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Q&A with Rosie Dyas, Head of the Child abduction section at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - ANSWERS BACK

(28 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 30-Jun-11 11:57:22

We're inviting you to send in questions to Rosie Dyas, Head of the Child abduction section at the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office).

The FCO is running a campaign this summer to raise awareness of the problem of international parental child abduction. Taking a child overseas without the other parent's consent or contrary to a court order - whether intentionally or unintentionally - is against the law and is often hugely distressing to all involved. The FCO Child Abduction Section assists British and dual British nationals affected by child abduction, residence and contact disputes overseas. Parental child abduction happens all over the world - in 2010-11 the FCO handled cases in 97 different countries. In the last year the FCO has seen a 10% increase in the number of cases of British children being taken unlawfully by a parent to so-called 'non-Hague countries' which have not signed the Hague Convention on international child abduction.

The FCO is working with the Fatherhood Institute and Mumsnet to raise awareness of the issue and let people know what to do and where to go for help. Send your questions to Rosie before end of day on Tuesday 5th July and we'll be linking to her answers the following week.

lisah73 Thu 30-Jun-11 16:17:13

I am thinking of moving abroad with my 2 children within the next few months. My ex husband and father of my children has not seen his children for months and has informed me by text that he does not want to see the children anymore. Where do I stand with regards to moving the children abroad. I do not have any contact with their father so I do not see why I should have to ask his permission to take the children abroad, i know he will say no not because he wants to see the children as he does not but just to get one over on me. Would I get in to trouble if i take them and he finds out after we are gone.

southofthethames Thu 30-Jun-11 19:00:03

Hello and thank you for taking questions. This is not a question about abduction but about travelling (on airlines) alone with your child/children without their father (usually because he doesn't have enough annual leave). This year my husband will not be able to travel with us because of work commitments but we have to visit ill relations overseas. What sort of extra documentation do we need to bring so that we aren't detained at the airport?

Mzdemeanour Thu 30-Jun-11 21:09:27

Hello - I hope you can offer some advice on my situation and apologise for the length of the post!

My ex-husband is a Turkish citizen living in Turkey. At the time of our children's birth (seven-year-old twins) he was living in the UK on a settlement visa. We split up when the kids were six months old and have been divorced since October 2006.

In 2008 he was removed or deported from the UK although I am not clear about which or why - I do know that he was convicted of a serious criminal offence committed shortly after arriving in the UK.

I have been informed that he is unlikely to get a visit visa - and in any case he probably doesn't earn enough money to apply/support himself here.

I have booked a holiday to Rhodes this summer for myself, my bf and the children and am seriously thinking taking the twins on a day trip to Turkey to see their father with whom they have sporadic contact. He has offered to send me a letter stating that he has no intention of seeking custody or abducting them as he agrees they are better off living with me (he has never paid child support and in fact was several grand in debt to the CSA when he left the UK).

I would like to know whether this sort of letter would be legally recognisable (he is planning to get it notarised or so he says) ... and what your views are on whether I should go ahead with taking the children to Turkey or whether it would be too risky?

Are there any other precautions I can take to ensure that I have no problems when trying to return to Rhodes or any paperwork that I need to get sorted in advance.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Tyr Thu 30-Jun-11 22:54:15

Mzdemeanour Thu 30-Jun-11 21:09:27

I would seriously advise you to exercise caution. I would not bring the children to Turkey. Have him travel to Rhodes so that the children's passports do not go into Turkey.
His letter will ammount to little.

Mumfortoddler Fri 01-Jul-11 07:15:20

I am mother of a two year old whose father is French, the question I have is as I have been working for 8 years towards a career in international development so that I could live and work overseas. We are no longer together and so now I am exploring how possible this is. My sons father has access 2 days per week. I know I won't be able to go away for years at a time but I would like to do a project overseas every so often for 3 months. What kind of permission do I need to obtain- are the courts likely to grant it?

BerylOfLaughs Fri 01-Jul-11 11:37:52

This isn't to do with parental abduction only, but I wonder if there is a UK helpline for families abroad who find their child missing? Having read Kate McCann's book Madeleine I have been made aware that foreign police are not always on the ball about these things. Is it Interpol we should call? Is there a Europe-wide alert system?

JemimaBananaHammock Fri 01-Jul-11 12:40:59

I have just moved to Italy with my Italian husband and son who has a British husband.

My husband has informed me that legally our son requires an Italian passport if we live in Italy.

Is this true? Does my son having an Italian passport put me at any disadvantage if I were to split from my husband in the future?


fraktious Fri 01-Jul-11 19:26:29

What exactly is considered consent? If I travel on my British passport with my son on a French passport or ID card what documents do I need to carry with me?

bringmesunshine2009 Fri 01-Jul-11 20:44:31

Hello there, my DH is Algerian (a nonconvention country) not that I think he would, bu because it plays on my mind, is the position if he were to take our two sons? AmI right in thinking I have no right to recover them?

TinyPawz Sat 02-Jul-11 11:00:39

My soon to be ex is Zimbabwean. We were married in Zim in 2006. DD & I born in NI so have dual citizenship (Ireland & UK), we both hold Irish passports.

If XH were to take DD to Zim, would I be able to get her back? Also which country (Ireland or UK) would help?

swallowedAfly Sat 02-Jul-11 11:32:14

Message withdrawn

swallowedAfly Sat 02-Jul-11 11:33:56

Message withdrawn

nevergonnahappen Sat 02-Jul-11 14:32:57

bringmesunshine my ex is algerian too, you would have no rights at all. if you take your dc to algeria to visit you will not be allowed to bring your children back to the uk without a official letter (stamped at the algerian embassy) saying he gives permission for them to leave the country. aso make sure they dont have dual nationality, he can take them out of the country on thier algerian passports, pm if u need further details x

Tyr Sat 02-Jul-11 18:24:02


I believe that Algeria is top of the list for abductions and once there, you have no chance.


There is a reciprocal arrangement or protocol between the UK and Pakistan for the return of abducted children. From what I gather, it is pretty ineffective- particularly if they are abducted to one of the tribal areas (the protocol has not been ratified under Islamic law)

nevergonnahappen Sat 02-Jul-11 18:58:07

tyr nope none at all sad

mousymouse Sat 02-Jul-11 20:51:35

hello, this is a great topic.
my question is also more regarding travel not abduction as such.
my dc have my dh's surname and we travel a lot within europe, mainly austria and germany.
in the last year I have noticed that immigration take more and more to asking the children directly 'is that your mummy' 'where is your daddy' I already have a copy of their birth certificate stapled to their passports (advice from german authority) and carry a copy of the marriage with me, just in case.
is this just a coincidence or are controls getting tougher?

suburbophobe Sun 03-Jul-11 08:54:27 is a website that can help with international child abductions (info, etc).

NKffffffffde3bfbeaX12623f50fd7 Sun 03-Jul-11 11:02:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eslteacher Sun 03-Jul-11 20:21:53

Hello, I'm not sure if my question is entirely your area, so feel free to ignore if it isn't!

I am British, moved to France on a whim with no clear long term plans two years ago, where I almost immediately met and got together with my current partner (who is French).

We are just starting to tentatively discuss the issue of children: whether we want to have them, when etc. He already has a child from his previous relationship.

My question is: do you have any general advice for two people from different countries who are considering having a child together? Our main concern is that should we split up, how would we deal with the fact that I may well want/need to go back to the UK (depending on how settled I would be in France or what kind of support network and employment prospects I had built up) whereas my partner understandably feels a strong commitment to his existing child, to live within a close proximity to him, ie in France and in our current home town. We really don't know how to get past this issue, it's so difficult to plan for - obviously we don't envision splitting up but it's useless pretending it could never possibly happen. Are there any kinds of agreements or plans or contracts or something we should be looking at signing before we even have a child?

iampos Sun 03-Jul-11 23:34:11

Hello, I am British and my ex-partner has dual nationality with the country of his birth, Iran and has on several occasions threatened to take our son to live in Iran, our son has no Iranian passport and therefore no dual nationality himself, I understand that it is difficult for my son to travel to Iran without this and that as we were never married under British law it would be difficult for him to obtain a passport for him. We split up this year and as things escalated, (abusive ex) I was granted a Specific issue Order which means that he cannot take our son from my care or out of the country, I am still concerned that he might try to do this, if he gets really angry, and wondered if there is anything else I should be doing to safeguard against this.

nevergonnahappen Mon 04-Jul-11 19:04:13

iampos xxxx he would need your permission to apply for a british passport,

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 06-Jul-11 09:59:12

The Q&A is now closed. Thanks for your questions which we've now sent over to Rosie Dyas. We'll be linking to the transcribed Q&A next week.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 25-Jul-11 15:37:34

You can now read the full Q&A here

Rosie Dyas Q&A

swallowedAfly Mon 25-Jul-11 23:54:21

Message withdrawn

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