Parental Child Abduction is an offense committed by a parent or person with custodial rights over a child or baby. Abduction occurs when a parent takes a child or a baby from their legal custodian, usually the other parent, and when someone with custodial rights takes a child or baby out of custody without the permission of their legal custodian.

When one parent wrongfully relocates with his children, it may occur when one parent plans family vacations, school events, and business travel or attempts to alienate the parent from their scheduled time with their shared children. It is most commonly related to divorce situations, non-custodial issues, or child custody; however, in familial and non-alienated family situations where another parent plans to travel outside their area, this is also a considered parental child abduction should be reported to law enforcement.

A child custody order usually includes information about where the children will be during holidays, vacation periods, and inclement weather. If parents cannot agree on this issue, they can ask the court to issue an order specifying where the children will be during these times. If this does not work, the losing parent can ask the court for temporary custody during the ongoing case. If the losing parent still does not appear in court when ordered, the aggrieved parent can ask the court to issue an arrest warrant. If all else fails, the parents of the abducted child should call the police immediately.

When a child is suddenly snatched away from his parents, it can be for different reasons: abuse, torture; murder; extortion; ransom; or because the child was stolen under pretenses (i.e., kidnap for ransom). Stranger child abductions, which happen when the abductor and child do not know each other, are the least common.

Although kidnap vs. abduct have similar definitions, there is a common difference between kidnap vs. abduct that differs slightly.

While both kidnap vs. abduct involves the theft of an individual against their will, the main difference between kidnap vs. abduct is that kidnap refers to the strategy in which the victim is taken, whereas abduct refers to the method used.

The United States has enacted many civil and criminal laws to address kidnappings, abductions, and interstate and international child custody and visitation disputes. The United States is also a party to a treaty to resolve international child abduction cases.