Under the International Kidnapping Crime Act of 1993, individuals who remove a child from the United States and obstruct parental rights are subject to fine and imprisonment for up to 3 years. Children are defined as a person who is not yet 16 years of age. Parental rights are defined as the right to physical custody of a child and can be modified by joint or sole rights, or arising from law or a court order.
The Act also stated proper defenses of the section:
1. The defendant acted within provisions of a court order granting legal custody or visitation rights of the child, and that the order was in effect at the time of the offense;
2. The defendant was fleeing domestic violence in the United States or in a foreign country;
3. The defendant had physical custody of the child as a result of a court order and failed the return the child on time due to circumstances beyond the defendant’s control;
4. The defendant also must have notified the other parent and returned the child as soon as possible.