Tuesday, March 29, 2011

VA Governor McDonnell Expected to Sign Child Abduction Bill Today

VA Governor's Signature Expected Today

Virginia House Bill HB2361 on International Child Abduction Prevention & Recovery passed the House and Senate last month with unanimous support, and has been awaiting the governor's final signature to be passed into law.

I received a phone call from Delegate Jennifer McClellan's office this morning, advising me that Governor McDonnell will sign the Bill into law today. (A video of Delegate McClellan's statement to the House is found at this link here with just one of the numerous unanimous votes).

With any luck, by midnight tonight, Virginia will have the first law in the US which provides for the seizure and forfeiture of assets of international child abductors who kidnap children, both to and from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Bill is not perfect.

I know because I wrote it.

A lot of the proposals also didn't make it through, such as the creation of a pool of judges to handle Hague Convention cases, together with a drastic tightening up of how the authorities are to handle the reporting of international child abduction cases.

However, these are all issues to be revisited in the next legislative session, and in the meantime, there are plans to seek introduction of the concept to other states.

For now, I'm just waiting on the call from the VA Capitol that HB2361 has finally made it onto the statute books.

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