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Child Custody Question.

Ticonderoga, NY |

A friend of mine lives in Australia she is 14years of age and her family abuse her, they strangle her and beat her. She refuses to seek help from police or other services for reasons unknown to me.

She has a Boyfriend in the USA state of New York who is 17 with his own job and house he is more then capable of looking after her and has offered to bring her into the US to stay with him once he is 18. But I have been advising him about the many legal issues that will occur in the process such as Parental Custody rights and Statutory Rape, Kidnapping etc. We considered adoption as an option however her parents would have to sign the papers which they wont do.
Is there any Legal way to get her into the US and away from her family?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

So long as she is a minor she will be subject to the parental laws of Australia. I don't know Australia's laws, but I imagine your concerns are correct. They very likely have kidnapping/custodial interference laws to protect children there, and he would certainly be violating them by taking a minor out of her country to live with him.

Her solution likely involves getting the Australia equivalent to child protective services involved to help her and if necessary the juvenile courts of Australia.

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Posted

You are correct, there are many legal issues implicated by this scenario. There does not seem to be anything that you or this girl's boyfriend can do.

As my colleague has aptly stated, your best recourse is to get the Australian equivalent to child protective services involved. Search the web for such an agency. You will likely be able to leave a confidential tip, and the girl's situation will be investigated. Best of luck. Continue to remind the girl's boyfriend that he can get in serious trouble.

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Posted

Once she is emancipated by age or otherwise under the laws of Australia, she can apply for immigration.

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