Child Abduction, Domestic and Cross Border
Child abduction is when a child is removed from a person who has the legal right to custody of the child (the custodial parent) without that person’s authority or consent. This constitutes abduction under International Conventions (The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) and Irish Law (The Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964) and there are provisions under International Conventions and Irish Law to secure their return.
Forms of child abduction
The Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act 1991 gives the force of law in Ireland to the Hague and Luxembourg Conventions on child abduction to facilitate the return of children who have been taken from one country to another against the wishes of a parent with custody rights.
- A parent removes or retains a child from the other parent’s care (often in the course of or after divorce proceedings).
- A stranger removes a child for criminal purposes.
- A stranger removes a child, with the intent to rear the child as their own.
The Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act 1991 regulates the law in Ireland on child abduction. The Authority operates under the Hague Conventions and as far as abductions between EU States are concerned, the Brussels II bis Regulation concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental which came into force on 1 March, 2005 and the Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act 1991.