International Custody

Parental Kidnapping: What is the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program?

Parental Kidnapping

In Miami, Florida divorces involving children, issues sometimes arise with one of the parents who has dual citizenship.

For instance, a more common issue presents itself when one of the parents has dual citizenship and then threatens to flee the country with the couple’s children. One of the many things that the non-offending parent should do (for their US citizen children under the age of 18) is complete an application for entry into the children’s passport issuance alert registry.

The Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP) is one of the most important tools for preventing international parental child abduction. Once registered, if a passport application is submitted for a child who is registered in CPIAP, the U.S. Department of State contacts and alerts the parent or parents. The passport lookout system gives all U.S. passport agencies as well as U.S. embassies and consulates abroad an alert on a child’s name if a parent or guardian registers an objection to passport issuance for his or her child.  While this step will not help you confiscate your children’s current passport, it will alert you if a new one is applied for and will generally receive 30 days to object to issuance of the new US passport.

Again, while this program is certainly an important step in the process to protect your child from international abduction, it is far from being the only one. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you should contact a Miami divorce lawyer immediately.