Focusing on children in international family abductions
Family abductions are one of the most frequent types of missing child cases reported to the National Center for Missing & Children. A family abduction occurs when a child is wrongfully taken, retained or concealed by a parent or another family member. These cases make up between 10 percent and 20 percent of our active missing child caseload.
In approximately one quarter of family abduction cases reported to us, the child was transported across an international border. This greatly complicates and extends the search for the child.
Because these abductions take longer to resolve, they form an even larger percentage of the active missing child caseload. We have an average of 1,200 open international family abduction cases at any time.
Brief submitted to Supreme Court
This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear Lozano v. Alvarez, a case arising under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. Our Office of Legal Counsel, with pro bono assistance from law firm Ropes & Gray, has submitted a brief to the Court regarding the case. The brief argues that a parent who abducts their child from another country into the United States should not gain an unfair litigation advantage by hiding the child or otherwise keeping their whereabouts concealed from the authorities.
Upholding standards for international cases
We remain dedicated to international cooperation and the safe, prompt return of children who have been taken across international borders. The brief encourages the Supreme Court justices to hold the United States to the same high standard we expect from other Hague Convention partner countries when U.S. children are abducted to foreign countries.
We work each international family abduction case on an individual basis, coordinating with agencies in the United States and other countries to provide technical assistance and information to parents, attorneys and law enforcement. International family abduction cases may take longer to resolve, but we will continue identify, develop and promote resources for families and law enforcement until every child is brought home.
Interested in learning more about the Lozano v. Alvarez case? Read the case preview on SCOTUSblog.