Director-General, Department of Families v. R.S.P. [2003] FamCA 623, (2003) FLC 93-152, (2003) 30 Fam LR 566

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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The child was almost 2 at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. Prior to then she had been living with her Australian mother and American father in the United States. The parents were married. Following the birth the mother was diagnosed as having post-natal depression and was prescribed anti-depressants.
In April 2001 the mother experienced neurological problems and she was eventually diagnosed as having arterio-venous malformation (AVM). On 18 September 2002 the mother secretively removed the child from the marital residence and brought her to Australia. The father filed an application under the Convention.
On 14 January 2003 the Family Court of Australia declined to order the return of the child, finding that Article 13(1)(b) had been proved to the standard required under the Convention. The Court ruled that the return of the child alone would not expose her to a grave risk of harm. But the court did find that if the child was returned there was a grave risk the mother would commit suicide and that this would expose the child to a grave risk of psychological harm. The father appealed.