What is child abduction?

Child abduction is the unlawful and unauthorised removal or retention of a child from the care of their parents or legal guardians. It is considered child abduction if a parent takes a child out of the UK without the consent of those with parental responsibility, or a court order permitting the removal. Under the Child Abduction Act 1984 it is a criminal offence to take or send a child under the age of 16 out of the UK without the appropriate consent. Penalties for child abduction can include up to 7 years in prison.

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