Most people are aware of David Goldman’s fight to find his son Sean. According to SEATTLEPI.COM, there is now a fight for another Sean but this time it doesn’t involve the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. It does involve an International Abduction as Carl Hillman’s son was abducted by his ex-wife and taken to Japan.
After a grinding 18 months, Hillman was divorced and on vacation with son Sean. For two weeks, he relaxed with the 5-year-old, who was excited to start at the John Stanford International School’s Japanese-English immersion program. The biracial boy had friends on both side of the language divide.
Hillman dropped Sean off that evening at the home of his ex-wife, Mayumi Ogawa, expecting to see him in a few weeks after a trip to his mother’s native Japan.
Thirty-six weeks have passed since Hillman last saw his son and, despite court orders and felony charges filed this month against Ogawa, he’s unsure if he ever will see him again.
“All along this was a fear,” said Hillman, a 39-year-old North Seattle resident. “No child has legally or diplomatically returned to the United States from Japan.”
Ogawa fled the country weeks after a King County Superior Court judge approved an agreed parenting plan stating that Sean would split his time between his parents. Hillman has since been awarded sole control of the child, and King County prosecutors have charged Ogawa with first-degree custodial interference — essentially accusing her of kidnapping her own child.
Sean isn’t listed at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) even though he is abducted. In the article, Ernie Allen, CEO mentions the case of Arathi Bandi who abducted her daughter and went to India in another joint custody case. Neither she nor the child are listed at the NCMEC. Ironically he describes it as a lesser known case.
Why aren’t these children listed? There are 33 missing children listed under Case Type: Hague Case and 416 under Case Type: Family Abduction but there is no category for International Abductions.
Do you remember the case of Allison Quets ? Why aren’t authorities pursuing these cases with the same fervor?
Interesting information from Interpol-Legislation of INTERPOL member states on missing Children
Update 03-31-09: Sean’s missing poster has now been added at the NCMEC
Also listed at the NCMEC are Takoda and Tiana Weed.
Takoda and Tiana were last seen on January 15, 2004. They may be in the company of their non-custodial mother. They may have traveled to Japan. Takoda may use the alias name Tei Oda. His nickname is Tei Chan. Tiana may use the alias name Kiku Oda. Her nickname is Kiku Chan. Takoda and Tiana are Biracial. They are Asian and White.
Update 05-22-09: Japan urged to sign accord against parental abductions
TOKYO (AFP) — The United States and three other western nations Thursday urged Japan to sign an accord against parental child abductions, saying scores of children are being held in the country.
US, French, British and Canadian diplomats launched the rare joint appeal at a US embassy press conference, listing cases of foreign parents who have been unable to see their children in Japan after a breakup or divorce.
“We do feel a sense of urgency because the number of cases is increasing very dramatically,” said acting US ambassador to Japan James Zumwalt.
“I think because we have more and more international marriages, we can expect in the future a further increase in the number of these cases.”
The United States had received reports of 73 cases of parental abductions involving 104 children in Japan, said Michele Bond, the US State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for overseas citizen services.
In 29 more cases, all family members were in Japan, but the US parent was denied access to a child after a separation or divorce, she said.
Fighting for Sean
Case Type: Hague Case
International parental abductions
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