Georgina Emerson

Associate Solicitor

DATE PUBLISHED: 14 Mar 2024 LAST UPDATED: 14 Mar 2024

Understanding Child Abduction: A Brief Overview

Child abduction is a deeply distressing and complex issue that affects families around the world.

Simply put, child abduction occurs when a child is wrongfully taken, retained, or concealed by one parent or guardian without the consent of the other parent or legal guardian. This act often violates existing child arrangement agreements or court orders and can have serious consequences for both the child and the left-behind parent.

There are two main types of child abduction: domestic and international. Domestic abduction typically involves a child being taken or concealed within the same country without the consent of the other parent or legal guardian. International abduction, on the other hand, occurs when a child is taken across international borders without permission or is being wrongfully retained in a different country without permission, often in violation of custody rights.

Child abduction can occur for a variety of reasons, including disputes over contact arrangements, concerns about the child’s safety or well-being, or even as an act of retaliation or control in a contentious divorce or separation. Regardless of the circumstances, child abduction can have profound emotional, psychological, and legal ramifications for all parties involved.

In response to the growing prevalence of international child abduction cases, the international community has established legal frameworks such as the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This treaty provides a mechanism for the prompt return of abducted children to their country of habitual residence and aims to protect the rights of both the child and the left-behind parent.

It’s important to recognise that child abduction is a serious offense with far-reaching consequences. Not only does it disrupt the child’s sense of security and stability, but it also undermines the legal rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians.

How can Ellis Jones help?

Katie Taft and Georgina Emerson specialise in dealing with domestic and international Child Abduction cases. Katie Taft is a Resolution accredited specialist in Child Abduction and Georgina Emerson sits as an officer on the Child Abduction Lawyers Association Committee. Ellis Jones is a panel member of International Child Abduction and Contact Unit and is recognised in Dorset and London for its specialist practice.

If you need assistance or advice in relation to your Child being at risk of domestic or international abduction or you believe your Child has been abducted to England and Wales, please do not hesitate to get in contact with Katie Taft or Georgina Emerson on 01202 636223 or by email to

How can we help?

When you submit this form an email will be sent to the relevant department who will contact you within 48 hours. If you require urgent advice please call 01202 525333.

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