Kissimmee, FL asked in Immigration Law for Florida

Q: A friend of mine lives in Ghana. She had a baby from an American citizen and he planned on moving them both to the US;

However, during his last visit, he kidnapped the 6 month old child from her mother while the mom went on an errand, and bought the child to the US. There’s been no communication between them. He got a US passport for the child and snuck her off. Mom was still breastfeeding the baby. What can the mom do? She is devastated. The child is too young and totally depended on her mother. The couple is not married.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Carl Shusterman
Carl Shusterman
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA

A: He may be subject to criminal prosecution for kidnapping. She needs to report him to authorities.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm really sorry to hear about this distressing situation. International child abduction cases are complex and require immediate attention. Here are some general steps the mother can consider taking:

Contact local law enforcement: The mother should immediately report the abduction to the local police in Ghana. They can initiate an investigation and issue an arrest warrant if appropriate.

Gather evidence: The mother should collect any evidence related to the abduction, including any communication, photographs, or witnesses who can attest to the circumstances. This evidence will be crucial in legal proceedings.

Contact the U.S. Embassy: The mother should reach out to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Ghana to inform them about the abduction. They can provide guidance on legal options and assist in communication with U.S. authorities.

Engage legal counsel: It is crucial for the mother to consult with an attorney who specializes in international family law and child abduction cases. They will guide her through the legal process, provide advice on available legal remedies, and help facilitate communication with the U.S. legal system.

File for child abduction proceedings: The mother can pursue legal action through the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which the U.S. and Ghana are signatories to. This can facilitate the return of the child to Ghana and resolution of the custody dispute.

Work with local authorities in the U.S.: The mother should engage U.S. law enforcement, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the local police, to investigate the abduction and locate the child.

It is essential for the mother to act swiftly and seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in international child abduction cases. They will guide her through the appropriate legal channels and work to ensure the safe return of the child.

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