Child Abduction & the Law
Handling International Child Abduction cases in Victoria, Nanaimo, and Mill Bay is among the most emotionally challenging tasks at Infinity Law. With British Columbia's diverse demographic, such incidents are unfortunately more common than one might expect.
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction offers a beacon of hope for parents in British Columbia seeking the return of their abducted children. However, the primary legal proceedings under the Convention occur in the country where the child has been taken, not in British Columbia or even Canada. It's worth noting that not every country is a signatory to the Convention. For years, nations like Japan and Russia were not part of this agreement, making child retrieval from these countries particularly challenging. While they've since joined, countries like China and Iraq remain non-signatories.
The efficiency of legal proceedings can vary significantly between countries. Immediate action is paramount. If a child becomes accustomed to their new environment, courts might argue against uprooting them, even if the relocation was wrongful.
For residents of Victoria, Nanaimo, and Mill Bay facing such a situation, Infinity Law recommends the following steps:
- Engage the Central Authority: In British Columbia, this is the designated body for International Child Abduction cases. Ms. Penny Lipsack, a lawyer with the Ministry of Justice in Victoria, currently holds this position. She can be reached at 250 356-8433 or Penelope.Lipsack@gov.bc.ca. They will guide you through the initial process.
- Consult with Infinity Law: Our expertise in family law across Victoria, Nanaimo, and Mill Bay ensures you receive the best guidance. While the primary legal proceedings might be overseas, crucial actions can be initiated locally to aid the case.
- Alert Local Law Enforcement: The Criminal Code of Canada recognizes abduction as a crime. Local police can collaborate with international agencies like Interpol to limit the movements of the abducting parent and child.
- Prepare Financially and Emotionally: International cases can be resource-intensive. While some countries offer legal aid, many require you to hire and finance a private attorney.
Swift action is crucial. With Infinity Law's expertise and the right steps, there's a strong chance of reuniting with your child safely.