International Parental Kidnapping

$1,125 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 30 people in 16 months

Hello, my name is Barbie Hise. My family desperately needs funds raised in order for us to afford to proceed fully and effectively with the Hague Treaty for International Child Abduction. The money will be used to hire a foreign attorney, court costs, etc for this legal battle. My son's name is Zander Michael, and he will be 9 years old March 15. He's also on the Autism Spectrum Disorder with Sensory Processing Disorder. I have been his ONLY primary caretaker his entire life. I have been his biggest advocate for his special needs. I'm emphasizing his special needs because my son has been kidnapped by his biological father, who has been out of his life consistently since he was a baby, and doesn't take his needs seriously. I was naive when I agreed to our custody agreement, which stated that my son was to travel to the country of Malta annually for a period not less than 2 months and no greater than 3 months. His first visit overseas was the Summer of 2014. I tried to fight this visit because my son had just been diagnosed with autism, and his father was a virtual stranger. I lost, and sent my son. His next visit was Summer of 2015. Every return, my son was withdrawn, struggling, regressed, and depressed from grown up conversations he was forced to endure. My son was repeatedly told that I kidnapped him, and I was the one who ripped apart our family. He struggled so much that it affected him academically. He was being sent home with constant reports of refusing to do work, instead he would lay his head on his desk and suck his thumb. I had to spend the few hours between coming home from school and bedtime to do his daily work before school the next day. So rather than send him to 2nd grade, I created my own Private school to ensure my son was prepared before being sent off to public school again. I knew my son and his situation better than anyone. As soon as I had him home, I quickly realized he was too far behind and therefore I had him repeat 1st grade. I had always planned on sending my son back to public school as soon as we moved to another school district. However, January 2016, my ex husband expressed his wishes to visit with Zander during Christmas 2016. He wanted no less than 2 months, the entire months of December and January. I decided to homeschool a second year. He was doing well this school year. His refusals were weaker, and he had matured as a person a lot during this time. Keep in mind, he had not seen his father for 1 1/2 years. He would go months before even asking to talk to him on the phone. There was minimal contact. I handed my son over November 28, 2016. December 9, 2016, my ex husband filed an application against me. My son started begging to live there for a year, but his reasonings led me to believe he was being bribed and brainwashed. He started asking me why I divorced my ex (he was so young when we divorced I never ever used that word), and why I had him longer. He stopped sounding and acting like the child I knew. A few days before he was supposed to come home (Feb 1), I was notified that he was keeping him until March 3rd. Little did I know that court proceedings were under way. Feb 2nd, my ex was awarded permanent residency. I lost custody of my son without ever being notified or given a chance to defend myself. The reasoning behind the application was because I homeschooled, and therefore was neglecting his basic needs. The words used were "significant deterioration in his academic development and social skills." I have loads of documentation showing that Zander was significantly delayed because of his public school education, and the fact that his public school did not utilize his IEP to best work with his needs. Also, he had not seen Zander since August of 2015. He has never lived with him on a day to day basis. He refuses to accept that Zander is on the Spectrum. He blames his autism on the fact that I divorced him (when Zander was a baby) and the emotional trauma of that. As Zander's mother, I can say that Zander is on par. When I first started teaching Zander, he could not recognize the sight word "the". He did not know his alphabet. When he left me, he could read very well for his age. My ex is judging his level of development based on a neurotypical child in 3rd grade. Also his "lack of socal skills" is because he has autism! I have been accused of denying him a basic right to socialize. Zander was bullied in school. He had one friend. Since our divorce, I have since remarried. We have 2 more boys, aged 6 and aged 2. Zander and Killian (6) are best friends. They do everything together. There are 2 beds in their room, but they slept together. Killian is devastated and misses his big brother. Zander absolutely adored his baby brother (2), and their bond was incredible to witness. I truly believe that their bond allowed Zander to grow emotionally despite his special needs. It was amazing to watch, and it breaks my heart knowing that his baby brother is going to forget him. I have not only lost custody of my son for a ridiculous reason, but my sons have lost their special brother. My ex has manipulated the legal system for years because I was either too naive or I didn't have the money. I cannot let him win this time. All I want in this world is for my family to be whole again. I have been told that these kinds of battles can take years, and cost upwards of $50,000. Please help me reverse a grave injustice. And please pray for my family. Any little bit helps.

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Here is a photo of the Maltese court order. I'm only showing the first application part, but the next page is from February 2 where permanent residence was awarded to him. I would like to point out that Zander did not land in Malta until December 1, yet on the 9th these proceedings were started. He had not seen Zander for 1 1/2 years prior. He rarely asked me how he was doing in school. He never received IEP reports/teacher reports/therapy reports. He's never even seen them. My son has delays; it is medically documented because of his autism and attention issues. Honestly, I'm astounded and angry that his psychological delays and issues are being blamed on me. It's a very dirty, manipulative move. I have all my documentation. Now all I need is my time in court to show the judge that this is ludicrous. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. I still have a long way to go, but I'm praying that we will succeed.
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I have contacted the FBI; they won't be helpful. I have contacted Homeschool Legal Defense; they have not called me back to give me a yes or no yet. I know I need to be patient, it's just so hard because this is a time sensitive matter. I called the State Dept and talked to a country Officer. I don't feel reassured at all. If my child remains in the country for a year, then they can refuse to send him back. Under an Article 13b, if a psychologist deems him capable of objecting to returning with me, then they will listen to him. I can only hope they ask him without my ex being in the room. I will also fight that decision since he has autism. Right now, I know I have a case, but the Hague doesn't actually help the parent. They can't actually do anything or enforce anything. The decision for the return of my child depends on a Maltese judge. I'm left scrambling to come up with $50,000 in such a short amount of time. I'm really trying not to lose hope, but it's been a difficult day. I've heard a lot of bad things with the Hague. There are no financial avenues for parents in my situation anywhere. At the most, my plane ticket will be paid for. I wish I knew someone who could speak to the President. I'm still hoping I'll get better news this week. Thanks to everyone who has donated so generously so far. I can never thank you enough. I feel bad asking for help but I just want my family whole again.
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Cody Nicole Sturm
16 months ago

Since u were in the right w our country's laws, could u go to that country an kinda take him back? That other countries laws seem crazy.

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$1,125 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 30 people in 16 months
Created February 20, 2017
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$20
Anonymous
12 months ago
$20
Brooke Wilson
15 months ago

Sending my love barbie! Prayers that your sweet baby is returned to you.

$25
Anonymous
15 months ago
Cody Nicole Sturm
16 months ago

Since u were in the right w our country's laws, could u go to that country an kinda take him back? That other countries laws seem crazy.

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