The child, a boy, was aged 1 _ at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. Prior to the removal he had lived all of his life in Germany.
The parents were separated, but, on 13 March 1995 they entered into an agreement as to the care of the child. On 13 November the mother unilaterally took the boy and his half sister to the United States.
On 15 April 1996 the father initiated return proceedings.
On 25 July 1996 the return petition was filed at the District Court.