Monday, August 27, 2012

Walking Amongst Heros: Child Advocate Peter Thomas Senese's Insight On Fighting International Parental Child Abduction

Walking Amongst Heros By Peter Thomas Senese

The not-for-profit I CARE Foundation that I am proud to be a board member and founding director of has gradually become a visible stakeholder in the world of international parental child abduction prevention and reunification with a large and growing list of impressive accomplishments.  The Foundation's Board of Directors and Advisory Board are made up of some of the most dedicated volunteer child advocates imaginable. They give of their full resources at levels that are unheard of. Remarkably, the efforts of the I CARE Foundation's Board have not been in vain: there are many children from all around the world who today are either back home after previously being internationally parentally kidnapped, or, they remained at home because the plan to internationally abduct them was prevented, in great part due to the action of the I CARE Foundation.

Granted, the accomplishments of the I CARE Foundation are impressive by any standard: the I CARE Foundation has orchestrated numerous LEGAL international child abduction recoveries and reunification, heavily participated in exponentially more successful acts to prevent abduction from occurring, our ongoing groundbreaking research in the area of international child abduction and trafficking has provided new, accurate, and insightful information as to the severity of the global epidemic society as a whole has before it, our comprehensive and expansive reporting of our research findings has led other stakeholders to protect numerous children from abduction while allowing us to significantly advance our legislative initiatives, some of which have either already become law or agency policy, while legislative initiatives are moving forward in a manner we could hope for.  Additionally, we continue to build a national network of pro bono lawyers who participate in the U.S. Department of State's 'Hague Convention Attorney Network', while nearing completion for the first-ever international child abduction case law data base.

In their own way, the selfless acts that produce a great good for others as demonstrated by the members of the foundation exemplify what it is to be a hero.

However, in my mind, the true heroes that each member of the I CARE Foundation walks amongst are the incredible mothers and fathers who are either trying to protect their children from being abducted, or, who are doing everything possible to find and reunite with their internationally kidnapped children. These parents unquestionably, unequivocally, and undeniably are true heroes.
You may ask why I consider these targeted parents heroes?

Well, if you ever were a parent who was targeted for abduction, you would then understand just how much it takes to stand up to the destructive monster known as international parental child abduction.  Truth is, and it is unfortunate, but it is not difficult for a clever scheming parent to abduct a child internationally. And the laws nor society's understanding of the severity of this problem are not on the immediate side of a parent trying to protect their child from abduction. 

Imagine that: it is significantly easier for a person to illegally abduct a child than it is for a parent to either prevent a child's abduction from occurring or bring their child home after abduction.
Over the years, I have an incredible amount of targeted parents.  The vast majority have given everything in their life to protect their child or children.  Truth is, the financial strain is - not 'could be' - but is unbearable. The emotional loss is unlike anything imaginable because a targeted parent, particularly one searching for their abducted child, dies a thousand deaths a day not knowing where their child is and if their child is safe. Remember: evil things generally follow bad acts. And child abduction is a more than a bad act: it is an evil act against both the taken child and targeted parent.

Still, despite the hardships, which include all too often a failure for the courts we trust to enforce laws or treaties that were created to protect our children, these heroic parents of abduction march on knowing that they will face one stone wall after another.

Despite this, they continue their plight.  For the majority, there is no other way than forward toward reunification.

They may not see themselves as heroes, but their is no mistaken that by act and dedication, these parents are heroes.

And many, in their own special way, remind all of us of how important it is to stand up and defend those who can't defend themselves.  As they move forward into the storms of abduction, and as we see their plight, we are reminded that we too - all of us - society as a whole - must do better for amongst us are our children's heroes who are counting on them to bring them safely home.

Today, there is a significant chance to help children targeted for abduction.

Many friends of the I CARE Foundation have expressed an interest in helping in our community efforts to prevent international child abduction and human trafficking.

Well, we're getting ready to share the full details of our legislative iinitiatives and can use as much help as possible. Part of our immediate focus is to draw the issues of child abduction and trafficking into the U.S. presidential election debate since America alone is expected to have between 100,000 and 125,000 children internationally kidnapped over the next decade at a cost of over Six Billion dollars to the U.S. economy and citizens (Canada is proportionately on scale based upon its population).

Our immediate legislative initiatives include:

1. Modify the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative so all individuals traveling abroad must present a valid passport regardless age and type of travel.

2. Create a secure screening list for individuals determined by courts or law enforcement as high-risk child abductors who posses a right to U.S. citizenship similar to the existing Prevent Departure Program that only applies to individuals who do not posses a right of American citizenship.

So if your really interested in assisting, on behalf of the I CARE Foundation, we would welcome your assistance. All you need to do is send an email to

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