not to grant a passport to your child.
The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit [ICACU] is the authority responsible for  dealing with child abduction in England and Wales.
If you believe that your child is in danger of being abducted, ICACU advise that you keep the following information, or as much as is possible, ready:
On the Child:  - full name
                           -date and place of birth
                           - passport number, date and place of issue
                            -photographs or a physical description
                            - any entitlement to a passport other than a British passport

On the Person Who has Taken the Child:
                           - full name [including prior or maiden name and any aliases if applicable]
                            - date and place of birth
                            - passport number, date and place of issue
                            - photograph or a physical description
                            - probable date of departure
                            - departure information [eg flight, train, ferry]
                           -  details of ties to a foreign country - eg names, addresses and telephone                   
                           - numbers of relatives, friends or business contacts.
Copies of Documents:
                         -  any agreements or court orders which relate to the child
                          - child’s birth certificate
                          - marriage certificate or divorce decree
                          - name and address of solicitor [if you have one]
A UK charity, REUNITE (www.reunite.org) specialises in giving advice and assistance in cases of international chlld abduction. It has a helpline on 01162 556 234.

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