This comment recently appeared in Kokua Line column in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Custody unclear for Filipino child
Question: I would like you to visit a Missing Kid Web site, missingyouangel.wordpress.com, about a girl taken from the Philippines by her mother. This girl is now reportedly in Hawaii. Can you help?
Answer: The state Department of the Attorney General’s Missing Child Center of Hawaii also had received an e-mail asking for help in the case.
It’s been confirmed that the 8-year-old girl is in Hawaii, but the problem is “we’re not sure who has custody,” said Charlene Takeno, the center’s administrator.
She isn’t listed at the Attorney General’s Missing Child Center of Hawaii presumably because she is from the Philippines though there are 29 other missing children listed.
U.S. Department of State policy on International Parental Child Abductions-
The Philippines is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, nor are there any international or bilateral treaties in force between the Philippines and the United States dealing with international parental child abduction. Therefore, there is no treaty remedy by which the left behind parent would be able to pursue recovery of the child/ren should they be abducted to or wrongfully retained in the Philippines. Once in the Philippines, the child/ren would be completely subject to Philippine law for all matters including custody.
The United States is not a party to any treaty or convention on the enforcement of court orders. A custody decree issued by a court in the U.S. has no binding legal force abroad, although it may have a persuasive force in some countries. Furthermore, a U.S. custody decree may be considered by foreign courts and authorities as evidence and, in some cases, foreign courts may voluntarily recognize and enforce it on the basis of comity (the voluntary recognition by courts of one jurisdiction of the laws and judicial decisions of another).
There is no readily available information on the Philippines policy on children missing in the United States.