What is child abduction?

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 law courts.

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

It is important that decisions about which country a child should live in is agreed by 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.

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Emergency?

Call us on our 24h emergency helpline
0845 450 5616

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.

My child has been taken from the UK and 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 or contact ICACU the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit as the Central Authority for England and Wales who may be able to assist and can provide you with a list of Child Abduction Specialist Solicitors.
  2. Ensure the solicitor has experience of child abduction. Reunite has a list of child abduction specialists and you can access the list here.
  3. When you contact your chosen solicitor tell them you suspect a child abduction is about to take place or that there has been a child abduction.
  4. When you have your appointment take recent photographs of the child and photographs of the adult that has taken them, and take details of the child’s passport if possible and also a copy of the child’s birth certificate.

Your solicitor will ask you to provide details about the location that you think the child may have been taken to, including country, area and address and telephone numbers if possible.

Do not say anything to the person with the child or anyone else that may make them think you are agreeing to the child remaining abroad with them for any period of time.

I have brought my child to the UK from abroad and don’t want to return, 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. There are limited defences to an application for the return of the child. This is however very dependent on the circumstances of each individual case and it is important that you obtain urgent legal advice.

Our experienced team can advise you whether there are any grounds that we could argue that the child should remain.

How can A&N Care Solicitors help me?

We have many years of experience in dealing with Child Abduction, contact us now and we will give you the support and advice you need.

Funding your case

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.

Gill Noury

Child Abduction Expert

Gill is a Senior Legal Advisor with over 30 years experience in International Family Law and Child Abduction. She has been an Accredited Specialist on the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit Panel (ICACU) since its formation and has been involved in many of the reported cases.

What our clients say

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 practitioner.

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We run a legal surgery here at our advice and drop in centre specifically for our clients who have experienced domestic abuse. A&N have been a constant support to this surgery over the year providing an invaluable service, they have been committed to the provision of legal aid advice and pro bono clinics and as such have enhanced the service provision which we are able to offer to our clients.

Strategic Head of Service
Derbyshire Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Service

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Helen was absolutely fantastic, the case was long and difficult but Helen was there for me when I needed her on the telephone and at court. She didn’t beat about the bush and gave me constructive criticism which I appreciated. My kids are now safely home with me where they belong and they love the teddies you sent for them. It was a really lovely thought, Thank you for everything.

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Liz Newbold & Her team were great from the very first phone call to the final court date, they did nothing but help whether it was a phone call or an email they got back to you as soon as they could. They were there for support when you needed it the most and they always put there all into every court date we had. I couldn’t have asked for a better solicitors to handle my case regarding my child. It was great to finally get victory and show we were not guilty, we couldn’t have achieved what we have done today without the help of Liz Newbold and her team of highly specialised solicitors and I am forever thankful for everything they have done for me and my family.

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I’ve been working with A&N Care Solicitors since I was in PLO. I was in an OK place, then an incident occurred in July 2014 which resulted in the local authority taking away my child in to care. She went up for adoption last year in March but I kept fighting with the help of A&N care solicitors and did all that was asked. I fell pregnant and thought I couldn’t keep it, but nope, my solicitors and I kept fighting and I’ve had my daughter return from birth home. It’s resulted in my older daughter coming home too and not being adopted. I really have to say though without the help of Natalie and Ruth from A&N Care I wouldn’t be where I am today. I would recommend these to anybody if you are fighting for your children. Thank you very much A&N you are the best family law firm I’ve ever known.

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