Child Abduction – The Child Abduction Act 1984


The Child Abduction Act 1984 makes it a criminal offence for anyone
connected with a child under the age of sixteen to take or send that child
out of the United Kingdom without appropriate consent.

Persons connected with a child are parents, guardians and persons with
a residence order or who have parental responsibility.

The appropriate consent is the consent of the mother, the father (if he has
parental responsibility), guardian and anyone with a residence order or
parental responsibility, or the leave of the court.

A person with a residence order may take or send the child out of the
United Kingdom without the appropriate consent for up to a month at a

UKPS Scheme

Normally the Passport Service will issue a passport for a child at the
request of either parent or person with parental responsibility.

You can ask the Passport Service not to issue a passport for the child,
should the Agency receive an application from another person claiming to
have responsibility, if you have a UK court order.

Additional Information

More detailed information can be found in booklets produced by the Lord
Chancellor’s Department and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, or by
contacting Reunite, a charity organisation which provides a telephone
advice line offering practical information on the issue of parental child
abduction and international custody disputes.

Lord Chancellor’s Department

(Child Abduction Unit)

Tel: 0207 911 7045 / 7047

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Tel: 0207 270 1500

(ask for the Consular Desk Officer for the relevant country)


Tel: 0207 375 3440

You can download our useful information documents below.

The information contained in these documents does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for a personal consultation. Call us for an appointment today!