As a divorced parent in Pennsylvania, you wish the best for your child. Unfortunately, there are some situations in which your child may be endangered, or put into dangerous situations, by your ex-spouse. International child abduction is one of those potential situations.
What is international child abduction? According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, international child abduction occurs when a parent or relative takes a child who is not under their custody and flees the country. This includes the concealment of said child, or their wrongful retention. The country that they flee to doesn't have to be the ex-spouse's country of origin, but that's usually the chosen destination due to familiarity and having financial, social and economic support already in place, in many cases.
The reason behind international child abduction can vary greatly. However, a primary motivator is that the ex-spouse or relative who kidnaps the child believes that they should be the one holding primary custody. They may believe their own country to be a better place to raise the child, or they may simply wish to spite you. There's no real way of knowing until you find your child and the person who took them.
International child abduction is a very serious matter with a civil treaty in place to ensure the rapid return of your child, if they are found to have been removed from the country forcefully or wrongfully. This helps to protect both you and your child from the risk of separation in the case that they ever are abducted.