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| 1 minute read

International parental child abduction guidance published

Dealing with international parental child abduction is a highly specialist and complex area. It can, in summary, occur in one of two ways. The first, known as a wrongful removal, is when a child is removed from their home country to another country without the consent of both parents, anyone who has parental responsibility or rights of custody, or a court order. The second is a wrongful retention. This occurs when both parents agree their child can travel to another country for a period of time, such as for a holiday or to attend an event, but the child is not returned to their home country by the agreed date.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office have published a helpful guide explaining options for parents to consider and pointers on the first steps that should be taken. Such a guide will be a very useful tool for parents involved in these issues, but specialist advice will still be needed from a solicitor who is experienced in dealing with child abduction.

Child abduction matters are by their nature urgent and therefore steps will need to be taken immediately after an alleged abduction. It is also essential that parents who have been accused of parental abduction seek advice from a specialist solicitor quickly. The defences available to an alleged abducting parent are very limited and the law relating to the same evolves rapidly.

Victoria Batstone is an experienced solicitor in child abduction cases. She is listed as a specialist lawyer with Reunite, a charity who is committed to supporting parents in these situations, and she is a founding member of the Child Abduction Lawyers Association.

If you require advice on child abduction matters, please do not hesitate to contact us. Victoria can be contacted directly by telephone on 01483 734268 or by email on

Many children have parents of different nationalities or have connections to different countries. If parental relationships break down, they may not agree on major decisions about their child (or children). This may lead to one parent moving their child from their usual home without the agreement of the other parent. International parental child abductions are difficult, complex and emotional for those affected.


family law, child abduction, international family law