International child abductions are difficult and complex situations. Unfortunately, they are not uncommon. Every year, hundreds of Canadian children are wrongfully taken from Canada or held in another country by abducting parents.

An international child abduction occurs when a parent, guardian or other person with lawful care of charge of a child removes that child from Canada, or retains that child outside Canada, without either the legal authority or permission of a parent who has full or joint custody rights.

If you think the other parent may be planning to abduct your child, there are things you can do to prevent it. Start by reading the section entitled Preventing the Abduction of Your Child

But if the abduction has already happened, you should know: each international child abduction is unique – but at the same time shares much with others.

Taking certain steps will improve the chances you will find and recover your child. Consular officials, provincial/territorial and federal governments, law enforcement officials, lawyers and non-governmental organizations may all help you decide on and take those steps.

This guidebook is meant to help you understand the processes and issues involved in searching for and trying to bring back your child. It gives you information about:

  • stopping an abduction in progress
  • finding your child in a foreign country
  • bringing your child back to Canada.

The guidebook is also meant to direct you to the right sources of help. It has a directory of resources and organizations that you can turn to for help. It also has checklists of information you will need during each stage of the process.

Read more at travel.gc.ca