Sound of Freedom
We seek to help families find
and be reunited
with their abducted children
The Sound of Freedom Foundation seeks to help in two distinct areas: parent abduction and/or children that are victims of human trafficking.
A family abduction occurs when a child is taken, wrongfully retained, or concealed by a parent or other family member depriving another individual of their custody or visitation rights. In some circumstances family abductions can be considered a crime under federal or state law, and criminal statutes vary across the country about what conduct is considered unlawful.
There are a number of preventative steps parents may choose to take if they fear that a family member may attempt to abduct their child:
- Obtain a custody determination from the court which specifically outlines custody and visitation rights.
- Request that the judge include abduction-prevention measures in a description of the visitation rights such as supervised visitation, posting a bond, entering a child’s name in the Passport Issuance Alert Program, and surrendering a child’s passport to the court.
- Advise the child’s school or daycare of custody orders, flag passport applications for your child, and have children memorize essential information such as home address and phone number in case of emergencies.
- If a court order prohibits the child’s removal from the country, enroll him/her in the “Prevent Departure” Program
Click below if you would like to request training around this issue for your community or law enforcement organization.
Family abductions aren’t harmful, because the child is with a parent or family member.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has found that certain conditions may increase the risk that a family member may abduct a child. However, the absence of any of the following does not mean that an abduction will not occur. These risk factors include having a family member who:
- Has previously abducted or threatened to abduct a child
- Has a history of marital instability, lack of cooperation with the other parent, domestic violence, or child abuse
- Has a criminal record
- Has stronger ties to a different state, province, or country than those to where s/he currently resides
- Has no job, can work anywhere, or is financially independent
- Is engaged in planning activities such as quitting a job, selling a home, closing accounts, hiding or destroying documents, purchasing travel tickets for your child, altering their appearance, or applying for renewed or duplicate documents for the child such as;
- New passports or visas
- Birth certificates
- School or medical records
A custody order is not required to report a child missing to local law enforcement. Similarly, a custody determination is not required to have a missing child’s information entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person File.
Federal law prohibits law enforcement from establishing a waiting period before accepting a missing child report, and requires law enforcement agencies to respond to in a specific way, regardless of the reason why a child is missing.
If a parent/guardian has difficulties getting law enforcement to take a report or enter a missing child’s information into NCIC, contact NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
Human Trafficking Reference
According to Professional Investigator magazine (January/February 2023), Kym Kurey, Strategic Account Manager at Vital4 defines human trafficking as “modern day slavery; the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act (or forced labor), in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or if the person induced to such an act has not attained 18 years of age.”
“12-14 years old is the average age of entry into sex trafficking. Shamefully, the United States ranks in the top three countries where human and sex trafficking occur, according to the World Population Review’s Child Trafficking by Country 2022 map.”
How Can You Help?
The Sound of Freedom Foundation needs your assistance in building our network of resources to help parents reunite with their children and to work with law enforcement to fight human trafficking worldwide.
The cost of returning an abducted child can vary depending on the circumstances of the case.
If the abduction occurs internationally, there may be additional costs associated with travel, legal fees, and communication expenses. Additionally, if the abductor is not willing to voluntarily return the child, the legal process of securing the child’s return can be lengthy and costly. This can involve hiring attorneys, filing legal petitions, and possibly even traveling to the country where the child is located.
In some cases, the costs of the child’s return may be borne by government entities, such as through the State Department’s Office of Children’s Issues. Ultimately, the cost of returning an abducted child can be significant, but it is a necessary expense in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the child.
Click below if you would like to make a tax-deductible donation.