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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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Disgusted with the system

by Dave / Posted 23/09/2011 / Updated 06/04/2013

First let me thank the people at Reunite for the help and assistance they have given me over the past 3 1/2 years. As for everything else The Hague Convention etc, what a joke. After losing my son at the age of 2 years old following my wife deciding to run off back to the States with the idea that her being 4850 miles away and telling me there was nothing I could do about her parentally abducting my son I have to admit I was gutted and did not know where to turn. Having to find any type of help or assistance was just as hard as the event itself. Reunite gave me hope and a light at the end of the tunnel that by following the correct procedure I had some hope that the Hague Convention was the answer. How wrong was that thought. After trying the mediation route things ground to a halt following my wife playing games for two years and then the option I was advised to follow was article 21 of the Hague Convention, filing for a contact order. US lawyers were appointed and initially seemed really keen and helpfull until it came to the crunch. My son was placed on the Childs Passport Issuance Alert Program in the States back in May of 2008, and on the 18th of August this year I was informed that my wife had applied for a US passport for my son and that it had been blocked awaiting my consent or rejection, obviosly I objected to the issuance. Then after losing the jointly owned family house to repossesion along comes the divorce hearing and an application for sole custody of my son. So having all the information gained from a family friend the information and all the paperwork was lodged with the Hague to try to do what is right in these cases. T cut a long story short the court hearing was in Louisiana on the 8th of Sept and following numerous calls and filling of forms I had some hope that finally I may at least be awarded a contact order. Then as it got closer to the hearing date promises of representation start to drag on and forms filed with the Hague and State Dept in Washington DC everything comes to a complete halt. The 8th of September comes and goes along with all the worry and stress involved and not knowing what if anything had been done, and guess what. Yeah you got it nothing. No article 21 lodged, no legal representation then an email from CPIAP that they had granted the issuance of a US passport to my son. Emails are then sent of pleading for help or information about what had happened and what if anything had been done and as of today Friday 23rd of September not one single reply recieved either from the Hague Authority, the lawyers, the Child Abduction Unit nothing. So following 3 1/2 years of absolute stress and worry I must now admit defeat and realise I have lost my son by following the procedures of the Hague. From some posts on here it seems that some people try to use the system to get back at the abducting parent and what everyone should remember is that the welfare and the well being of the child concerned should be the main concern. It takes two to make a relationship and two to break it so taking that in mind and if you do care and have the concerns for your abducted children put behind your personal differences and act as the mother and father of the child concerned and do what is right for them. I again pass on my thanks to Reunite as without their help and advise I would have been lost a long time ago now, but I feel so strongly that the Hague is a complete joke and a waste of time.
All I can do now is hope that one day my son who is now 5, will ask about his father and that someday I will get to see him again or at least hear from him. I will never give up loving my boy and will never give up hoping but as of now I must admit defeat to the system that is in place to apparently help in these situations.
Finally anyone reading this post please do not be disillusioned by my case and good luck in your attempts to gain what is a legal right as a left alone parent.


From Phil / Posted: 30/09/2011
Hey Dave ,just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that there are others in a similar situation to you ,being abused by their former partners .
I have been granted after a four year fight reasonable access for my daughter to visit me in UK (she is now 12yo) as well as weekends in Spain.
But just been informed by Spanish social services that my ex wife will not comply so I go again to meet my daughter in Spain for one hour.
My advise to you would be donīt give up.
Contact US social services and ask for details express your concerns as clearly your ex is a bitter and twisted individual to do what she is doing (I am assuming that you are not some crazty axe wielding lunatic?)
Forget the Hague forget Reunite you must plow on alone .
From Seraphic / Posted: 04/10/2011
I have total empathy for your situation as i too am in the same dark place as yourself.
You are right to sing the praises of Reunite as this charity is the only organisation that possibly understands what true desperation is for a left behind parent.
I concur entirely with your discription of your dealings with the Authorities and the so called Advocates that are supposed to represent us and be professionals in the field of child abduction.
I dont wish to rant so i shall be brief and ask that you contact me if you wish, to discuss alternative solutions to our problems. Quite frankly, the Authorities are useless and its about time we, the left behind parents, fight back.
I will be more than happy to communicate with you.


Peace be with you.
From Dave / Posted: 11/11/2011
Sorry for the late reply to your messages and thanks. I think there is a valid point were left alone parents should start to band together to try and do something as parental child abduction is becoming a huge problem. The left alone parent has the hard work to do and at times we do feel like giving up. There does appear from time to time on these forums some bitter and twisted stories and fingers pointed that its the man who seems to be at fault but some women just seem to get paranoid when things happen to them and rebel against the male left alone parents. The main thing to remember whatever your situation is that in such cases there is an abductor and a left alone parent in all of these cases and the point most people miss is the fact that those are the two categories involved. So forget the fact of who is male or female and remember its an abductor and a left alone parent. As the left alone parents let us try to make a stand for our rights.
Thanks again Phil and Seraphic, we can maybe start to correspond and try to arrange a network of left alone parents with the aim of getting our rights heard and dealt with.
From dharmesh / Posted: 26/01/2012
Dave, I sympathise with you. I am in the UK and my son is in Italy. He was abducted 8 years ago. Every hour of every day will be painful. I pray for peace to come to all of us one day.
From Carrie-a / Posted: 28/10/2012
I do feel for you fathers but statistics cannot be ignored. Most domestic violence is inflicted by the male on the female. Females are more likely to relocate to fit in with the father of their children.In most situations the female does the majority of the childcare. The female is more likely to suffer financially. etc etc. There are exceptions and statistics are just numbers but the laws throughout the world also generally favour the male. Fathers are more likely to desert their families - look at how many fathers dont pay maintenance. There are fathers who do take their responsibility seriously but the majority in divorce do not. Until the law appreciates the reality of each situation separately I do think the gender separation in these discussions will continue. I believe preventing the father or the mother having access damages not only the children but also society as a whole - surely the interpretation and application of the law should relate to this?
From Rita / Posted: 04/04/2013
This is such a sad situation, my brother is in a similar situation. His ex wife left him for her best friends husband, taking the kids to live in Paris. In court, said all the right things ie he´s the girls father, he´s a great Dad etc but reality is she just won´t let him have contact with them. On the rare occasion, telephone conversations, skype calls are supervised and she insists kids are not allowed back to UK. Last year it was 7months between visits. The girls are suppressed by her and she tells them that there´s no wifi etc, but even though my brother got his eldest daughter a mobile phone, it mysteriously disappeared once they returned back to her! Your son is very young but I hope he does try and find you in the future. My nieces are old enough not to forget their Dad, but still too young to do anything about enforcing their rights to see him! There are many absent fathers, but there many more who want contact with their children and are denied it. It´s about time the laws across the world recognised this and started to fight against this injustice! Good luck to all in this situation
From RC / Posted: 06/04/2013
I am in France and the system is just as bad as in UK, I´ve been paying for maintenance for my son without a court order, I am paying it for my son and not her. Still my Ex- been abusing the system by not letting me see my son or having any contact, it has been over 2 years since I last saw him and just last month she let me see him for 3 hours, he didnít even knew who I was, it was heart breaking when he asked me that if I was his father. A week later I requested for next meeting with my son and guest what! she changed her mind to let me see him again because she found out that I have girlfriend now. If we go by statistics and ignored the fathers that have been abused and the children that have been kept away from seeing their father, without a doubt these mother should be punished severely. I agree with Dave that one day my son will look for you and will want to have some answers, he will find out that his father never gave up requesting for contact, itís shame to find out on that day that the damage is done for our kids. All we can do is be there for them and move on with our life, because our sonís will need a healthy father and a good example with stability of peace of mind. Good luck to all the fathers and stay positive.

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