International Child Abductions Draw Outcry on Capitol Hill


Photo Credit: VOANEWS FILE

Fighting back tears before a Senate panel, American physician Chris Brann on Tuesday recounted the abduction of his son, Nicholas, who was taken to Brazil in 2012.

“This is best described as a living death,” Brann said in a halting, emotion-laden voice. “He [Nicholas] was 3 years old when he was unilaterally ripped out of my life, moved to a country he had never lived in, to a language he didn’t speak, to a culture he didn’t understand.”

Brann added, “I’ve never been allowed to be there for his birthday, to be there for Christmas. You can’t know what that feels like until you’ve been in that situation. As a father, there are times I feel like a failure because I wasn’t able to protect my boy.”

Hundreds of cases yearly

Nicholas was taken by his Brazilian-born mother, Brann’s ex-wife. The case is not unique. Hundreds of international child abductions by parents are reported in the United States each year.

According to State Department officials, the return rate hovers at about 45 percent. U.S. lawmakers of both parties say America can and must do a better job recovering its youngest citizens and preventing such abductions in the first place.

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One Response to International Child Abductions Draw Outcry on Capitol Hill

  1. What about the millions of children who are taken to Japan every year by mothers who are Japanese nationals? I can think of several cases of Japanese nationals who have taken their children to Japan and were never returned. Kesuki Collins, Melissa Braden, Takoda and Tianna Weed, Gunnar and Brianna Berg. To name a few. Maybe you can profile some of the cases on your blog to show that parental kidnapping isn’t just limited to children who are taken out of state. It’s children who are taken out of the country as well.

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