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Several abducting parents abandonment and disbelief at

disclosed their being returned to

feelings of the requesting

State from their own “home country”. They ask what was achieved by returning children to a country where they were put at risk because the undertakings given by the left-behind parent were immediately broken and the abducting parent had no money to pursue their enforcement. A similar question was asked where there was no system of legal aid in the requesting State to fund proceedings on serious charges against the left- behind parent, and which the abducting parent could not afford to self-finance, facts which were well known to the returning Court. Several of those interviewed stated their belief that the left-behind parent would not have insisted on the return of the child (and the abducing parent) if the left-behind parent would have had to pay for the proceedings. They expressed the view that the left-behind parent was simply playing “a trump card” which had been provided by the Hague Convention but with no

desire or the child returning

intention of

daily, or

on return.

In some

the child

allowed

even frequent, involvement with ways, the legal mechanisms for the left-behind parent to push

himself into a corner when contact, which could have

all that he had ever wanted was good been provided without returning the

child thing mind

(and the mother). One mother explained that “the whole just got out of proportion. The father just changed his and wanted me to go back. I wanted time. He then started

Hague

proceedings.

He

did

it

because

it

was

available

to

him”.

The non-enforceability of provisions in return orders was addressed many times in the interviews, both by abducting and left-behind parents. One abducting parent described how the left-behind parent referred to the undertakings he had given to the English court as “toilet paper”. Another left-behind parent explained how he had expected the English court order to be respected by the authorities in the State of habitual residence when the child(ren) was returned but found that “the police did

39

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