Returning Kidnapped Children to Israel
This article addresses the topic of returning kidnapped children to Israel. While many assume that child kidnappers are most frequently strangers, what is most often the case is that children are taken from the country by one parent without the consent of the second parent.
Laws on Returning Kidnapped Children to Israel
As a signatory to the Return of Abducted Children Law, otherwise known as the 1991 Hague Convention Law, Israel is committed to helping ensure that a child that is taken by one parent from the country (or who leaves on vacation but is not returned) is able to be returned to all parents or guardians with custody rights. The Hague Convention Law helps ensure that this is done in as quick a manner as possible, both to protect the custody rights of parents, but also to ensure the welfare of children and ensure they can return to their primary place of residence.
What to Do If Your Child was Kidnapped
If your child was kidnapped — either taken from the country without your consent or did not return from a consented vacation — you must first establish if your case falls within the Hague Convention. If your child was taken to a country that is also a signatory to the Hague Convention, the process will run most smoothly. The child must also be under the age of 16 when kidnapped for the law to apply.
In order to start the process to return your child, contact the Central Authority, which is also called the Department of International Affairs. You can either contact a private attorney who can help you with this and the subsequent legal procedures or do so on your own. The lawyer can help the Central Authority address the details of your case, which can speed up the process on the administrative end.
This Series of Articles
This article is one in a longer series addressing issues related to child abduction. For more information on the legal procedures involved, Israeli laws and how long the procedure takes, how to choose a lawyer for this issue, an overview of the law and its exceptions, and more, see the relevant articles.
Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh law office specializes in family law (under which returning kidnapped children to Israel falls), among its other legal specializations. Within our law office, Advocate Anat Levi focuses on family law and assists families with child kidnapping cases. Contact us for legal assistance.