The Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The international abduction or wrongful retention of
children is harmful to their well-being.
(2) Persons should not be permitted to obtain custody of
children by virtue of their wrongful removal or retention.
(3) International abductions and retentions of children are
increasing, and only concerted cooperation pursuant to an
international agreement can effectively combat this problem.
(4) The Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child
Abduction, done at The Hague on October 25, 1980, establishes
legal rights and procedures for the prompt return of children who
have been wrongfully removed or retained, as well as for securing
the exercise of visitation rights. Children who are wrongfully
removed or retained within the meaning of the Convention are to
be promptly returned unless one of the narrow exceptions set
forth in the Convention applies. The Convention provides a sound
treaty framework to help resolve the problem of international
abduction and retention of children and will deter such wrongful
removals and retentions.
The Congress makes the following declarations:
(1) It is the purpose of this chapter to establish procedures
for the implementation of the Convention in the United States.
(2) The provisions of this chapter are in addition to and not
in lieu of the provisions of the Convention.
(3) In enacting this chapter the Congress recognizes -
(A) the international character of the Convention; and
(B) the need for uniform international interpretation of the
(4) The Convention and this chapter empower courts in the
United States to determine only rights under the Convention and
not the merits of any underlying child custody claims.