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Parental child abduction on the rise

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has released figures showing that, on average, almost two children are abducted abroad each day.

The FCO has released a short film, ‘Caught in the middle’, to highlight the issues and encourage parents to think of the consequences before doing something that could do lasting damage to the children and families involved. This film can be viewed by clicking here.

Parental child abduction has more than doubled in the last decade. This year Reunite – a charity that provides advice and support to parents involved in parental child abduction cases – reports that it has dealt with 447 new cases involving 616 children. It reported a particular spike in cases after Christmas 2012 and again in September this year following the summer holidays.

Amanda Dench, head of the abduction team at Miles and Partners said: “In this day and age it is ever more likely that children will be born to parents of different nationalities, or who will relocate abroad at some point during their childhood. As a result, when relationships break down, children can often be stuck in the middle of a dispute that spans international borders. At Christmas, many children will travel abroad to be spend time with a non-resident parent and it can unfortunately lead to an increase in the number of cases of children being retained by the non-resident parent.”

If your child has been retained in another country without your permission, contact us now. We can assist you to apply to foreign courts for the return of your child to the UK. We can also assist you in making applications via the Central Authority or in certain cases make an application to the English High Court to aid their return.

Likewise, if you have reason to believe one or more of your children may be in immediate danger of being abducted by their other parent, we can take immediate measures to prohibit the removal of your child from England and Wales contact Amanda Dench or Katherine Couper on 0207 426 0400. email or

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.