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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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Australia

by Ken / Posted 15/08/2017 / Updated 29/08/2017

To cut an extremely long and convoluted story short, I have been assisted by a lawyer (dating back to 2013), to try and maintain a loving and meaningful relationship with my daughter.

To summarise as best as I can in a single mail, the following details my situation as a high-level overview:

I have an 8 year old daughter with my former partner;
Due to various issues I experienced difficulties with my ex-partner, and we were not together at the time of my daughters birth or any time thereafter;
As we were no longer partners, I had contact with her most weekends (usually Sunday) and in the early days of her life would assist one evening mid-week (while living locally);
When she was 3 I had to relocate due to work;
Although I moved , I still maintained a phone / skype call mid-week and also continued to travel the 5 hour round trip every Sunday;

As she entered school I ensured that I was notified of her progress and even traveled the 5 hour trip to attended parents evening;
On the 20th January 2016 I received a letter from the school acknowledging that she was leaving the school (I had not been informed of this by her mum);
When i challenged her mum about this, she informed me that they were going on a 6 week holiday to Australia;
Although not particularly happy with this, as she lives with her and is the "primary carer", I felt that I couldn´t intervene;

They left for Australia in February 2016;
During the first number of weeks I continued to have phonecalls once per week;
Unfortunately they did not return and communications turned into excuses and lies about visa problems and a delayed return;
I then instructed my lawyer to force definite answers on return dates etc.
Following weeks/months of letters I received a mail indicating that they would not be returning to the UK
I attempted to enforce the "Hague Convention"; but due to the fact that I did not live with her or have overnight stays, they rejected my application.

All calls and communication has stopped
Since that point I have explored all options with my lawyer and spent thousands of pounds trying to resolve this, but fear I have run out of options.

It has now been 18 months since I last saw my daughter and I have no knowledge of her health, well-being, location etc. I do not have an address or contact number for my former partner and email communications are not being replied to.

Over the years I formed an extremely strong and loving bond with my daughter and to have her taken away with no contact is the hardest experience in my life.

If there is any assistance or advice you can offer I would be extremely grateful.

Thanks

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