'India, a source of immense frustration for American parents'
Expressing concern over increasing 'abduction' of American children to India, an influential lawmaker has said that the country has been a source of immense frustration and grief for parents in the US.world Updated: May 10, 2013 13:55 IST
Expressing concern over increasing "abduction" of American children to India, an influential lawmaker has said that the country has been a source of immense frustration and grief for parents in the US.
"India has been a source of immense frustration and grief for American parents," said Congressman Christopher Smith, chairing a Congressional hearing on "Resolving International Parental Child Abductions to Non-Hague Convention Countries".
The Republican lawmaker from New Jersey said that in 2012, 32 children were abducted to India bringing the total number to 78 open abduction cases involving 95 children.
"Although Indian courts make Hague-like decisions to return some children, returns are at best uneven. Parents attempting to utilise India's courts for the return of abducted children report corruption and incessant delays," he said.
Smith said the US does not have a bilateral agreement with India to facilitate the return of American citizen children to the US.
Testifying before the Congressional committee, Bindu Philips, a mother of twins, Albert Philip Jacob and Alfred William Jacob, who have been allegedly abducted to India by her ex-husband, narrated her emotional and tragic story.
Neither the US Embassy nor the Indian Government have been of any help to her, she told lawmakers.
Both Albert and Alfred are American citizen.
"I fear for the safety of the children and their emotional wellbeing in their father's care. Despite having kidnapped our children, Sunil Jacob (father) filed for custody of the children in the Indian courts. The case is currently pending at the honorable Supreme Court of India," Philips said.
"In addition to wrongfully keeping the children from me, Sunil Jacob has thwarted every effort I have made even to speak to my children and say that I love them," she said.
"Beyond the kidnapping, Sunil Jacob continues to file false cases against me and my family in India and is brainwashing the children against their own mother," she said.
"It must be remembered that America is the children's home. It is where they were born. The children went to school in America and the culture that they love. They must be brought home to American soil," Philips said.
"I implore the Congress to assist me in righting the wrongs that have been done to me and to my children by my ex-husband, Sunil Jacob. Every day I awaken with the heart-wrenching reality that I am separated from my children, whom I love more than anything else in this world," she said.
First Published: May 10, 2013 13:46 IST