Two hundred thousand American children are abducted from the US each year, most often by a parent or extended family member.
Such abductions are federal crimes.
But in too many of those cases, the child ends up being raised in a country foreign to them by the abducting family member.
Even when the country the child is abducted to is a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
An international lawyer traveled to his wife’s native Switzerland with her and their one year old son. Switzerland is a party to the Hague Convention.
At the airport for their return trip, his wife refused to give permission for their son to board a plane to the US. The authorities there would not help.
The lawyer later obtained a US judgment awarding him sole custody of his son, and filed an application for return of the boy to the US under the Hague Convention.
Four years later, the man has spent a total of five hours with his son – all in Switzerland – since the abduction and he is no closer to bringing him home.
That is one many such cases, some receiving considerable media atttention, others barely any.