Child Abduction, Family Abduction Education, Family Abduction Resources, Free Publications, International Parental Kidnapping, Parental Kidnapping Information, Parental Kidnapping Resources, Preventing Family Abduction
A wealth of information about parental abduction is available from the organizations listed below. Brief descriptions of selected publications available from each organization are also provided.
Office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
Child Protection Division
National Center for Missing and
Exploited Children (NCMEC)
National Center for Prosecution of
Child Abuse (NCPCA)
American Bar Association Center on
Children and the Law (ABA CCL)
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
The following documents are available from OJJDP (see Publications on its website or call the Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse at 800–638–8736) or from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (visit ncjrs.org or call 800–851–3420).
Addressing Confidentiality of Records in Searches for Missing Children (NCJ 155183). This report makes recommendations concerning law enforcement agencies’ access to records maintained by schools, hospitals, child welfare agencies, domestic violence shelters, and runaway shelters. The Report also covers information release procedures and includes a checklist for maximizing record access from service providers.
Early Identification of Risk Factors for Parental Abduction (NCJ 185026). This bulletin presents the design and findings of four OJJDP-funded studies on preventing family abductions. The findings provide information regarding the risk factors associated with parental kidnapping and strategies that can be used to intervene with at-risk families.
Family Abductors: Descriptive Profiles and Preventive Interventions (NCJ 182788). This bulletin describes preventive interventions such as counseling and conflict resolution, and legal strategies that seek to settle custody
and access disputes for families identified as at risk for parental abduction.
A Family Resource Guide on International Parental Kidnapping (NCJ 190448). This guide presents practical and detailed advice about preventing international kidnapping and increasing the chance that children who are kidnapped or wrongfully retained will be returned. It provides descriptions and realistic assessments of the civil and criminal remedies available, explains applicable laws, identifies the public and private resources that may be called upon when an international abduction occurs or is threatened, and prepares parents for the legal and emotional difficulties they may experience.
International Parental Kidnapping: A Law Enforcement Guide. This guide provides practical information on the public and private resources and services that are available to assist law enforcement in international parental abduction cases. It explains applicable laws, defines agency roles and responsibilities, describes criminal and civil remedies, examines methods for prevention and interception, and discusses important issues and procedures to be addressed during an international parental abduction case.
Issues in Resolving Cases of International Child Abduction (NCJ 182790). This report documents a lack of uniformity in the application of the Hague Convention across countries. It includes case histories, survey findings on left-behind parents, selected practices in international family abduction cases, and recommendations for the judicial and legal systems.
Issues in Resolving Cases of International Child Abduction by Parents (NCJ 190105). This Bulletin provides an overview of the major survey findings, selected good practices, and recommendations from the Report Issues in Resolving Cases of International Child Abduction.
Obstacles to the Recovery and Return of Parentally Abducted Children (Report: NCJ 144535; Research Summary: NCJ 143458). These publications present the results of a 2-year study of the legal, policy, procedural, and practical obstacles to the location, recovery, and return of children abducted by a noncustodial parent. They include recommendations to overcome each obstacle and extensive appendixes that describe the pros and cons of existing legal procedures for enforcing a custody order, sample forms to be used with existing legal procedures, and more.
Parental Abduction: A Review of the Literature (Online Only: NCJ 186160). This online resource summarizes current research and literature related to the primary issues involved in parental abduction.
Prevention of Parent or Family Abduction Through Early Identification of Risk Factors (NCJ 182791). Based on analyses of data from several California studies related to child abductions by a noncustodial parent, this report outlines a set of characteristics of parents who abduct their children and presents indepth sociodemographic and legal information about the families of abducted children.
Using Agency Records To Find Missing Children: A Guide for Law Enforcement (NCJ 154633). This Summary focuses on procedures for obtaining and using the records of certain types of human service providers to find missing children. It examines the use of, access to, barriers to, and limitations of records from schools, medical care providers, runaway shelters, and domestic violence shelters.
When Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival Guide (NCJ 170022; Spanish Version: NCJ 178902). This guide, written by parents and family members who have experienced the disappearance of a child, explains how parents can best participate in the search for a missing child. It discusses the parents’ relationship with law enforcement, examines issues related to the media, and presents practical information about distributing fliers and photos, organizing volunteers, and managing monetary donations.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The following documents are available from NCMEC (see Education & Resources on its website or call 800–843–5678).
Family Abduction. This handbook guides parents through the civil and criminal justice systems, explains the laws that will help them, outlines prevention methods, and provides suggestions for aftercare following the abduction. It thoroughly details search and recovery strategies and contains advice for attorneys, prosecutors, and family court judges handling these cases.
International Forum on Parental Child Abduction: Hague Convention Action Agenda. This report details the findings of a forum held in September 1998 to study the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It offers 12 action/agenda items to help strengthen implementation of the Hague Convention.
“The Kid Is With a Parent, How Bad Can It Be?”: The Crisis of Family Abductions. This issue brief discusses the seriousness of the problem of family abduction, considers whether the problem is growing, and examines the challenges and opportunities this crime poses to policymakers.
Missing and Abducted Children: A Law-Enforcement Guide to Case Investigation and Program Management. This guide, authored by a team of 38 professionals from local, State, and Federal agencies, outlines a standard of practice for law enforcement officers handling several types of missing child cases, including runaways, thrownaways, family/nonfamily abductions, and disappearances in which the circumstances are unknown.
When Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival Guide. Also available from OJJDP; see above for description.
National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse
The following documents are available from NCPCA (see Publications on its website).
Charging the Parental Kidnapping Case. This monograph assists prosecutors in determining appropriate charges and sentencing recommendations. It notes that an aggressive investigative and prosecutorial approach sends the message that parental kidnapping is a serious crime with serious consequences for both victims and abductors and recommends that prosecution should be seriously considered in every parental kidnapping case.
Investigation and Prosecution of Parental Abduction, 2000 (Training Conference Notebook). This notebook contains training materials compiled for the 2000 NCPCA Conference, Investigation and Prosecution of Parental Abduction.
Parental Kidnapping, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Changing Legal Responses to Related Violence. This monograph will assist investigators and prosecutors in developing appropriate responses to the interrelated crimes of parental kidnapping, domestic violence, and child abuse.
American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law
The following documents are available from ABA CCL (see Issues/Parental Kidnapping on its website).
Hague Child Abduction Convention Issue Briefs. This material consists of four issue briefs that can help attorneys handle cases that fall under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
The Hague Convention: A Curriculum for American Judges and Lawyers. This publication explains how the Hague Convention can be used effectively within the United States in international parental kidnapping cases.
Parental Kidnapping Prevention and Remedies. This material is designed to help attorneys better understand parental abduction cases and applicable laws. It includes practical tips on protections that can be placed in child custody orders to help prevent an abduction, tips that lawyers can give their parent clients, a review of possible legal actions that can be taken on parents’ behalf, and governmental resources that can be used to help in these cases.
Parental Kidnapping Law Reform Package. This package contains three proposed State laws related to parental abduction that can be adopted by State legislatures. The laws are the Parental Kidnapping Crime Act, Missing
Children Record Flagging Act, and Tortious Interference With Child Custody and Visitation Act.
Source: OJJDP, Juvenile Justice Bulletin The Criminal Justice System’s Response to Parental Abduction