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Child Abduction

Child abduction is a serious, but sometimes misunderstood, area of family law. Most people think it involves a stranger kidnapping a child. However, a mother taking her own child abroad for a short period of time and without the consent of the father, may actually be guilty of child abduction in the eyes of the family court.

What is child abduction?

Following the breakdown of a relationship, one of the most difficult decisions to be made is where your child should live. This decision is made all the more difficult if one parent wishes to live in another country with the child.

It is important that the decision about in which country a child should live is made jointly with both parents. If a parent takes matters into their own hands and takes the child abroad without the consent of the other parent, they may be committing a criminal offence of child abduction.

My child has been kept abroad what can I do?

It is important that you act quickly if you suspect that your child is about to be abducted or has been abducted.

  1. Contact the police and seek advice from a specialist family solicitor immediately. Do not delay.
  2. Ensure the solicitor has experience of child abduction. Reunite has a list of child abduction specialists.
  3. When you make the appointment ensure that you mention that there has been a child abduction which should trigger an immediate response.
  4. Bring with you to your appointment recent photographs of the child, photographs of the adult that has taken them and a full description of what they look like.
  5. Bring details of the child’s passport if possible.
  6. Bring with you details about the location that you think the child may have been taken to, including country, area and address and telephone numbers if possible.
  7. Are there any other people who may have knowledge of the childs whereabouts.
  8. Do not at any time say anything that may be interpreted as you agreeing to the child remaining for any period of time outside of the United kingdom.

I do not want to return my child, what should I do?

It is important to make an appointment with a solicitor to seek urgent specialist legal advice. In certain limited circumstances the court may agree that the child can remain in the UK. This is, however, dependent on the circumstances of each individual case. It is important that you obtain urgent legal advice so that we can consider the grounds on which it may be argued that the child should remain.

We can also help if a child has been brought to the UK without your permission.

There are several different funding options available, depending upon the circumstances and whether the child has been brought into the UK or has been taken out of the UK. Funding will also be determined by whether the other country involved is a signatory of the Hague Convention.

I am worried my child is going to be abducted, what shall I do?

There are a number of steps we can take, including obtaining a court order, preventing a passport being issued and in certain urgent circumstances issuing a Port Alert. It is vitally important to obtain urgent legal advice.

Contact Gill Noury on 03300 245750 during office hours or alternatively after 5pm and at the weekend on our 24 hour emergency helpline 0845 450 5616.


  • Reunite is a leading UK charity specialising in international parental child abduction... Read More at Reunite
  • ICACU (International Child Abduction and Contact Unit)... Go To Website


Gill Noury is an excellent International Family Law Senior Legal Advisor. As my international child abduction case progressed in 2014 to a fortunate consent order after 5 months of intense legal battle I realized she was highly experienced and hands on. She not only provided me very good legal advice, but was also very sympathetic to my distraught situation. She was accessible all the times I needed to communicate with her or needed her personal support. She was at the same time very professional and demonstrated high integrity and human values. I found these attributes scarce in UK's legal practitioners.


Talk to someone

Call us for a chat on:
03300 245750
Or we can call you back using our call back feature at the top of the page.

  • Are you worried that your child is about to be taken abroad without your permission?

  • Has your child been held abroad?

  • Call us on our emergency helpline - 0845 450 5616