Family Lawyer in Mississauga

  289-652-0529  Main Office: 55 Village Centre Pl, Suite 200, Mississauga, ON L4Z1V9




Parental child abduction, the most common form of child abduction in Canada, occurs when a parent takes or conceals a child from the other parent. An international child abduction happens when a child is taken from or kept outside Canada by one parent in breach of the rights of custody of the other parent or in violation of a court order. If a child is abducted by a parent, it is necessary to act quickly to recover the child safely. In this blog, I shall discuss the indicators of risk, how to prevent risks of child abduction, and what to do if a child is abducted. In the next blog, I shall discuss the steps to seek the return of the child to Canada from the countries with which Canada applies the Hague Convention and what to do if the Hague Convention does not apply.


Many indicators might warn a parent that the other parent is planning to abduct a child. Do not ignore direct or indirect threats of removal of your child by their parent. Also, do not ignore direct or indirect threats made by a parent to harm the child. Be alert if the other parent demonstrates one or more of the following indicators:

  • The other parent has a history of controlling and violent/aggressive behavior.
  • The other parent has previously concealed or removed the child to an unknown/undisclosed place.
  • The other parent has made direct or indirect threats to take or abduct the child.
  • The other parent is not happy about a family court order regarding custody.
  • The other parent has family or other connections in another country or province.
  • The other parent has made considerable life changes e.g., quitting a job or seeking a job overseas, selling a home, disposing of/depleting assets and properties, terminating the lease of the home, closing bank accounts, gathering the child records/documents, applying for a child’s birth certificate, visa/passport.
  • Express unreasonable concerns about the child’s safety and well-being while in your care.


A parent may take some preventive steps to avoid the child’s abduction to another country:

  • Keep a contact with the child and the other parent.
  • Contact Consular Services at Global Affairs Canada to seek information and advice about preventing child abduction.
  • If you are separating from the other parent, get a Separation Agreement or parenting order from the Court that provides details about the parenting arrangement regarding the travel outside the province and Canada.
  • Secure the child’s passport and birth certificate. If the child doesn’t have a Canadian passport, you may ask the Passport Program to include the child’s name in the Passport Program System Lookout.
  • Try to keep communication with the other parent.
  • Ensure to have current information about the other parent, e.g., phone number, email address, address, employment, family, and friends.
  • Ensure the childcare service providers (school, daycare, babysitter, extra-curricular activities centers, etc.) are aware of the parenting arrangements. Make such persons caring for the child understand the schedule of who is allowed to pick up the child and may provide a copy of the parenting arrangement (agreement or court order).
  • Teach the child their home phone number, and address, and how to dial 911 in case of urgent help.
  • Teach the child the difference between keeping and speaking secrets to avoid harm.
  • Speak with a Family Lawyer.


If a parent believes that the child has been taken by their other parent, and has fair concerns that the child may be in imminent risk situation, immediately file a child missing report to the police. You may also try to contact the other parent or the child or friends/family to confirm the location or safety of the child and try to resolve the situation. If you cannot get hold of the other parent or confirm the child’s safety, contact the police immediately. You may also contact a Family Lawyer, the Passport Program, and Consular Services at Global Affairs Canada.

In the upcoming days, I shall write about the steps to seek the return of the child to Canada from the countries with which Canada applies the Hague Convention and what to do if the Hague Convention does not apply.

Disclaimer: This blog is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice or opinions of any kind and may not be used for professional or commercial purposes. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely upon the materials in this blog, or any general information without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice.