Corman Bill to Enact the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention
Act Passes Senate
The State Senate unanimously approved child protection legislation sponsored
by Senator Jake Corman (R-34) that is intended to prevent child abductions in
custody dispute cases.
Senate Bill 1449, the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act, provides
courts with guidelines to follow during custody disputes and divorce
proceedings. The guidelines help courts identify families at risk for abduction,
as well as provide a method in which a party to a child custody order may seek,
through a petition process, a supplemental order establishing anti-child
abduction measures. The petition for additional measures must be based on a
credible probability that abduction is possible.
"Perhaps most importantly, this legislation will allow for interstate
cooperation and federal notification in disputes where abductions can occur or
have occurred," said Corman. "In cases where child abduction is possible, this
step is paramount, providing the tools needed for courts, law enforcement and
parents to quickly take control of an abduction situation."
For example, courts may provide orders restricting travel across country and
state lines and include measures such as placing a child's name in the United
States Department of State's Child Passport Issuance Alert Program. Additional
steps allow for the court to issue a warrant to search relevant databases of the
National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and similar state databases, to
determine if either the petitioner or respondent has a history of domestic
violence, stalking, child abuse or neglect.
"More than three out of four cases of missing children involve abduction by a
family member – usually a parent," Corman said. "This bill is intended to
prevent these cases and give courts better tools in responding to this threat."