The Passport Control List Can Assist In A Case Of Child Abduction By A Family Member
The custodial parent is the only one who has the option to place the child on the passport control list, so if you are not the custodial parent, you will have more difficulty preventing your children from leaving the country.
There is an application form that the custodial parent can pick up at any Passport Canada office. The parent is required to give a written statement as to why they believe there is a danger that the child could be abducted. They also need to provide a copy of the custody order or, in some cases, another legal document such as a separation agreement. And they are also required to provide Passport Canada with dates of birth for the child and for both parents. With this record in place, the RCMP is then alerted when somebody applies for a passport for that child or when somebody tries to cross the border with that child. This is a helpful resource, but once again, the key to being able to use it is having the custody order in the first place.
The RCMP also has a missing child service. They offer a number of services including a database of missing children. They will coordinate investigations of missing children, but theirs is more of a preventive approach, which means that you do have to have the custody order first. One of the other things that the RCMP does is issue an AMBER alert. This is the immediate publication of information through the media to alert persons on the highway, watching television or listening to the radio, that there is a child who’s being abducted. The AMBER alert can be very helpful, and that’s why it is significantly easier to find an abducted child within Canada, because you can use the services of the RCMP in that way to get the word out to the public. If anyone ever finds themselves in this situation, the RCMP website has a list of 16 different services that they provide. It’s a very good resource.
[RCMP web site link] http://www.ourmissingchildren.gc.ca/omc/about/services_e.htm
[Passport Canada web site link] www.ppt.gc.ca/index.aspx?lang=e
If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with family law issues in York Region, Durham Region or Toronto, contact Feldstein Family Law Group for a consultation.
This article is taken from a July 31, 2008 interview with Andrew Feldstein,Family Lawyer with Feldstein Family Law Group, a Toronto Ontario Family Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.