Parental Kidnapping in America

An Historical and Cultural Analysis

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About the Book

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice reported an average of 200,000 cases of parental kidnapping each year. More than just the byproduct of a nasty custody dispute, parental kidnapping—defined as one parent taking his or her child and denying access of the child to the other parent—represents a form of child abuse that has sometimes resulted in the sale, abandonment and even death of children. This candid exploration of parental kidnapping in America from the eighteenth century to the present clarifies many misconceptions and reveals how the external influences of American social, political, legal, and religious culture can exacerbate family conflict, creating a social atmosphere ripe for abduction.

About the Author(s)

Maureen Dabbagh is a Virginia Supreme Court Family Mediator specializing in cross-border child custody disputes. She has been providing expert testimony in court on the issue of parental kidnapping since 1997, in the U.S. and in Europe. Her own three-year-old daughter was abducted from the United States and taken to the Middle East by her Syrian ex-husband. Mother and daughter had no communication for 17 years. In 2010, the two were reunited.

Bibliographic Details

Maureen Dabbagh
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 211
Bibliographic Info: 23 photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6533-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8905-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. Parental Abduction: A Timeless Tradition      7
2. The Progressive Era and the Family      27
3. Culture, Blood and Borders      43
4. The Military, War, and Parental Kidnapping      62
5. Religion: Motivation for Abduction      67
6. Heroes and Outlaws      83
7. Nationalism and The Hague      92
8. Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, and Alienation      107
9. Law Enforcement and Parental Kidnapping      129
10. Reunification      136
11. Prevention      145
12. Politics of Abduction      155
13. Evolution of an Epidemic      161

Appendix: Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act      175
Bibliography      183
Index      197