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This forum offers parents the opportunity to voice their own experiences of international parental child abduction, and related issues, and to share useful information with others in a similar situation.

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locating abducted children

by alexandra henderson / Posted 29/04/2010 / Updated 05/06/2011

after 22 years i finaly have contact with my daughter who was abducted by her father in 1987 to the usa - she now lives in australia - our contact at this point is only by e mail - she mind come to the uk in october for a visit - i wonder if anybody could give me advise on how to fom a relationship to my daughter who i love but is a total stranger - vice versa - her upbringing was sadly not a loving one at al - she lost out on so much which fills me with such anger and bitterness towards her father but iam aware there my issues and not hers


From ac / Posted: 24/05/2010
Hi Alexandra, You must be filled with real excitement and dread, both at once, with the prospect of meeting your daughter! From the limited information you give one thing is for sure ... you have to change your view about the issues you have. You did not choose to have your child abducted from you and your feeling of anger are not unjustified. Actions have consequences and it seems you and your daughter lost out to the selfishness of your ex-husband/partner. Sadly one cannot change the past but you can the future. Bitterness is not unnatural under these circumstances and I’m sure many on this site will sympathise with your plight. You just have to try and make sure it doesn’t get in the way of having a relationship with your child. Otherwise your ex wins again and both you and daughter lose again! Not an option! I suggest: be honest with your daughter and tell her the truth about what happened, how it happened, why it happened, why you didn´t visit her, your beliefs, your pain ... everything! I suspect your daughter will be very interested and this can form the basis of your relationship to getting to know her. You may find she does the same. Ultimately, I guess you´ll need to support her – like any loving (and real) parent – especially given that you say she´s not had a loving upbringing. The chances are that this is exactly what she is looking for ... love ... and you can be the rock in her life now. This is what you would have done anyway if things had been ‘normal’. Your circumstance just means you have to start in October what you’d have done all your life if your daughter hadn’t been taken away … so go for it. Be a parent to your child. More than likely this is what she is looking for!
From NH / Posted: 31/05/2011
Remind her that you have carried on looking, that despite her abduction, and maybe not remembering, you have not forgotten.
It was the abductor´s wrong doing, and hopefully Facebook in the future will facilitate many more awkward re-unifications.
She´s not as you last saw her, she´s all grown up now.
At least start with a hug, and take it from there.
From Norma / Posted: 05/06/2011
Did you meet as planned? I hope so, and I hope it went well. My elder daughter returned to UK after 19 years. We were lucky that I´d been able to maintain contact and visit her every year. Our relationship is great - although I have to be careful sometimes - after having no freedom for so long, she gets very annoyed if she thinks she´s being told what to do. I understand that, so it´s not a problem.

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