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.
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.