Arguments & fights
over children

Crossing boundaries

Central Contact Point for Cross-border Family Conflicts

ZAnK - Zentrale Anlaufstelle für grenzüberschreitende Kindschaftskonflikte

First steps in the emergency case of child abduction

A child did not return home

  • from a trip
  • from a weekend he or she spent with the other parent
  • from a holiday he or she spent with the other parent,

and parental custody is exercised by

  • both parents jointly
  • or by the “left-behind” parent alone.

The following is an overview of the possible first steps that can be taken in such emergency situations:

The left-behind parent may …

1. the police, emergency number: 110

.. call tel. 110 to report it to the police, or call any other police station. The police may conduct a search.

  • It would be helpful to provide the police with the following information:
  • Name, date of birth and nationality of the missing child, and of the other parent
  • Description of the child’s appearance (hair colour, eye colour, and height) and possibly a photo
  • What clothes did the child wear?
  • Physical characteristics
  • Visible marks, such as: earrings, braces, or glasses
  • Equally, a description of the other parent

2. Organisation “Vermisste Kinder”, tel. 116 000

.. call the organisation „Vermisste Kinder“ („Missing Children“), which may possibly initiate a high-publicity search for the child: tel. 116 000

3. Call for a border alert by the local family court

.. under specific circumstances, a border alert may be requested for the territory of the so-called Schengen States (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland).

The application for border alert can be filed at the competent local court (family court), i.e. the court of the place of residence, which will then initiate the border barrier.

Address of the Federal Police Department:

Heinrich-Mann-Allee 103
14473 Potsdam

The Federal Police Department can make sure that the border alert for the abducting parent and the child will be entered into the Schengen Information System (SIS) for the search measures to be initiated.


Please note

This website is currently under construction. We apologize for any inconvenience because some pages are not yet complete. For any questions, please call: 030 / 629 80 403.





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