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India pressured to sign international child abduction treaty

The Hague Convention was created in response to the problem of parents absconding with their children to other countries without the other parent's approval. These international child abduction cases can be difficult for parents to navigate due to the differences in child custody laws between nations.

The U.S. is currently pushing India to be the next country to ratify the treaty, but before we talk about India, let's look at what the Hague Convention is exactly.

What is the Hague Convention?

The Hague Convention is a treaty that different countries -- including the United States -- have signed in order to honor the child custody rulings of foreign nations. Member countries who have entered into the Hague Convention have a much easier time negotiating the return of one of their children when it involves a fellow member country.

However, when it comes to a non-Hague country, getting an abducted child returned can be difficult, complicated and sometimes impossible. Even though the Hague Convention has existed since 1980, countless countries have yet to join the convention, including India.

Why hasn't India joined the convention?

The primary problem preventing India from joining the convention has been the need to modify its laws. India has been trying to sign the treaty for more than a decade. However, Indian laws require amendments before the treaty can be ratified, and this has proved to be a long and complex process requiring agreement from different competing factions in government. In other words, for India, the ratification of the Hague Convention has resulted in multifaceted roadblocks.

When India finally joins the Hague Convention, it will represent a momentous victory in the effort to combat and resolve the painful issue of international child abduction. It will increase the rights of American parents to get their children back after a kidnapping through the application of powerful international child custody laws.

Source: India Times, "US pushes India to sign Hague Convention on child abduction," Ishani Duttagupta, Sep. 15, 2017

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