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Okay...the mother kidnapped, abused, neglected, disappeared...

and the father is PRESENT, but the kids are under the "supervision" of the Welfare Office.   The default custody is generally to the mother...even a kidnapper, abuser, neglecter...

A MOTHER who abandoned her two young daughters with friends in Cyprus is believed to be in her homeland Holland.

Dutch police are now searching her previous addresses to serve her with a summons, after an arrest warrant was issued in Cyprus for serious child abuse and neglect.

The two girls, aged nine and 11, are now with their father, Gerard Roppeveel, and under the protection of the Cyprus Social Welfare Office.

According to Annita Koni, the Head of the Welfare Office’s Family and Child Service, “The Department has already taken the appropriate measures to protect the children and they are in a safe place under our supervision.” (...)

The story came to light when a friend of the family – who frequently took the little girls in to feed, wash and clothe them – contacted the Cyprus Mail and recounted the girls’ awful plight.

She was appalled that crippling bureaucracy procedures were preventing Roppeveel from taking his daughters back home, so they could live “a stable and secure life”. (...)

Courts in Cyprus are hesitant to allow Roppeveel to leave the island as the mother is not present. They are also having trouble trying to get the girls’ passports as they disappeared with their mum, when she left Cyprus over a month ago, leaving her children with the family friend.

According to the Chairman of the House Legal Affairs Committee, Ionas Nicolaou of DISY, there are specific procedures that need to be followed for a father to be able to secure a court order for full custody in the absence of the mother.

“The father must prove that the mother has abandoned her children,” he explained. “You can’t remove custody from a mother without following specific procedures. He must see a lawyer and start these proceedings.”

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