Prevention Tips

Brochures on Preventing an International Parental Child Abduction

Child Abduction Brochures: Click English or Spanish.

Tips to Prevent an Abduction from Occurring

Get a Court Order: A court order may be the most important preventative measure. The order may include travel restrictions. It may also cover custody matters. 

Speak to an Attorney: Parents should talk to an attorney about their situation. Consider obtaining a court order that prohibits the child from leaving the United States.

Note Warning Signs: Quitting a job or selling a home may be preparation for relocation. For more information, click on our Resources for Parents page.

Contact Local Law Enforcement: Share copies of your custody, protection, and restraining orders.  

Contact Foreign Embassies or Consulates: One parent or the child may be a citizen of another country. The child may be able to get a passport from another country. See our FAQs for more information on dual nationality.

The United States Does Not Have Exit Controls: Two-parent consent is not always needed for a minor to leave the United States. Without a valid court order prohibiting the child’s travel outside of the United States, there may be no way to prevent an abduction.

Last Updated: June 24, 2024