6 Tips to Prevent an International Child Abduction

Walters Gilbreath, PLLC

If you have reasons to believe that your child may be abducted by a parent, legal guardian or anyone else to another country, there are certain things you should do in an attempt to prevent international child abduction. If you have a question like how to prevent international child abduction, below are 6 tips that you may find useful to prevent international child abduction.

Tip 1: Be on the Lookout for Warning Signs

Watch out for sudden changes in the other parent’s life. For example, a sudden job change to a foreign country, sale of assets with a view to relocating, increasing ties to another country etc. These changes by themselves may not necessarily mean that your child is at risk for international abduction. However, be vigilant and don’t ignore any signs that might support such a motive.

Tip 2: Try to Secure Your Kids’ Passports

If possible, try to locate and secure the passports of your child(ren) to prevent an international abduction by the other parent. If you are not in physical possession of their passports or cannot secure them, get a court order quickly enough restraining the other parent from traveling internationally with the child(ren).

Tip 3: Consult an Attorney

Scenarios of child abduction cases may become pretty complicated depending on the unique facts of each case. On top of this, many of these child abduction events happen really fast. Talk to an attorney when you have the gut feeling that your child is at risk of abduction. Your attorney may then assess the situation, consider available options and pursue the one that best serves your concerns.

Tip 4: Get an Appropriate Court Order

Talk to your attorney and if applicable, try to get an appropriate court order addressing the situation. This may include prohibiting the other parent from traveling overseas with the child(ren), imposing passport restrictions, issuing custody order etc.

Tip 5: Notify Law Enforcement Officials

Notify your local law enforcement officials and provide them with copies of any applicable court order or restrictions. Note that there is not much that law enforcement officials can do without any proper court order. Because there is nothing inherently unlawful about a parent taking his/her child(ren) overseas. So, the officers may not really act unless you provide them with an appropriate court order/custody order restraining the other parent from taking the child(ren) away.

Tip 6: Contact the Airliners

Contact the airliners in advance to see if any ticket has been purchased in your child’s name. You can also arrange for blocking boarding of your child in an airline with appropriate court orders. Such orders may also empower law enforcement officials to issue port alerts in all airports and international borders.


Turn to Walters Gilbreath, PLLC

Our attorneys are here to listen and help you navigate the process.
    • Please enter your first name.
    • Please enter your last name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • This isn't a valid email address.
      Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.