Assisting Missing Children and Their Families

Posted by Michele T. Bond
May 25, 2010
Child Passenger Waits at Airport

About the Author: Michele Bond serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Overseas Citizen Services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs.National Missing Children's Day has been commemorated on May 25 since 1983 when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan. It is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school. He is still missing.

On this day, the Office of Children's Issues at the State Department would like to call attention to the thousands of children who are abducted internationally by a parent or family member each year. Last year alone, parents abducted more than 2,000 children to and from the United States. Many of these children remain missing.

The Office of Children's Issues assists parents and family members in cases of international parental child abduction. We serve as the U.S. Central Authority for the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Our efforts are complemented by the important day-to-day work of U.S. embassies and consulates working tirelessly to respond to this important issue.

For more information about international parental child abduction, please visit



United States
May 26, 2010

O.C. in USA writes:

I think they should pay "Dog The Bounty Hunter" to find these kids. He probably could do a better job than most agencies. You might as well tell parents that we're not really interested in finding your children. If our government can't do it then pay someone who can.

New Jersey, USA
May 27, 2010

Jamie in New Jersey writes:

I am glad to come accrossed this site. Thus it did bring some helpful information. However I am need of information regarding taking a child to another state with out the other parents content or knowing where they were staying. My case revoles some same issues and I had not known where my son was tooken and I did'nt have an address for him.I have not seen him in over a years times and I am trying to have him back in my life.

July 5, 2010

S.B. in India writes:

I think a great but It is awful! so I think a very bad new! Missing children are abducted by repeat offenders! They judges need tobe held accountable when thy do not give a life sentence to these freaks who offend! Maybe parents should be charged for allowing the children who walk places without an adult! We know this happens weekly - they are endangering their underage children!

July 23, 2010

Linda in the Philippines writes:

I could only sympathize with the family whose children is lost. It is hard for parents to not be able to protect their children.

August 6, 2010

Rudy in Georgia (U.S.A.) writes:

I want to make a comment regarding the abduction of children to Brazil. 2 weeks ago my two kids almost got abducted to Brazil. I was being lured by my wife to go down there for a few months. I was not aware of her plans until we had an argument over the trip then she left to a shelter and acuse me of domestic violence and asked for my children full custody.

I was lucky I found an email where she was asking legal advice from her own embassy in how to do it. The embassy was smart and did not reply to her regarding her request but instead directed her to their web site

Now I have to go to court on august and present that email to the judge, I also filed for divorce so my children can stay im here.


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