It would be a parent’s worst nightmare to discover his or her children are missing, only to realize that the children’s other parent kidnapped them and took them abroad. Unfortunately, this is a reality for many parents. There are numerous reports of a foreign-born mother or father taking their children abroad in order to avoid sharing custody with the other parent.
Unfortunately for one Shakopee mother, the father of her two children has taken the boys to Kenya. The 33-year-old man had previously threatened to take his sons, but only recently followed through on those threats. The mother originally thought her boyfriend was making empty threats, however, since the 2 and 4 year old did not have passports. While it is unclear exactly how they left the country, the boys’ birth certificates were also missing.
What makes this situation particularly frightening for the mother is that Kenya has not ratified the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This international treaty is meant to prevent international kidnappings by one parent and encourages countries to repatriate stolen children, according to some sources. Since Kenya has not signed the treaty, it could be difficult for the United States State Department to convince Kenyan authorities to send the children back to Minnesota.
Not only has the boyfriend taken his two sons abroad, but he called his girlfriend to say that he had hurt the youngest child. He then taunted her by allegedly telling her he would continue to injure or possibly kill the 2 year old. The man eventually called the woman back and told her that he would bring the boys home before the new school year started, but he has yet to return to Minnesota.
It is tragic for a parent to lose his or her child to a former boyfriend or girlfriend, but generally that parent still has visitation or custodial rights. In this case, one man has deprived his sons’ mother from seeing her children and interfered with her parental rights.
Source: Daily Nation, “US police want Kenyan man over abduction of sons,” Antony Karanja, Sept. 21, 2011