The Obama administration must do more to tackle unresolved parental child abduction cases, a US politician has claimed.
“The status quo is simply not adequate.”
The hearing was focused on cases of abduction by parents into countries which have not signed the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, an international treaty which allows the swift return of children illegally taken from one participating country into another.
“Although Indian courts make Hague-like decisions to return some children, returns are at best uneven. Parents attempting to utilise India’s courts for the return of abducted children report corruption and incessant delays.”
Bindu Philips, a mother from Plainsboro, appeared before the committee to describe her ordeal when ex-husband Sunil took her children away during a family holiday in the country.
“Every day I awaken to the heart-wrenching reality that I am separated from the children that I love more than anything in the world. I implore you, members of Congress, to help me in my quest to be reunited with my children.”
Japan is another country which has yet signed the Hague Convention. Michael Elias, a former Marine from Bergen County, described his own story. His Japanese ex-wife Mayumi Nakamura took their children back to her home country and cut off all contact.
Mr Elias told the hearing:
“As long as your government allows Japan to continue to disregard our children, the number of parental kidnappings will continue to rise.”
On the same day Smith reintroduced a bill which would give the government 18 new powers and penalties when attempting to secure the return of American children from overseas.
David Goldman also appeared before the committee, the Asbury Park Press reports, declaring:
“Nothing short of being extremely bold and principled is going to do much to change the status quo.”