“My former husband said that our eight-year-old son was only visiting overseas for Christmas, as a regularly scheduled visit.  Three years later, I can’t even see him!”

 “My wife brought us overseas on temporary work assignment.  Six months later, she revealed her affair and divorced me.  My children, now eight and eleven, can’t return to America just for a visit!”

“Our daughters, ages five and seven, went for a walk with their grandparents when we traveled overseas last summer.  Now, their father says he will never let them see me again.”

Sadly, stories about American children abducted by family or friends while traveling or living abroad, are common worldwide.  International child abduction is not new. A case of international child abduction was even documented aboard the Titanic! However, it is on a tragic, sharp rise due to many factors, including the ease of international travel and high divorce rates, worldwide. The issue becomes even murkier when a parent alleges abuse or claims their American child risks losing his or her cultural heritage by not returning to America.  When child custody cases cross borders, how can we sift through rhetoric to the facts, cut the red tape, and do what is truly best for our children?