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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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Daughter taken from Italy

by James / Posted 21/01/2011 / Updated 28/01/2011

Hi,

I wonder if anyone can help. I am British, my wife is Ukrainian and my daughter was born in Ukraine. My wife and I had been living in Italy for 6 months when she disappeared with my daughter. My wife was illegally resident in Italy with no passport. She has no documentation for my daughter as I have the birth certificate with me. Neither of us had yet obtained official residency in Italy yet that was our intention. I fear they have already or be planning to take my daughter to the Ukraine without my permission so that I can never see her again. My daughter is only 9 months old. To make things worse her older brother (who has tried to kill me on several occasions along with his father) works for internal affairs and as he is well connected the Ukrainians are likely to claim that my daughter was resident in Ukraine and that I have no legal basis to apply for my daughter to be returned to me in Italy. The embassy advised me to return to the UK and get in touch with reunite. Can anyone tell me what my chances are here? Are there extradition treaties that can be levied?

Responses

From Rebecca / Posted: 28/01/2011
Hi James, your situation sounds very complicated and may or may not be hampered by the fact your wife was living illegally in Italy with your knowledge and consent. The Italian authorities may frown on that fact. The fact that your daughter was born in the Ukraine would not normally matter, as at the time your wife took her from Italy that was the place of her "habitual residence". Was your daughter legally or illegally resident in Italy though? I´m not sure if the HC applies to children who are illegally habitually resident, but is she was legally in Italy then the HC would definitely apply. There are complications here though with your wife´s residency and the possible ´corruption´ you fear you may encounter with the Ukraine authorities. You really need to speak with a specialist solicitor about this. You do not have to return to the UK to speak with Reunite, they are an International charity, and the UK law would not assist you as your daughter was taken from Italy and it would have to be the authorites in Italy than can apply the Hague Convention, if it applies (not sure if the Ukraine is signed up to it). You would need to remain in Italy to pursue your case and would have to apply for your daughter´s return to Italy only. Applying for a duplicate birth certificate is easy to do, your wife would just have to apply for one in the Ukraine and would probably get a copy just like we can in the UK. If you want to start Hague Convention proceedings then you need to start immediately, and within any case, within 12 months.

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