Bring Our Kids Home: We Urge US-India to Reunite All Parent-Abducted American Children Now!
Imagine your spouse and 3 year old child leave for a “vacation” to India and days before their scheduled return to the United States, you receive a call, saying they are not coming back home. Your spouse then files for divorce and sole child custody in India, as well as restricts access to your child. Over the next 3+ years, you find yourself embroiled in a bitter cross-border litigation, drained of all your life savings, making no progress. You seek assistance from U.S. and Indian governments, but there is little they can offer, because they have not created a legal path for return of abducted children.
This and similar horror stories are the heart-breaking reality for more than 6,000 abducted American children, whose cases were reported to the U.S. State Department between 2010-2014. International Parental Child Abduction (“IPCA”) is a state and federal crime, a human rights violation and a recognized form of child abuse.
What is International Parental Child Abduction?
IPCA is a calculated, malicious act committed by the “taking” parent, violating the child’s human rights while inflicting emotional, psychological and financial pain on the “seeking” parent, often with the backing and support of the “taking” parent's family & supporters. Taking parents frequently abuse laws, influence or engage in illegal behavior to create a “home field” advantage, thus thwarting the laws of the child’s country of habitual residence.
Abducted children are deprived the love and presence of the other parent, robbing them of their family, dignity, and systematically alienates children from their other parent. Worst of all, these children do not even realize that they are being victimized by the “taking” parent and, in many cases, end up blaming themselves and/or the parent left-behind for their loss of a normal childhood.
What ACTION are we seeking?
This petition contains bold new policy goals for the Obama Administration to partner with the Modi Administration in order to end years of human suffering and deliver justice to victimized American children and their seeking families.
We respectfully urge President Obama and Prime Minister Modi to address this serious issue and take the following actions:
1) On a priority basis, negotiate a bilateral agreement to expedite resolution of pre-Hague abductions cases. The Hague Abduction Convention, which the State Department is currently asking India to sign, does not apply retroactively to pending pre-Hague cases. Thus, without a bilateral agreement between US-India, the pre-Hague abduction cases will be left in limbo, compounding the suffering of victimized children and families. These cases need an expedited legal framework and preferably processing in specialized courts, with trained judges on IPCA issues.
2) As a humanitarian gesture, facilitate seeking parents living in America to spend time with their children in India, until a U.S.-India bilateral agreement is in place, while ensuring their safety. Many seeking parents have not seen or spoke to their children in years. Taking parent’s often use legal and other tactics to prevent or delay access to abducted children. Studies have shown children suffer from immense emotional and psychological issues as a result of IPCA. India has a moral and legal responsibility (as a signatory to the UN Convention on Rights of Children) to help victimize children and parents reunite, while ensuring safety of both.
Why URGENT action is needed?
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980) is a multilateral treaty that provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one signatory country to another. As of February 2015, 93 Nations are party to the convention. India is not a signatory.
According to the U.S. State Department's 2015 report on International Parental Child Abduction, India was identified as one of 22 countries that has shown patterns of non-cooperation in resolving child abductions.
In fact, India is the #1 non-Hague signatory destination for abductions from the U.S. An agreement for return is critical! Time for the United States and India to take Action is NOW!
Many “taking” parents often claim “flight from abuse” to justify child abduction. However, often these claims are false and are never reported in the U.S. prior to the abduction, where U.S. law enforcement and courts can help.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
Without the strong support of people all across the United States, India and the World, seeking parents will not have the strength and resources to sustain the fight to seek justice for their abducted children who are the silent victims of this heinous crime.
Time is of the essence. Please sign and share this petition to support Bring Our Kids Home and STAND UP against International Parental Child Abduction! Thank you!
More about Bring Our Kids Home
Bring Our Kids Home is a parent-led organization that represents seeking mothers and fathers based in the United States, whose children are abducted to India. We have two primary goals:
1) To raise awareness and advocate for the return of all American children abducted to India, victims of IPCA and;
2) To engage the U.S. and Indian Governments to put in place a robust, long-term mechanism to prevent future abductions and enable prompt return of abducted children from both countries.
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