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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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My 2 beautiful children

by laura / Posted 29/09/2008 / Updated 11/06/2018

After living in dubai for 7 months with my 2 children, their father ( we had been seperated for 3 years ) and his mother i lost my job and had no choice but to return home to the UK. We all flew home for christmas and on the 29th December my children flew back to dubai with their father and nan ( we are all born and bred in the uk )for an agreed holiday so i could sort out housing and schooling. A week before they were due to fly home i received a phone call off their father saying he wouldn´t be returning them. I can not go back to the UAE as you receive and automatic ban form the country if you have not been in your first job for a year.
It has been 9 months now and life is becoming more of a chore each day.
To hear my children on the phone asking me when they are coming home and my daughter saying she speaks to the sky at night and tells it to tell her mummy that that she loves and misses her very much. It breaks my heart.
How can a Father and Grandmother/Mother be so heartless.


From Phil / Posted: 10/10/2008
My heart goes out to you.
I also have a difficult situation of a similar nature.
My advise to you is cry,shout and be angry,tell your friends and anybody you know about the situation;mosy people will be sypathetic and this does help.
After the constant crying has ended,think hard on what you can do ,believe me there will be something BUT it may not be easy (as I well know).
Search the internet,for similar situations (reunite are very sympathetic and supportive but are limited).
Reunite may be able to suggest where you can go to obtain advise,BUT do it quickly as time may be a healer it does not help in these situations.
As to the childrens father and his mother,you must do as I have had to do and traet them as no longer being part of your family.I would suggest negotiation however your situation sounds like mine in that the ´other´ side have closed ranks.
I wish you well.
From Laura / Posted: 10/10/2008
Thankyou for taking the time to read my story. I have tried talking their father and also offered him the mediation service but he just isnt interested. I dont think he realises the affect this is having on the children. It seems like they are doing it for their own selfish reasons.
I no longer regard them as family or friends i am just so shocked i never thought they would do this after all the support i gave to them in their times of need.
If you have any advise please do say i will try anything and its much appreciated.
Thankyou once again
From naeema / Posted: 13/10/2008
I am so sorry to hear about your situation.Have you tried contacting the Department of Foreign Affairs here? I would also contact the UAE embassy here and explain your situation to them i am sure they would revoke your ban. Does your ex have any other family here that could help you but i know in most cases they dont want to get involved. Be strong and as Phil said think hard of what you can do. I wish you the best
From Phil / Posted: 15/10/2008
I am pleased to help in any way I can even though it may be just a little moral support (I know how valued this can be ).
As I have found out to my own cost there is little you can do ,BUT there is always something you can TRY to do.
I constantly tell myself that if I do everything I can then I can do no more.
Im sure that you have heard this before but you DO need legal advise ideally from a lawyer in the country where your children are.
Try to contact by email as I did with my own the saying goes; where theres a will theres a way!
Good luck.
From Norma / Posted: 19/11/2008
Im so sorry you and your children are feeling this pain. Get advice from Reunite, and try to contact the Dubai ruling family. Be brave, and take care of yourself.
I like your advice that there is little you can do BUT there is always something you can TRY to do. Im adding this to my own motto: Take it one day at a time,and if you cant manage that, take it one hour at a time. Also, I once read that a panic attack can only last for 15 minutes. The really bad times, when youre hyperventilating, are not quite so scary if you can remember that the attack, if not the situation, will soon pass.
Love to parents and children.
From Amelia / Posted: 29/01/2009
I just wanted to offer support and say my heart goes out to you - stay strong and talk to them as much as you can on the ph so you still have a bond when reunited - I was abducted by my father for 2yrs without any contact with my mother (it took that long to find us! - I was 5 and 7 when returned. (30 now)
Did any parent have legal custody of the children? I cant give much advice as I dont know the visa requirements for Dubai just support for you and your children. And acknowledge just how painful this is.
From francesca / Posted: 07/02/2009
Laura, hello, your situation is so sad, my heart goes out to you. Its as if you dont know who that person is any more, they change so much. I might be in a similar situation to you in a few months time. My ex-husband moved to Dubai a few weeks ago and my sons stay with me but are planning to go over there for a holiday in the summer. My youngest son has told me hed like to stay with his dad. I have tried to get an agreement from my ex re contact if this should happen but he is resisting. My son is 14 and really wants to go. What can I do? If I stop him and his brothers going they will resent it. Maybe Im being unfair to him but I am so worried because I just know my ex-husband will make visits as difficult as he possibly can and will use any excuse he can think of to avoid coming over to this country.
From laura / Posted: 18/02/2009
Francesca please you must get a legal document drawn up before you let your children to Dubai. Any judgements made here in the uk should be enforced in Dubai if you follow the correct route.
The law in dubai is very different to ours here in the uk as generally all the rights of children go to the father from the age of 7 for a boy and 9 for a girl. I understand that your children want to see their father but please do everything you can to avoid a similar situation of which im in. I really hope everything goes ok and if you have any questions please do not hestitate to ask and i will answer them as best i can.
From laura / Posted: 18/02/2009
Thankyou for your support. I hope you dont mind me asking but when you was reunited with your mother was the bond still there.
I am incresingly worried about my bond with my children. It is getting harder to speak to them on the phone as when we speak their father and grandmother seem to be distracting them.
I still 1 year 3 months on can not understand how anyone can do this.
Their father wanted me to sign a document so he could bring the children back to uk to see me but how can i sign that and then watch him take my children away again it would kill.
Alot of people ask me how i cope and the answer seems simple to them but to me it is the hardest thing ever. I have to keep fighting for my children. Its not a case of how i cope because when i am on my own i dont but i have to cope. I have to fight and keep going for my children .
There was never any legal document in place to say me or their father had custody but the children always lived with me he never really made much of an effort with the kids and now he thinks he has the right to do this.
From Anthea / Posted: 04/03/2009
Dear Laura,
Be brave my dear. Please get all the help (support, medication etc.) you need urgently. I found the ability to vent this type of case helps a lot. It proves to me that Im not alone. There are many people in the same cut off mum/family boat as myself. Yes, easier said than done. I too am in this insane boat. I too am a cut off mum. I dont know where my 2 children are post 2004 short reunion (Hong Kong). Hell turn 18 this Friday/ 6 March 2009(my depression levels gets worst during their birthdays & other special days). My international child abduction case began in August 1999. I agree, as for those cancerous evil people - it is best to cut them off from your life. No point in holding on to the past. Itll only make your mind, body & soul heavier. Do the best you can do to get your children back (legally).At least be able to get physical or Skype access to them.Yes, like many other cut off parent unfortunately there is a time when youve to back off because youve used up all avenues to get them back. I hate this stage on my life. To be on this path drives me insane because I dont know how long Ive to wait till my children comes home to me/us ( Perth, Australia)on a permanent basis free of those evil people & environments. All I can do now is pray that theyll forgive me for my sins. Plus refocus my energies to positive causes among valued family & friends. Take care. Good luck.Many thanks for sharing your story on this site.
From Norma / Posted: 05/03/2009
I know its horrific to think of your children coming home, and you then having to let them go again. But please consider it. They need you and their family in UK - it would be so hard, but its better than nothing. My daughters were abducted to Libya in 1988 and I delayed going to see them because I dreaded leaving them again, and I hoped against hope that their father would bring them out of Libya to see me. I remember another Reunite member discussing this with me - on the phone not the internet in those days. She told me I had to go - and she was right. They need to be held in your arms and know that you love them. It will give them the courage to carry on. What if you didnt go and they said in years to come that it convinced them you didnt love them? I know its hard, but it has to be done. Of course, it depends exactly what the document you have to sign says, and its value in the UK. On the face of it, your husband agreed to them living in the UK so hes the one who has, technically, abducted them. Talk to Reunite and take advice. You are stronger than you think - you can do this. Youre hurting because you love them - how much worse it would be to not hurt in these circumstances.
From shereen / Posted: 18/03/2009
Dear Laura,

What is this document and what does it state.....If you can tell us what it is exactly then we can perhaps help better- It is not as cut and dry as sign it and he will let u see them as I am sure you are aware- hence your uncertainty at what to do......Let us know because whatever you do will affect all future decisions/actions.

My heart goes out to you- I pray God gives you the strength to get through yet another day
From Elaine / Posted: 28/03/2009
Hi Laura,
I completely understand your situation. I have 2 sons age now 10 & 8. I moved to Abu Dhabi with my husband 2 and half years ago as a family. He decided he did not want to be married anymore when we arrived there. He wanted to marry a woman who is young muslim from his office. We are British and not muslim family. He made my life hell and then converted to Islam. The house we had was a company home with his job. He threw me out and I had to live with friends. I was under his sponsorship. He made it difficult for me to see my boys. In the end, with help of friends, I abducted my sons back to UK. I had no money as he had everything. He hired top lawyers and my 2 beautiful boys were returned by the high court in London to the UAE. My husband then divorced me under Islam. I returned to UAE to be near my boys but lived on the beach and in a car for a month searching for a job on limited funds (this is illegal by the way). In the end I got job and I got a 2 bedroom place and was able to have some contact with my boys. But it was few and far between (300 hours in total in 1 year). I used up my funds and it was too expensive to stay there so I have left UAE. Now my exhusband (but we are still married under British law) has remarried a muslim woman. The Shariah court in Abu Dhabi gave me no rights as I am not Muslim, so my husband got everything and contact was not even given for the children even though the High Court in London awarded me contact and staying contact!!. This stood for nothing. Since I had to leave UAE as the housing is so expensive I have not heard from my children and my ex husband is refusing me to have contact. It breaks my heart. Reunite are unable to help and the British Embassy in UAE were unable to help and I have no funds for a lawyer and I am lost and miss my sons so much it kills me inside. I cry every day and worry about them. What can we do???? I abducted them when he converted to Islam as he was no longer the sane person I married and I felt he would push me out my boys lives and the nightmare has come true.
From laura / Posted: 29/03/2009
Dear Shereen

The document will state that i can allow him to take my children back to dubai.
The hardest thing is knowin what to do for the best i need to she my children but im dont think i can watch him take them away again. What do i do? I need to see them!
Its been over a year now and each day is becoming a chore without the support of friends and family i dont know how i would cope.
For me to have a court case heard in dubai its going to cost me 24,000 i havent got that sort of money. What do i do?
From laura / Posted: 31/03/2009
Dear Elaine.
Your story is heartbreaking and i understand the situation your are in.
Please try not (although i know its hard) to give up hope.
Look forward to hearing from you.
From peter / Posted: 03/08/2009
This is the norm for many many fathers
From Manori / Posted: 10/08/2009
When I sent my son & daughter (aged 10 & 6) for summer holidays with their father last year, all three of us didn´t think that we´ll be seperated. My ex put a custody case in Sri Lanka, I could only see my kids for a couple of hrs through a court order. Since then I´ve lost the case. I bought a mobile to my son to talk during those difficult days. Now I talk to them every day. It´s very hard at times if there´s no one understanding your situation.
I hope the posibilities of child ubduction and the legal documents you can draw before their father takes them for holidays will be more widely known to the mothers.
May be some more propeganda is needed??
From chocoparis1 / Posted: 01/09/2009
I would like to show my support to you as I know how hard it is for you. I feel for you and your story touched my heart. I have a child in the UK who lives with his father and his father wont let me see him, despite a court order. The father does not work and gets full legal aid. If only an ear to listen you are welcome to contact me anytime.
From karen / Posted: 08/09/2009
More information does need to be given/advertised about the consequences of taking a child away when the parents are seperated. The number of mixed marriages must be increasing rapidly and I never thought that my ex after agreeing to take my daughter on holiday to his home NZ would keep her there. If I had known and had the information that I knew now it would not have gone as badly wrong as it did. Also causing massive rifts and hosility between the family group by nipping it in the bud in the first place. Once the abduction is done all trust is lost. We definately need to think hard on that one? Any suggestions. Maybe some kind of clause in the passport to check whether both parents agree and that important legal docs put in place first?
From Dell / Posted: 02/05/2011
Have you seen your children since? I am in a same situation as you and dont know what to do. Hang in there.
From Hayley / Posted: 09/06/2011
I am very sorry to hear this... i know its a few years down the line from when origionally posted the message...but please let us know what has happend. I really hope you have your children back. Theres nothing more precious than a mothers love.
From Phil / Posted: 14/03/2012
Yes there is Hayley ......a fathers .
From ena / Posted: 23/04/2012
Find a way to go back there, and stay with them.
From c / Posted: 09/09/2012
I dont know if you will read this after so long elaine but I can offer some advice! Convert to Islam! Go back to your husband and say that you would like to be his second wife! That is the only thing you can do to keep in contact.. write in a marriage contract that your allowed to work a certain number of hours a week! The uk courts suck! how could they give him visitation rights knowing about dubai laws and him converting to Islam! This is an outrage! These courts are disgusting! How can fellow english judges do this to children!
From Julie / Posted: 07/11/2013
I have just left Dubai before my ex husband banned me from leaving with my son. Reading all these scare storys about courts in uk is heartbreaking. Im waiting for my ex to contact me seeking a court case I will not return to Dubai
From Zia / Posted: 06/12/2013
Laura, I have just scanned through your post and the comments and I understand what you are going through and how difficult this situation is. I reside in Dubai and my sons are with their mother in East Africa and have had to battle with court proceedings in those dodgy corrupt countries and its been now over 18 months.

The problem you have faced here is that not many people are aware of the law here. I think there is something that can be done at almost no cost at all. You will be surprised how the law should be favouring you. Is there a way you can contact me directly?
From Bailey / Posted: 01/04/2015
Im seperated from a libyan. With 2 boys to him. Hes asking me to return to libya and says he love me. I dont trust him. I lived in libya for a year and stayed in the house the whole time as its not safe for western woman to go out. It was like prison. He says things are different now and to take the kids to see him. Im soft but im not an idiot.
From Nursulu / Posted: 07/01/2017
Laura, what about buying the tourist tour to Dubai and sort out everything there with local lawers?

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