An Australian mother consented to her two little girls, eight and nine, taking a summer vacation trip to the US with her ex-husband last June.
She has not seen them since. And has only been able to speak to them on the phone a few times in all those months.
The children’s father reportedly initially suggested that the girls’ stepfather had molested the older girl. But that allegation was withdrawn.
Only the children still are not home with their mother.
But, thanks to the internet, the mother has finally tracked the girls and their father down. Now she will at least be able to press an application for return of the girls under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
The mother has learned that getting children returned under the Hague Convention, even if ultimately successful, is a frustratingly slow and expensive process – particularly if you don’t yet know where your children are.
This mother hopes to warn other mothers not to consent to overseas travel by their children with the other parent.
Of course, that strategy won’t protect a parent if the Court will or has already granted permission for the overseas travel – as is fairly common today …