Parental Abduction -- How has it been handled in Taiwan?

My Taiwanese husband holds dual ROC/American citizenship. In the past when we have had arguments he has threatened to take the children to Taiwan and not return to the US. Our oldest daughter is five: she was born in Taiwan and has dual ROC/American citizenship. Our youngest is three: she was born in the US and only has American citizenship.

Have you heard of this kind of case before? How was it handled? I would appreciate any information you have on this topic. Thanks!-v

Check the archives of the Taiwan papers – there’s a case pending right now in which a Brazilian kid born to a Taiwan father and a Brazilian mother has been effectively “kidnapped” by the boy’s uncle, although that actual word has not been officially bandied about. From what’s been printed, it doesn’t look good.
The kid’s mother is dead and HER Brazilian mother (the kid’s grandmother) had official custody. The father, a Taiwan seaman, brought the child here to visit relatives and died while here. The child’s uncle has refused to give up the boy, even when the grandmother came here in person. The Brazilian government has, I believe, become involved, but there’s been no recent news. I guess the judicial process is under way. All in all, its a pretty sad affair.

Search under “Iruan Ergui” and hope against hope it doesn’t come to this in your case.

Taiwan and the United States do not have an extradition treaty. While I don’t think that makes it impossible someone could be repatriated forcibly to the States, the situation might not be favorable to you. I suspect that “one China” ensures there won’t be such a treaty in the near future either.

But I’m not a lawyer, so don’t base too much on what I have to say.

I suggest to “v” that a local lawyer in the USA be contacted and this potential situation be fully researched before it happens.

If the husband and kids have already disappeared on the last flight out of JFK International, it will be much more difficult to deal with at that point.

You need to have some procedures in place beforehand, so that you and the children are protected.

Send in a team of private commandos like they do when kids are abducted to Iran or Lebanon. 'Nuff said.

I recall an American father and his daughter (both of them non-Chinese) being sent back to America last year. Dad had been teaching English in Taidong and was wanted by the cops back in the USA since he had snatched his daughter away after a messy divorce. Months later mom found out where they were and the local police cooperated. Wonder if that would have happened if the guy had had dual citizenship (American/Taiwanese)? Just a hypothetical question…

Thanks for all the comments. Everything is OK on the homefront for now – but things have been shaky before and I’m sure they will be again. I put “parental abduction” in the search engine and got a lot of good advice. Basically the people who deal with this all the time say that using the husband’s relatives to act on the wife’s behalf (if they are willing) is usually the best way. So, I need to keep all the phone numbers and addresses handy.

Tell your ROC husband that child abduction is now covered under some Hague Conventions. See the US State Dept website for more information.

Also properly notify the State Dept that your expressed permission is required for any passport applications ever submitted by the father of your children.

There is a rumor of a future extradition agreement being worked out between the USA and ROC.

If you want to underscore the grave seriousness of your argument that an extradition treaty does not make Taiwan a safehaven for child abduction, then send him a copy of this link:

Neely v. Henkel was an extradition case involving a US citizen extradited back to “Occupied Cuba” in 1900, under the 1898 Peace Treaty of Paris.

Taiwan was ceded under the San Francisco Peace Treaty, and occupational authority is found in Article 4. See if he can counter this Supreme Court case next time he wants to make threats.

Dear v,

Let me reinforce what has already been written here:


You’re acting from a position of having very little reliable information. What you can glean from the Internet can be good, but doing a legal diagnosis strictly from your computer is the same as trying to do a medical diagnosis without seeing a doctor. It’s very dangerous.

Look for somebody who specializes in this (your local BAR association should be able to refer you). The cost for a consultancy should be very reasonable, and will without a doubt save you untold money and grief, and possibly give you great peace of mind.

Please do this as soon as possible. If you think about it I think you’d agree that when it comes to your children you can’t second guess these things.

Good luck.

Good idea to see a lawyer as the Brazilian boy situation showed the circumstances could become tangled.

I suspect, however, that the US citizenship of your children would make the ROC take a major notice of the AIT officials in a similiar event.

Beyond Hollywood, a US passport is nowhere near the equivalent of “diplomatic immunity” powers and alone just is not sufficient.

I seriously looked into working with these people when I first got out of the military. If you want your children back, contact these people. They can and will help you. If you can get an arrest warrant issued, you may not even have to pay much.

V, is there any way to hide your child’s passport? Do both parents need to sign to have a child obtain a new one? Is there any way to send a letter to the agency that issues passports about your situation? Perhaps they can do something. Keeping your child in the US is the first problem.

A few years ago, I got a divorce in Taiwan and I’m an American citizen. Let me get to the point. Taiwan’s courts are corrupt. They lie, cheat, and just do everything that would classify them as a kangaroo court. If anybody doubts my word, I can promise you that I have absolute proof.

They altered dates to help my ex-wife and even went so far as to threatened me (the courts). Do not listen to a Taiwanese lawyer here either. When the judge got caught and some officials got caught altering evidence and outright corruption, my attorney would not admit it until I yelled at him. In which, he replied that it’s the same in the U.S., too!

You have one advantage. You’re the mother and they don’t want to upset a U.S. court, but if he gets in Taiwan, then all those people who you thought were pro-American will be making remarks concerning the bad and mean U.S. So beware and don’t let him leave the U.S.