1. How can I prevent abduction if I suspect one?
Do not sit around and wait
a. Go get an order from the local family court judge not to take the child out of the country and ask the judge to hold the child’s passport. Some how secure the passport if you can.
b. If the passport has not yet been issued, call the issuing authority to never to issue one unless both sign.
c. If you are fighting a custody case in the original country where the child is born, inform the judge and educate him on India’s situation that includes an affidavit from the expert lawyers on the matter, real examples of such decisions by other judges resulting in abductions to India. I have read that in “Savoie Child Abduction Case” father has sued the judge and his lawyer for sending the child to Japan ignoring Japan’s history.
d. Watch out for the false allegations of abuse to the police, strange behaviors, in-laws interference in the marriage, chances of possible extortion for money, better career opportunities in India, previous or extra marital affairs etc.,
2. After calling the state department to report the abduction do I file a criminal charge?
If you did not suspect the abduction you may still have the good memories of the marriage and may be conflicted. You may believe that he/she will come back. But most of the cases that is not true and there is no such a thing as good abductor. They are always selfish, evil, and cunning and would plan this abduction very well. If they have a plan to come back to US or wherever they abducted the child from, they will not do this. One parent thinks that filing criminal case and getting a “Yellow notice” on child and a “Red notice” on the abductor will prevent this abductor to take the child to another country from India. Also it is extremely important to file a case with NCIC on the missing child.
3. What is the process of fighting in India?
a. Immediately after realizing the abduction, file for full custody of the child on an emergency basis from you local family court and also request the judge to write a clear order for returning the child to US to the left behind parent’s care.
b. If you can locate the abductor and the child, file a habeas corpus in the state’s high court where the abductor is found. Produce the US court order of custody that you have and an order to return the child to US.
c. If the abductor in Indian local courts files for custody, restraining order, etc, inform that Indian local court judge that the matter has already been decided here in US where child belongs to its original country and the child is being abducted with intent of illegal retention. Be careful not to file any cases in India that jeopardizes your US court jurisdiction. If you do neither US courts nor State Department may be in a position to help you. Habeas corpus is an exception to that where you are requesting Indian courts to find the child and direct the abductor to return to the original country.
4. How do I cope up with the abduction?
a. Start talking to other left behind parents.
b. Get a job if you don’t have one and mingle with the people
c. Fight the stress, depression, anxiety, loneliness. It is important to have the strength because you need to fight for your child’s return. Don’t ever give up hope.
5. How much does it cost to fight?
It depends and also how you much you can afford. Plan for the lawyers you hire in US, lawyers in India, travel chargers etc., also money needed to locate the child and the abducting parent.