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
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.
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