A Conversation with a Adult Child of a Parental Kidnapping

This week, we received an email from another Adult Child Survivor of a Parental Kidnapping. When he was 7 years old, he was kidnapped by a family member and surfaced 3 years ago when his parental kidnapper was arrested. Today, as a twenty something year old, he writes us to express his anger at the articles he sees on our website calling for him to seek reunification with his biological parents.

As is the case with adult children, once they turn 18, there is no law requiring them to reunify with their custodial parent. If they were under eighteen and recovered, then the courts would suspend their contact with their kidnapper enabling them to reunify with their custodial parents. In the cases that we’ve monitored, many left-behind parents tell us that in days, it’s as if their relationship with their children was never terminated — the happiest moment for any left behind parent. The dream they’ve waited for for years and years.

Yet, 3 long years after his parental kidnapper was arrested, he writes us: “I have waited a long time to send this. I waited until things died down. I waited until my anger would not cause me to be careless in what I write. I waited until my life was more or less normal again. The time for waiting is over.”

We are very sad that this adult child has waited 3 very long years after we initially wrote about his story. From his correspondence with us, it sounds like he has tragically had no contact with his biological parents. Yet, he expresses his dissatisfaction and anger at our site for asking him to contact his biological parents, who have waited for his call for a very long time. His energy and focus should be directed at his kidnapper, who is solely responsible for putting him in this unfortunate situation at this stage in his life.

Our position on this is that we are Anti-Parental Kidnapping. We believe that with America’s Child Protective Service and Family Court System, that there is never a justification for a parental kidnapping. There are always legal alternatives that the parental kidnapper has. In a parental kidnapping, rather than bring the case before professionals, the kidnapper plays judge, jury and executioner in deciding custody. Then after the child turns eighteen, the now adult child is left with the tragic responsibility of sorting this horrible situation out. This particular boy was only 7 years old at the time of the kidnapping, yet he is still convinced at that it was not possible that he was brainwashed by his kidnappers.

There are few resources for adult children that were the victims of a parental kidnapping. However, one organization that we know of is Take Root (www.TakeRoot.org). If one who was kidnapped in a family abduction were to read these stories, we would hope that they would start to understand what happened to them.

Take Root Member Stories

One final thought, if this particular individual wants us to take his story off our website, we will under one condition. That he commit the time and effort into reunifying with his biological parents. That’s all we ask. In our humble opinion, it’s the only way that his life can begin to feel normal again.

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7 Responses to A Conversation with a Adult Child of a Parental Kidnapping

  1. underwatch says:

    “Should you choose to continue to report on your website of these correspondences, keep in mind you have not done any due diligence in verifying the identity of the writer of these messages — anyone can set up a Facebook account in any name they wish. Yet, you have provided all background information to leave little doubt in your readers’ minds who you believe I am. You very well may be exposing yourself to an act of libel if you reveal more.”

    After posting the above story, we received a very detailed and angry story from a young man. This man, an alleged former child victim of a parental kidnapping waited a very long time, 3 years to tell us what he thought of our coverage of his case. Yet this man wants to try have a discussion with us rather than his biological mom and dad. He says he has a very clear memory of what happened when he was 7 years old and compares his story to OJ Simpson, a criminal case vs a civil verdict.

    I do recollect having a very nice conversation with this man’s alleged mother over 10 years ago. I recollect she had a very nice voice and was doing everything possible to find her children. What I continue to not understand is why this man doesn’t have the courage to tell his mom and dad what he thinks of them. Why take it out on us? As I mentioned, my offer still stands, if he makes a genuine effort to reunify with his parents, I’ll remove his family’s stories from our site. I truly believe that’s his only path to closure and recovery.

  2. cafe4thesoul says:

    Holding a person’s trauma hostage, demanding that he make contact w/ his biological parents for your website before respectfully removing your spin on his life, shows bad intent on your part. Interest or some sort of psychological voyeurism does not entitle your website here, or anyone, to impose on this person. Your actions are a violation of boundaries and would naturally anger that harmed person. This young person’s life is not for sale, or bent around a ‘nice conversation’ and our personal opinions. Demands surrounding someone’s choices of healing are only controlling behaviors. Sometimes we just have to ask -how can I support you?

    Domestic violence is something that is not simplistic, and the law offers little protection from it. When a woman leaves, she is in the most danger, from these controlling abusers. Going to the police to make a record or a restraining order, proves no protection to these victims or their children in many-if not most, situations. Watch ‘Enough’, with Ms. Lopez to gain some ideas, or search domestic violence on Youtube and the web.

    • underwatch says:

      — cafe4thesoul wrote:
      “Holding a person’s trauma hostage, demanding that he make contact w/ his biological parents for your website before respectfully removing your spin on his life, shows bad intent on your part. Interest or some sort of psychological voyeurism does not entitle your website here, or anyone, to impose on this person. Your actions are a violation of boundaries and would naturally anger that harmed person. This young person’s life is not for sale, or bent around a ‘nice conversation’ and our personal opinions. Demands surrounding someone’s choices of healing are only controlling behaviors. Sometimes we just have to ask -how can I support you?”

      Dear Dr. MSW,

      We are surprised at your comments as a MSW. As a member of the Domestic Violence vs. Family Violence Community, you can’t have it both ways. When a custodial-embattled mother checks into a Domestic Violence Shelter with their child(ren), you can’t just ask “how can I support you”. The Domestic Violence Community has never acknowledged their responsibility in parental kidnapping crimes. They receive a significant amount of government funding and merely asking, “how can I support you?” is part of the problem. In this era where Family Violence can be considered a two-way street, if a custodial-embattled father took his kid’s into a men’s shelter and said he feared his and his kid’s life, most Domestic Violence Advocates would question his motives. If the father then engaged in parental alienation and brainwashed the children into thinking their biological mother was like Susan Smith or Andrea Yates, the Domestic Violence Community and you would be outraged. But this is the year 2012 Dr MSW, and your motives for posting these comments are questionable. We believe you’re the one with the spin here. You’re the one with the bad intent. The ‘nice conversation’ here is one that should have taken place during the initial Custody Dispute and we believe it’s virtually impossible for any of the parties to move on with their life as adults, parents or grandparents without it.

      — cafe4thesoul wrote:
      “Domestic violence is something that is not simplistic, and the law offers little protection from it. When a woman leaves, she is in the most danger, from these controlling abusers. Going to the police to make a record or a restraining order, proves no protection to these victims or their children in many-if not most, situations. Watch ‘Enough’, with Ms. Lopez to gain some ideas, or search domestic violence on Youtube and the web.”

      Dr. MSW, we’ve studied and observed the Domestic Violence vs. Family Violence Community for years. We believe one of the most severe forms of Domestic Violence is a Parental Abduction or a Family Abduction. The problem here is that the Mother/Parent and her supporters (such as Faye Yager/Domestic Violence – how can I support you with government funding advocates?) plays Judge, Jury and Executioner rather than leaving it to our Family Court System/Child Protective Services of the year 2012. This is not 1974, just after the Mondale Act and Child Protective Services was established. This is 30+ years later.

      We don’t mean to be disrespectful Dr MSW, but we would suggest you receive your continuing education from other sources. It sounds like YouTube and the Web is not a the best source.

      The Editor
      The Children of the Underground Watch
      underwatch.wordpress.com

      • cafe4thesoul says:

        Dear Editor,
        I am sorry for your pain, as you obviously have had some sort of loss in this department. Most of us, myself included, have not only formed our opinions from the web and Youtube, but experience, age, critical thinking, family, friends and clients.

        When you say “We” in your reply, are you speaking for yourself, or the members of your organization? How many members are there? I’m sure the particular issues you bring up are important to you. I hope they are important to the victims.

        Usually, when a person resorts to fleeing their abuser, it is not a light decision. Unfortunately, many courts and agencies are impotent and/or complicit in their actions and duties to protect. Many leaders (think ‘Catholic’/Religious Judges, Police, College, up to President) fail to lead and protect. For instance, Obama has a ‘Kill LIst’, as the Judge, Jury and Executioner.

        As a young MSW, I worked for an established community agency that didn’t like reporting ongoing domestic violence in their caseload, nor situations that came to their awareness, in which children were definitely at risk, as Child Protective Services was severely dysfunctional, and their agencies’ referral reputation might impact their bottom line of income. What may seem like a simple solution of reporting, can have fatal consequences, while working with inexperienced, compromised staff, of agenda-driven agencies.

        This country is corrupt from the core, and our children suffer because of it. Ever wonder exactly where the growing number of bent gender identification and sexual arousal patterns come from? A relevant piece is that about 50% of domestic violence (physical/verbal/psychological) abusers also entitle themselves to sexually abuse. Once boundaries are crossed, and there is no community support, accountability and exposure, results are horrific for all involved. All.

        For your information, a college degree will not produce cookie cutter opinions. Many of my colleagues in Grad School weren’t interested in taking the Child Sexual Abuse class, even though most of their clients would come from this experience.

        My best.

  3. underwatch says:

    Ms. MSW,

    1. “Usually, when a person resorts to fleeing their abuser, it is not a light decision.” – In these underground cases, the abuser is the parental kidnapper. The motive for the parental kidnapping isn’t that they were fleeing domestic violence. There have been a number of studies to prove this.

    2. “As a young MSW….Child Protective Services was severely dysfunctional” – today’s Child Protective Services in certainly much improved over the last 30 years. It lacks any sense of independent critical thinking to not acknowledge that.

    3. “A relevant piece is that about 50% of domestic violence (physical/verbal/psychological) abusers also entitle themselves to sexually abuse.” – Anyone who would quote a statistic like that and believe it either belongs to a cult or is a gender racist with some very pathetic extremist values. You speak about critical thinking but it’s apparent you don’t practice it.

    Our Family Courts in American have come a very long ways toward co-parenting and joint custody. We are no longer in the age of maternal custody and domestic violence where a custodial embattled mother could allege domestic violence and get her husband to relinquish custody of his children. We have come a long ways from the McMartin Preschool and Wenachee era.

    We have also come a very long ways in the past decade toward understanding the severe for of emotion maltreatment inflicted on children in a Parental Kidnapping.

    Our editors at the Children of the Underground Watch site are anonymous. In the past decade, we’ve received numerous threats including death threads. This has always appeared odd to us since some of those more than likely came from those that oppose Domestic Violence.

    The Editor
    The Children of the Underground Watch

  4. cafe4thesoul says:

    Notice your last paragraph stating your ‘editor(s) are anonymous. I merely asked how many ‘we’ was. Not your names.

    Response:
    You said: “We believe that with America’s Child Protective Service and Family Court System, that there is never a justification for a parental kidnapping. There are always legal alternatives that the parental kidnapper has.”

    Unfortunately, the words NEVER and ALWAYS show a level of clouded thinking that does not demonstrate objectivity. Others have situations that perhaps we have not experienced, and thus cannot comment on. It is an example of black and white thinking, and in this case, with Domestic Violence, is far from helpful. If all Police Departments and Personnel, Child Services and Judges were trained well or had a lot of life experience with an absence of any political, personal or financial agenda, perhaps we could make a hopeful statement of their competency and our desired outcomes.

    I agree that the instant absence of a parent can be excruciating for all, though in my own childhood, all of us begged my mother to ‘get rid of him’. In my later life, I was the one who could lay boundaries, forgive and love the same father, who did indeed make progress with his beliefs and behavior. Children cannot ‘take care’ of their parents well, as it is not their job, or in their maturity level. A parent must make the call if they realize their life and/or their children’s is in danger, with no community support.

    We know that all the varied cases of family/mate homicide/suicide cannot be put in some “never asked for help” file. Unfortunately, each state and area has their own level of competency with their agencies and staff regardless of public trust and hope and tax dollars. I think an independent audit/reviewer would be very cogent in all agencies.

    I will point out also, just to be thorough, that even parents that divorce and do not flee with the kids as the abuser or the abused, have modeled or allowed modeling of how to treat mom or dad, and many times their young bear that legacy… along with their trauma.

    I found your site after listening to a Dr. Phil segment, where the Eileen Clark case was discussed. So, my initial investigation and research concerned a fleeing parent, with abuse ‘allegations’. It was reading your response to the young man where you refused to remove his story until he contacted his birth parents, that inspired me to respond. I thought your organization’s goals were outweighing sensitivity. Perhaps it was the way it was handled, even though your forum is for reporting and discussion.

    Though we all would wish Child Services, like the Catholic Church, or the ‘Govt.’, would have certainly evolved and improved in valued areas such as protection and functionality in the many + years they’ve existed, it is simply, regrettably, not the case across the board, or perhaps, more honestly, because of their very infrastructure, or structure itself.

    After working in the prison system, Community Corrections, Domestic Violence/Anger Management/Batter’s Intervention/Child Abuse Advocacy Centers w/ Police, DA’s office and Child Services, etc., Private Sex Offender Treatment and Adult Child of Alcoholic and Other Dysfunctional Families and Adults Molested as Children and Parents of Molested Children, and a private practice, I cannot agree that we ‘have come a long way’, or perhaps, cannot agree that we have reached any proud stance in understanding or treating the problems, certainly across the board- in this country.

    I stepped back after a cancer diagnosis, and became interested in nutrition, etc., but my life has been very impacted because of all of the above, and if I can be part of healing, then I believe I should. I do not worry that I am not popular in my view. I apologize if I seem a little too impassioned or abrupt.
    http://www.counselingwithpamela.com

    I will leave you with the last word, if you care to reply.

    • underwatch says:

      Thanks for your reply. We have followed long-term abductions and a general theme, the longer the kidnapper is able to kidnap the child, the less likely the reunification would occur for the adult child. It sounds like you have more first hand experience than most in this area. We were actually very surprised to receive this message from the now adult victim child. This was not a case of physical abuse, but perceived
      future emotional abuse. The story is widely reported in the media. The victim appeared to us to think in this era of free speech that we could be convinced on his or her word to remove the story. To our knowledge, there have been no attempts by the victim to contact his or her left-behind parent. I remember speaking to this parent over 15 years ago. We spoke several times. She really missed her child(ren). They were take by the Abductor who acted as Judge, Jury and Executioner. A very sad story. What’s the harm of a phone call or an attempt at a reunification? In the spirit of how can I support you? We would only remove the story with a message from the searching parent only. Unfortunately, like Elian Gonzalez and the Goldman child there are far too except for those Family Abduction Community that are calling for the reunification!

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