Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act
On August 8th, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act into law.
The afore-referenced Act ensures compliance with the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction by countries with which the United States enjoys reciprocal obligations, to establish procedures for the prompt return of children abducted to other countries, and for other purposes.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should set a strong example for 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Convention) countries in the timely location and return of abducted children in the United States whose habitual residence is not the United States.
Section 3 –
Defines specified terms for purposes of this Act.
Title I – Department of State Actions
Section 101 –
Directs the Secretary of State to submit to Congress an Annual Report on International Child Abduction.
Section 102 –
Directs the Secretary to ensure that U.S. diplomatic and consular missions: (1) maintain a consistent reporting standard with respect to abduction or access cases, (2) designate at least one official in each mission to assist U.S. parents who are visiting to resolve such cases, and
(3) monitor cases involving abducted children in their country of location.
Section 103 –
Directs the Secretary to seek to enter into a memorandum of understanding (an agreement between the United States and a country that is not a Convention country to resolve abduction and rights of access cases) with every country that is not a Convention country.
Section 104 –
Directs the Secretary of State to notify the Member of Congress and Senators representing the legal residence of a left-behind parent when that parent reports an abduction to the Central Authority of the United States unless the left-behind parent does not consent to such notification.
Title II – Presidential Actions
Section 201 –
States that it shall be U.S. policy to: (1) promote the best interest of children abducted from the United States by establishing legal rights and procedures for their prompt return, and (2) recognize the international character of the Convention.
Directs the President, upon a determination that the government of a foreign country has failed to resolve an abduction or access case or has engaged in a pattern of noncooperation, to take one or more specified actions to promote resolution or cooperation.
Section 202 –
States that it shall be U.S. policy to: (1) oppose systemic foreign government failures to fulfill obligations pursuant to the Convention or a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the United States and a non-Convention country to resolve abduction and access cases, and (2) promote reciprocity pursuant to and compliance with the Convention or the applicable MOUs.
Directs the President, upon a determination that the government of a foreign country has engaged in a pattern of noncooperation, to take one or more specified actions to promote resolution or cooperation.
Directs the President to:
(1) review annually the status of abduction cases and access cases in each foreign country to determine whether the country’s government has engaged in a pattern of noncooperation during the preceding 12 months or since the last review,
(2) designate each country whose government has engaged in a pattern of noncooperation as a Country With a Pattern of Noncooperation (Country),
(3) target the responsible agencies or instrumentalities, and
(4) notify Congress of such designations.
Section 203 –
Directs the President to request consultation with the government of a country regarding its designation as a Country.
Section 204 –
Directs the President to report to Congress regarding the violations and the actions to be taken with respect to a Country.
Section 205 –
Sets forth presidential actions and waiver authority under this Act.
Section 207 –
Directs the President to ensure publication in the Federal Register of: (1) Country designations, (2) presidential actions, (3) delays in report transmittal, and (4) waivers.
Section 208 –
Terminates any action taken under this Act with respect to a foreign country on the earlier of the following two dates: (1) not later than two years after the effective date of such action unless expressly reauthorized by law, or (2) the date on which the President certifies to Congress that such country has resolved any unresolved abduction case or has taken substantial and verifiable steps to correct the pattern of noncooperation at issue.
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