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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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Why can I not let go of the lost Childhood years

by Stephen_WK / Posted 16/04/2013 / Updated 13/05/2013

My daughter will be 17 later this year. She was taken by her mother when she was just over 1 years old. I went through the Child Abduction Unit, the FCO, Tony Bliar, Euro Mps. the courts, save the Children, Embassy........an almost endless list. I spent £10,000 on a court order including travel expenses which was finalised in 2001. My daughter was to spend 2 weeks with me here in UK in February and 2 weeks in August. The 1st February visit happened.....when my daughter was 6........and then nothing. My ex-wife told me "How can you force people on to a plane?"
I applied to the courts, asked them what they do about enforcing the order, they said, I can go back to court and get another one. I am not a legal person at all, but I had an order, I did not want another one.
Why did they not tell me before that the court order was pretty much worthles?
So I and my family kept on to this day sending, Birthday cards, Xmas, cards and gifts, e-mails and letters without getting anything in return.
I managed to gather scraps of information from schools, but even this took great amounts of time and sometimes the threat of legal action before they would acknowledge me. I did once manage to bypass the principal and find an English sounding name on the teachers roster, I mailed this teacher direct and explained my situation, he no longer worked at the schools but passed it on to his colleague who still did.
She wrote to me and we even spoke on the phone. She told me all the news on my daughter, it was amazing, I was even shocked to learn she is diabetic......no one had informed me. She told me my daughter has no problem communicating in English. This teacher even arranged School photos for me. Then to my surprise one day, the school wrote to me, my daughters mother had made a request to change subjects at the school, the school insisted on a informing me and asking if I agreed!....I gather this did not go down very well, my daughter was moved to another school that summer.
I arrived in the modern age and made a facebook page so if my daughter looked for me she could contact me, or at least find out how I am and where I am and know that I am waiting for her.
I arranged and flew out for a weekend to meet a School teacher to chat about my daughters progress and visit her School. I informed my ex wife I was coming and of course asked to see me daughter, even though I knew what the answer would be.
I went to the School and it was a good productive visit. I met my ex-wife and to my face she was ok. She said my daughter does not want to see me and is spending weekend with friends..............
In 2010 I receive an e-mail on the Facebook account from an anonymous person saying her daughter was friend´s with mine and they were worried about her, then another mail came in, a social worker asking me to contact the social services. I did immediately. They would not tell me anything over the phone so I waited patiently for the letter to arrive. Well my daughter had been in hospital due to her problem with diabetics, her mother was unable to care for her and social services took my daughter into care. The Social services were told I was not interested in my daughter at all, it was only a facebook page that made the difference........but what was worse, when I was there, visiting the School etc, the teachers and my ex-wife both knew that my daughter was not at friends, she was in care............and they were covering up.
When I finally found out I flew there the next day and spent a wonderful hour with my beautiful daughter at the home. It was amazing, even the staff there were crying. I arranged with my daughter and staff to go back that evening to take my daughter horse riding. However when I turned up she was not there. The staff were crying, different tears this time. My daughter had visited her mother in the afternoon and now she was a different person, a very angry child.
A member of staff told me that when she left in the afternoon she was the happiest they had seen and when she returned, the most upset.
I waited almost a week and managed to see my daughter once more, but it was not the daughter I had seen a few days earlier.
Parental alienation syndrome is very real.
After this visit I had e-mailed threats from my ex-wife to take down the facebook page, it is harassment etc, she will take legal action etc
So my daughter had been in care 1 year before I found out, and 1 year later I received court papers as there had been a court case and my daughter was to return home to her mother. I had 28 days to appeal this, if I wanted to, but 6 weeks had passed already before I received it.
This is just a small quick summary of things...Throughout all the years I have only wanted two things, contact with my daughter and access to her.
If I had a £ for every time friends and family have said to me, she will come to you one day, she will find out, she will understand........
But why can I not let go of all the years I have lost? That my daughter has lost? my parents? sisters? cousins? aunts....The childhood years.
This is such a wrong. Where is my daughters Human rights? Where are mine? In the EU country where my daughter is, it is every Childs right to have access to both parents!.....astonishing. In our case the system has failed, completely. I am a long way down the line now, give up on the system, yes, give up on my daughter NEVER
I have re married, I go to School plays and see my wife´s grandchildren perform etc and I cry. There is not a minute of the day that goes past without my daughter on my mind.
Reunite where fabulous for me in the early years, phone calls, advice etc...........I don´t think they realise how much it meant to me when I received a call from them asking how things were and was there any news. It is a dark dark place being a left alone parent and I will be ever grateful to Reunite just for being there.....

Responses

From Phil / Posted: 01/05/2013
Hi Stephen-I thought that your detailed history required a response. Like all alienated parents I can identify with your loss and your feelings.
I too hope for that one day my own daughter will return from Spain where she lives with her mother and her mothers lover.
I feel that our circumstances are similar in that I too won access rights to see my daughter and did so on nine seperate one hour visits throughout 2010.
I then one the rights to to have my daughter come to UK for holidays and for me to see her for weekends as often as I could manage (having to travel each time to Spain)
But similarly to you the ex wife has manipulated our daughter and now she refuses to come to the social service centre she says that she loves me but does not want to see me.I beleive that this is purely down to her mother.
I am undecided on what to do next /
But like you I have been told that she will return to me one day .This is my wish.
Where is your child?Do you speak the local language?
Parents such as us deserve far more than we receive.
I am lost for suggestions of what you should do next,but please whatever it is ,do it ,never give up .
I am pleased to hear that you have managed to move on in life and developed another relationship .
From Stephen_wk / Posted: 07/05/2013
Thanks for your reply. I am not sure but I thnk things do get edited here. I have never said anything bad about my ex-wife to my daughter in anyway. In communication and face to face I have always said, you have two parents who both love you. But it is also fact that my daughter is a victim of PAS and a victim of the system not working. My daughter is in Finland. In the early years language was used against me, you cannot communicate etc. However, I enrolled on a language course! I later found out from my daughters teacher that she had no problem expressing herself in English.....and when I last saw my daughter her English was excellant.....a lot better than my Finnish. I wish you all the very best and hope that your daughter comes back into your life very soon.
From Phil / Posted: 13/05/2013
Hi Stephen.
It is my understanding that most Finnish people speak English as well as their own language.
Perhaps we could email each other personally ?If you wish then I am willing to permit reunite to provide you with that email.I have never offered this before to people on here but I figure that you and I are in very similar circumstances.
I have tried everything now except very expensive lawyers ,who talk the talk but never provide any gaurantees.I hope to hear from you.

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