There are times when a parent abandons the home and disappears with a child i.e. not saying where he/she will be living and/or how contact can be made.  This is extremely stressful and may occur for a number of reasons.  One reason that a woman may do this is due to a Domestic Violence situation in which she is afraid to remain in the home.  In this case a woman may go to a shelter with the child or to family or friends and may not wish to say where she is out of fear.

If Domestic Violence is not a factor, it is a crime for either parent to take children out of the home and not state where the children will reside.  This is especially stressful when children are taken out of the city, state or, much worse, out of the country.   If you are married and your spouse and child leave the home and you do not know where they are, be advised that the offending parent can be charged with ‘parental kidnapping‘.  In this case a report should be made with the police so that every attempt can be made to find the child.  The same report can be made if you are not married, but have court orders for custody & visitation.

However, if you are a father, not married and without court orders then you will need to file a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship and try to find the mother so that she can be served.  If you can’t find the mom, it will be difficult to move forward.  For this reason, it is very important for fathers to get court orders for children when they know where the mom is and not wait until a potential change.

If you have questions about ‘parental kidnapping’, paternity or child issues such as Custody, Visitation & Support give the Family Law Lawyers at  Legal Action Workshop a call @ 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444). With over 35 years’ experience, we can advise you as to your best options.  Please visit our website @ for more information.

Reader Interactions


  1. LegalActionWorkshop says

    There is no such thing as an ‘automatic’ divorce. A divorce must be filed in court and go through the process to its conclusion. You still have the problem of serving the mom. It would be best to try to find the mom & child–the children would need to be enrolled in school so you may be able to find children based on birthdays etc. If you wish to speak with the attorney about your situation, give us a call @ 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
    Thanks for commenting!

  2. Faisal ahmed says

    My ex gf said she had my baby. Met my son 3 times and then no contact with the mother. Been 2 months no contact. Still waiting for her to respond. What could I do to find out where my son is and how can i get in contact with mother and name is not on birth certificate as she told me 1 month after birth I was the father

    • Brenda Platt-Drucker says

      This is a difficult situation. When you file a ‘paternity action’ with the court, the mother will need to be served. It’s best to try to find her through friends or family, the internet or even a private investigator. Once you find her you can serve her and begin the court process to establish yourself as the father and address custody, visitation and support for the child. You should also ask for a DNA test to make sure that the child is yours. It would also be a good idea to speak to an attorney in your area for legal advice.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  3. Charmie Rae Hager says

    What if a mom has your son in 1986 and calls and tells you that you have a son… are not on the birth cert. Then she disapears and u find out in 2019 that her mom adopted the child and he thinks that mom is his sister and grandma is his mom. You are now having a relationship with the son. Can you sue mom for what was done? Also grandma has now passed.

    • Brenda Platt-Drucker says

      This is a very unusual situation and I’m not sure what you could or should do. You may want to do a DNA test to see if in fact your son is your child.
      Hope this helps!

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