What is Parental Child Abduction?

In England and Wales and Northern Ireland Parental Child Abduction may be a criminal offence where a child (under 16 years old) is taken out of the UK without either consent of another person who has parental responsibility, or permission from the courts.

In Scotland, abduction may only be considered a criminal offence where the courts have issued an order concerning custody of the child or their removal from the UK, but a parent may still have rights under civil law.

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Parental child abduction soars

Cases of parental child abduction have risen 88% in just under a decade (2003-2012), Foreign Office (FCO) figures showed today.