Child Abuse is Wrong: What Can I Do?

When a parent abducts their child

Most abducted children are taken by someone the child knows. The person who takes them is most often a parent.

Parental child abduction happens when one parent takes a child without either the legal right or the permission of the other parent. Parental child abduction is a crime in Canada. An exception may apply when a parent takes the child to protect them from immediate harm.

What to do if you are afraid the other parent may abduct your child:

  • Contact a lawyer.
  • Contact your local police.
  • Keep records of all important information about your child and store it in a safe place.
  • Keep a copy of your parenting or custody order* or agreement with you.
  • Ask your local passport office to add your child's name to the Passport Control List. If your children are citizens of another country, contact that embassy or consulate to ask them to refuse passports for your children.
  • Talk to your child about using the phone and explain how your parenting or custody order or agreement works if you are separated or divorced.
  • If it is safe to do so, try to maintain good relations with the other parent and any extended family.
  • Keep photos, recordings or other proof of the family violence.

If your child is abducted:

  • Contact your local police immediately.
  • If you are out of the country, make sure to report the disappearance to the federal government's Consular Services at 613-996-8885. You may call collect, where available.
  • If you are inside Canada and you think your child is outside Canada, call the federal government's Consular Services at 1-800-387-3124 (TTY 613-944-1310 or 1-800-394-3472) or go to https://travel.gc.ca/.
  • Contact a child search organization in your province or territory and register your child as missing

What can I do?

For more information:

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