“The Trump administration can and must use current law, especially the tools embedded in the Goldman Act, to more aggressively bring American children home to their families,” Smith (R-N.J.) said at a hearing on Monday that featured testimony from parents whose children were abducted abroad.
Smith said “child abduction is child abuse.”
Smith said more than 450 American children are abducted each year. He said 11,000 children were abducted internationally between 2008 and 2017.
Panelists relayed their experiences to the committee and implored action.
“The last time I saw my son was on Father’s Day of 2010,” said Jeffery Morehouse, executive director of Bring Abducted Children Home.
That day, Morehouse said, he dropped off his then-6-year-old-son, Mochi Atomu Imoto Morehouse, with his ex-wife for a week-long visit. Three weeks later, Morehouse said, the police informed him that his wife and son had been reported missing.
“I knew immediately what happened,” Morehouse recalled. “She succeeded in what she had threatened to do. She kidnapped our son to Japan.”
Morehouse said he pursued the matter in Japanese courts and won.
“It does not matter how a child ends up with the abductor in Japan, they will not uphold the laws and treaties to return children to their rightful home.”
Morehouse implored the administration to act.
“Words must be backed up with actions so that Japan will recognize enough is enough and the United States will not tolerate the ongoing kidnapping and retention of our citizen children.”