Saturday, June 22, 2013

How To Stop International Parental Child Abduction and the Wrongful Detention of a Child

Each summer, thousands of clever child abductors will commit the crime of international parental child abduction by creating a scheme to legally travel with a child to a foreign country and then not return them to their home country, often violating either a court order, the rights of custody from the other parent, or both. 

Under the Hague Convention, the wrongful detention of a child is abduction.  Under most countries' laws, this is a criminal act of kidnapping.

The reality is that wrongful detention of a child under the rules of the Hague Convention appears to be the most common form of abduction. Parents need to know and understand the risk factors associated with allowing a child to travel abroad and act proactively to protect them.


Unfortunately, there are many abduction defenses that are implemented as part of an abductor's strategy to have a court sanction their act of kidnapping.

There is no question abduction is complicated.  Especially for someone who first experiences the betrayal and fraud associated with abduction.

Recently, the I CARE Foundation launched a very unique abduction prevention tool: one that has never before been created.  It is a universal international travel child consent agreement that was created to remove possible legal defenses associated with an abductor's scheme to wrongfully detain a child abroad.

Please visit the I CARE Foundation to receive a copy of the international travel child consent agreement or to learn more about the criminal act and schemes of parental child abduction.

Kind regards to all,

Peter Thomas Senese

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Conspiracy. Scams. Fraud. Warning Signs of International Child Abduction: CONSENT TO TRAVEL

Peter Senese: Summer Scams: Ways Abductors Fraudulently Trick Parents. International Parental Child Abduction

Fraud, consiracy, and heartbreaking schemes intended to destroy the family bond, and on many occassions, see a targeted parent arrested, are all part of the bizarre world of international parental child abduction. And while the evil schemes of an abductor unfolds, often in front of the blind eye of a parent, law enforcement, or the courts, children's lives are at stake, including the real threat of parent child murder at the hands of scheming child abductors, as shared this past week by the Department of Justice.


I have previously written that during the summer school break children are at the highest risk of being a victim of international parental child abduction.  Often, cases of international child abduction that occurs during this time of year is when a parent initially travels with their child abroad with consent from the child's other parent. Often, the other parent (typically unsuspecting of any acts of abduction) will travel with scheming parent who is in reality, in the process of fraudulently planning an international child abduction.  Once the scheming parent arrives in the country they are visiting, they unleash their abduction scheme, which can include legal petitions stating that the other parent had in fact consented to a relocation before they left the child's country of original jurisdiciton, or had subsequently agreed to relocate while in the new country.
This is a very serious matter, and I know many parents who were victimized by abduction under The Hague Convention's Article 13 - Consent or Acquiescense Defense.
During the coming summer ... parents traveling abroad really need to understand some of the do's and do not's!

Under Article 13(a) of the Hague Convention, the court is not bound to return a child if the respondent establishes that the petitioner consented to or subsequently acquiesced in the removal or retention. Both defenses turn on the petitioner’s subjective intent, but they are distinctly different. The defense of consent relates to the petitioner’s conduct before the child’ removal or retention, whereas the defense of acquiescence relates to “whether the petitioner subsequently agreed to or accepted the removal or retention.” The respondent must prove these defenses by a preponderance of the evidence; however, even if one of these defenses is proven successfully, the court nonetheless retains discretion to order the child’s return.

Courts have expressed that such consent can be proved successfully with relatively informal statements or conduct. Because consent requires little formality, courts will look beyond the words of the consent to the nature and scope of the consent, keeping in mind any conditions or limitations imposed by the petitioner. Conversely, the Friedrich v. Friedrich (Friedrich II) court held that acquiescence requires “an act or statement with the requisite formality, such as testimony in a judicial proceeding; a convincing written renunciation of rights; or a consistent attitude of acquiescence over a significant period of time.” The following are some of the most common arguments and actions that parents use in their attempts to prove or disprove the defenses of consent and acquiescence.

1.      Authorization To Travel.

Often, a respondent produces a signed “Authorization to Travel” document as evidence that the petitioner gave consent for the child to change residences. Courts rarely accept this as evidence that the other parent consented to the child’s removal. In Mendez Lynch v. Mendez Lynch, the court held that an Authorization to Travel, which allowed the children to travel freely, did not indicate that the other parent gave up his legal rights of custody. There, a father signed a broad Authorization to Travel that allowed the mother of the children to take the children out of Argentina. The court held that the “evidence [was] clear that the written consents to travel were given to facilitate family vacation-related travel, not as consent to unilaterally remove the children from Argentina at the sole discretion of Respondent.”

2. Words And Actions Of Left-Behind Parents.

Courts frequently echo the warning of the Friedrich II court that “[e]ach of the words and actions of a parent during the separation are not to be scrutinized for a possible waiver of custody rights.” Here, a third party claimed that Mr. Friedrich stated that he was not seeking custody of his child because he lacked the means to support the child. The Sixth Circuit responded that, even if the statement was made, it is “insufficient evidence of subsequent acquiescence.” Additionally, “isolated statements to third parties are not sufficient to establish consent or acquiescence.”

3. Nature Of Children’s Removal.

When the abducting parent removes the child in a secretive fashion – for example, during the night, while the other parent is away, or without informing the other parent – a court is more likely to find that the other parent did not consent or acquiesce to the child’s removal. In Friedrich II, the Sixth Circuit stated that “[t]he deliberately secretive nature of [the mother’s] actions is extremely strong evidence that [the father] would not have consented to the removal of [the child].” One court referenced the abducting parent’s “deception,” which prevented any acquiescence by the left-behind parent.

For more information on International Parental Child Abduction in the United States, please visit the Department of State's Office of Children's Issues website.  In Canada, please visit the Ministry of Justice. You may also visit the I CARE Foundation or the official website of Peter Thomas Senese's Chasing The Cyclone for extensive information on abduction.

Remember, each of us can help protect children by raising awareness of IPCA.  I invite you to read just how important it is to stop abduction by reading 'Testimonial letters about Peter Thomas Senese and the I CARE Foundation'.

And remember, each of our own individual voices does matter.  We can all make a positive difference in the life of one another. Miracles do happen!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Peter Senese: Heroes Live Heroically. How To Make A Difference For Others

Hero. Heroes. Heroically.

These words are occasionally used in society. But have you ever really asked yourself, "What is the definition of a hero or what does a person do when they act heroically?"

Over the last few years I have written about individuals I consider to be heroes in the 'Peter Senese: Today's Heroes' retrospective I have enjoyed sharing with others.
During this same period of time, I have continued to ask myself, "What is a hero? Who are heroes in my life? And what do they do heroically?"

As a stakeholder in the fight to stop child abduction, I have had a unique view on the polar extremes of good vs. bad, selfless vs. selfish, and heroic vs. narcissistic.

Mike Dilbeck, who appears to be one terrific guy, is the Founder & President of 'The Response Ability Project: Empowering People to Intervene in Problem Situations and Be an Every|Day Hero™ shared his definition of what is a hero:
Heroes are people who transform compassion (a personal virtue) into heroic action (a civic virtue). In doing so, they put their best selves forward in service to humanity. A hero is as an individual or a network of people that take action on behalf of others in need, or in defense of integrity or a moral cause.
According to the Heroic Imagination Project: a Heroic action is
1. Engaged in voluntarily;
2. Conducted in service to one or more people or the community as a whole;
3. Involving a risk to physical comfort, social stature, or quality of life; and
4. Initiated without the expectation of material gain.
There is another aspect of a heroic action that I think critically defines a heroic action:

                    5. To live Unbowed through courage and within your morals, values, and beliefs.


Mr. Dilbeck expanded on the Heroic Imagination Project when he added, "When you consider this interpretation, you can really get that heroism is the other side of the coin — the opposite — of bystander behavior. When you voluntarily engage in an activity that is in service to someone else, or the community as a whole, and you take a risk in doing so AND do it without any expectation of material gain: you are a hero! You are not a bystander.

"Heroism is not random acts of kindness, as great as they are. Heroism is very distinct. A hero is not someone you simply admire or respect. A hero is a very distinct person."

Is it a fair assessment to say that most of us want to be heroes?



Because each of us, in our own way, would like to live in freedom, and in doing so, know that we can make a positive difference for others.

Is wanting to make a difference for others narcissistic, egotistical, or self-promoting?

Absolutely not. Particularly when you voluntarily make a positive difference for others (plural), and in the process of doing so, you seek nothing in return other than a positive outcome for those who may be in need of assistance. Underscoring the selfless act is that a heroic action may at times place a person at physical risk or reduce their quality of life.

On more occasion than not, I have met others who have not been confident enough in who they are to act heroically. This lack of courage often causes them to be bystanders of life. In many ways, it causes us to walk through life without living it. Without courage to be free in who we are, we do not know freedom. Without belief in our own morals, values, and ability, we bow to what is around us, seldom standing up for what we believe in.

This is why, I have learned that in order to be Heroic a person must first and foremost live Unbowed. It is a lesson taught from one of the most heroic individuals who ever lived: Nobel Laurette Professor Wangari Maathai - the first African women to ever be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

So at the end of the, perhaps we can say that a hero is a person who acts heroically because they first learned to believe in themselves.

On this note, I have been so blessed because I am surrounded by heroes who act heroically as a way of life.
"Human rights are not things that are put on the table for people to enjoy. These are things you fight for and then you protect." ― Wangari Maathai
I would like to share this idea with you:
"There is nothing that the world can offer you that is more satisfying and meaningful than being able to make a positive difference for those around you.  Find your courage, and then get involved." -- Peter Senese
 In ending this, I hope I have given you a few seeds of inspiration to get involved.

Lastly, I would like to leave you with this final thought as shared by the Heroic Imagination Project:

Heroism is the active attempt to address injustice or create positive change in the world despite pressures to do otherwise. It may involve coping effectively in unclear or emergency situations, helping others in need, or may involve setting and achieving goals to promote the well-being of others. Habits of wise and effective acts of heroism can be learned, encouraged, modeled, and are achievable by anyone at any point in their lives.

With best wishes,

Peter Senese
(Read sworn testimonials about how Peter Senese helped protect children from abduction)