For divorcing couples in the same city or state, coming to terms with shared parenting can be difficult. However, those challenges can increase dramatically for couples from different countries. For one Boston father, his concerns for his sons’ safety and well-being are in the forefront for many politicians aiding the father in his efforts to retrieve his two sons from Egypt after they were illegally taken from the country by their Egyptian mother.
And this father is not alone in his plight. He is one of many U.S. fathers caught up in the wake of international child abductions, fighting to regain custody from countries such as Japan and Egypt, that do not acknowledge the Hague Convention.
In 2008, the Boston dad was granted sole legal custody of his sons when he and his ex-wife divorced. The boys’ mother has dual citizenship; British and Egyptian. She was only given limited visitation, initiating the catalyst towards the subsequent kidnapping. Prior to picking up his sons from visiting their mother in 2009, he received a phone call telling him that his sons had been taken to Egypt.
The mother had acquired false passports for the boys. Divorced parents are required to provide dual parental consent forms prior to traveling with children overseas. However, EgyptAir states that they only are “required to review passports” and that due to the lack of support staff cannot contact “non-traveling” parents to confirm international travel plans with them.
Sadly, since 2000, international child abductions have tripled in the United States, according to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). It is this number that has many parents who are fighting to recover their children from foreign countries locked in what seems to be an uphill battle.
Source: ABC News, “American Father Fights to Bring Children Home From Egypt,” Shana Druckerman and Hoda Emam, Jan. 3, 2012