U.S. Government Programs to Prevent Child Abduction

by | Mar 19, 2023

U.S. Government Programs to Prevent Child Abduction

There are two key U.S. government programs designed to prevent a parent’s abduction of their child.

Prevent Abduction program

The first program is the Prevent Abduction program.  The United States has no exit controls.  In other words, if one parent arrives at a U.S. border crossing to leave the country, they will not be questioned as to whether they have permission to take their child with them.  There is no way to flag a child or place them on a “no fly” list in the United States, so a parent needs some pre-planning to avoid a parental abduction.  The closest thing that the U.S. offers to an exit control is to enroll the child into the Prevent Abduction program offered by Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of State.  To enroll the child, the parents need a clearly written U.S. court order that includes a travel ban (also called a no exit order or a writ of ne exeat) that prohibits the child’s exit with a parent (or other clearly designated person) from the United States.

U.S. Children’s Passport Issuance Program (CPIAP)

The second U.S. government program is the U.S. Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP).  A minor, under the age of 16, must have all legal custodians participate in their U.S. passport application process, but, sometimes parents can circumvent these requirements.  The government permits a parent to enroll their child in the CPIAP, and, if, at any time, someone applies for a U.S. passport on behalf of this child, the enrolling parent receives an alert.  The alert is not a block or a stop on issuing the passport.  It does, however, provide the parent sufficient notice to take additional steps, such as seeking a court order to prevent the passport’s issuance, if necessary.


Read more about international child abduction

Read more about child relocation and child abduction:

Visit the U.S. Government website about International Child Abduction


All blogs from The Author: