The Hague Convention of 1980 is perhaps the most important legal issue for international families that most of us are only vaguely aware of. Simply put, it is intended to protect children from international child abduction.

But for some parents, the implications of the Hague Convention can have unintended and devastating consequences: leaving them trapped in a foreign country with little to no support, while fighting lengthy and expensive court battles. We talk to Roz Osborne, founder of GlobalARRK, which stands for Global Action on Relocation and Return with Kids, about the hurtful side of the Hague Convention. We cover:

  • How Roz ended up stuck in Portugal, unable to take her kids home to the UK, after her relationship ended.
  • How the Hague Convention can sometimes end up punishing vulnerable parents, mostly mothers, living abroad.
  • How GlobalARRK began and what it does.
  • What changes to the Hague Convention GlobalARRK is petitioning for.
  • What is a pre-emigration contract and why it might be the most important thing you can do before moving abroad.
  • How to support GlobalARRK and get involved.

Disclaimer: The content in this episode a personal story and not intended as legal advice. We urge all parents who to seek counsel from a qualified international family law professional when necessary. 

Show Notes:


“Cooling Off Period’ Petition on

Article in The Guardian: The mothers fighting to get their children back home again

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Donna Bardsley

Donna Bardsley is the travel-loving mother of three homebodies who hate to leave the house. After living in Amsterdam for six years, she has recently moved her family back to the US where she is experiencing all the joys of reverse culture shock.