WHAT IS A PARENTAL CHILD ABDUCTION:
Article 3 of the Hague convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction provides for the definition of inter parental child abduction. It says: The removal or retention of a child is considered to be wrongful where: a) If it is in breach of rights of custody attributed to a person, an institution or any other body, either jointly or alone, under the law of the state in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal and retention and; b) At the time of removal or retention those rights were actually exercised, either jointly or alone, or would have been so exercised but for the removal or retention.
Reasons for Parental-Child Abduction: Parental abduction usually occurs during periods of separation and divorce. Generally, this action has been by the parents due to the uncertainties surrounding court proceedings and child custody disputes. Several years after a divorce, there is a possibility of a reoccurrence, consequently plaguing the custodial parent for a number of years, if not a lifetime. Parents abduct a child or children for a variety of reasons. Revenge is one of the most powerful motivators. The abduction is mostly due to: • Family stress;
• Marital separation;
• Relationship problems;
• Power struggles between parents;
• Custody order disagreements; or
• Physical, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse.
EFFECTS OF PARENTAL-CHILD ABDUCTION: Philosophically, separation is the biggest reason for any kind of depression on an individual. As in parental-child abduction, a child is separated from either of the parents, both, the abducted children and the left-behind parent can face a serious of harsh psychological, physical and social effects. Effects on Abducted Children: A child is used to a certain environment in which he/she is living since birth. On Abduction, a child is suddenly separated from that environment, isolated from familier conditions and friends and hence, subjected to a completely different environment, to which a child is generally incompetent to adapt immediately. They may even be separated from their siblings and friends during the abduction. The abducted children may also be fed with false stories that the other parent is dead, does not want them, or has not tried to get them back. Children facing parental abduction are more likely to suffer some social and psychological challenges, such as Depression, loss of community, loss of stability, security, and trust, excessive fearfulness, even of ordinary occurrences, loneliness, anger, helplessness, disruption in identity formation and fear of abandonment. Looking far beyond, it may also happen that the child is reunited with the left-behind parent, but this reunion cannot reduce the effects on the child. Even after the reunion, the children may find it harder to establish any trust and relationship with the parent. They may even question why that parent did not try harder to get them back. It becomes worse if they find that the left-behind parent has remarried and there is new, unfamiliar step-parent and siblings. In all, parental abduction may have worst effects on the child and it may be harder for him/her to recover from it throughout his/her life though not being at any fault at all. Effects on the Left-behind Parents: The effect on the left-behind parents varies considerably, but several studies suggest that the parents were afraid they would never see their child again. Left-behind parents encounter substantial psychological, emotional, and financial problems. They feel helpless as they have no idea how to find their children. The left-behind parent may face unfamiliar legal, cultural, and linguistic barriers if their children are taken across international borders. He/she may also lack the financial resources to travel abroad and to visit their children...