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Sens. Cruz, Grassley, Feinstein, Menendez Promote International Parental Child Abduction Awareness Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) yesterday introduced a bipartisan resolution designating April as “International Parental Child Abduction Month.” 

“Far too many American children and children across the world experience abuse in the form of international parental abduction,” Sen. Cruz said. “I am proud to join my colleagues in support of this resolution, and hope to see more countries and legal professionals work together to end this abuse and reunite abducted children with their rightful, legal families.”

“It is difficult to imagine the distress and heartbreak a parent must feel after losing a child in a parental abduction. This heartbreak can be made even worse when the child is abducted and taken abroad, leaving the American parent little or no recourse to reunite with their family. We take this step to recognize that pain, honor those who work to prevent such tragedies and raise awareness about the prevalence of this problem,” Sen. Grassley said. “Our country has played an important part in reducing the number of parental abductions, but we can and should do more to combat international parental abduction. Raising this critical awareness is an important first step.”

“It’s hard to imagine a more devastating situation for parents than their children being abducted and taken to a foreign country. Unfortunately, this happens more frequently than one would expect and it’s incredibly difficult for parents to get their children back. International parental abduction continues to affect California families more than any other state. In 2016 alone, 198 California families reported abductions by a parent. Our resolution raises awareness of this important issue,” Sen. Feinstein said.

“As a parent and grandparent, I can only imagine the emotional toll of having a child abducted and taken abroad, and being helpless to get them back,” said Sen. Menendez. “That is why I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan Resolution to continue our efforts to raise awareness and prevent safe havens in the world for those who abduct children. The International Parental Child Abduction Month should serve as a reminder for our government to find ways to better assist parents in bringing abducted children home where they legally and rightfully belong.” 

Thousands of American children have been abducted by a parent and taken abroad, separating those children from their custodial parents in the United States. This can have devastating and lasting effects on both the child and the separated parent. Although various programs have reduced the number of international abductions by 25 percent in the last two years, the United States can continue to play a leading role in further reducing abductions through raising awareness and public education. 

Text of the resolution can be found here.