Infant Abduction Trends

Compiled by

Examining cases of infant abduction for a five year period of time (1996-2001),the location for infant (babies from 0-6 months) abduction has moved from the healthcare facility setting to primarily homes and other locations

1996 through 2001 - total number of cases = 60
        21 cases from healthcare facilities
        29 cases from homes
        10 cases from other locations

At this time, cases of infant abduction where there was violence against the parent total 32 (1983-2001).  The disturbing fact is that of those 32 incidents - 15 occurred from 1996 through 2001.

Racial breakdown for the period 1996-2001:
       14 White
        27 Black
        17 Hispanic
          2 Biracial

Language barriers are still a concern.  In many of these cases the victimıs mother was not bilingual whereas the abductor was.  Healthcare facilities need to push the multilingual education issue - too many of these infants are at risk when their parents are not properly educated in the issues at hand.

Cases where infant abducted from hospital that had a tagging system installed:

First known case occurred in 1997.
        3 incidents in 2000
        2 incidents in 2001
        (1 already in 2002)

The idea that installation of an infant tagging system (by itself) is going to prevent infant abductions still seems to be prevalent in the healthcare community.  This is clearly not the case.  While infant tagging systems are helpful - they don't replace well-trained staff.  Biggest issue for nursing and security managers is the issue of complacency.

There is a clear trend in hospitals re. Doing drills and the need for policies and procedures. (Code Pink).  This is a very positive trend that needs to continue and be supported by appropriate healthcare organizations.

There is still considerable turmoil regarding the decision of a healthcare facility to discontinue print birth announcements in the local newspapers.  The discord seems to be on the side of the newspapers and not the patients.

Just a reminder that National Center on Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) does not say stop issuing birth announcements to the local papers, we say to exercise caution and provide minimal information.  If an individual facility decides that logistically it is easier to simply stop providing the service - that is their decision.  But they will probably get a lot of flak from the press (including possibly national press) about this decision.

Information provided by National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Joseph A. Kinney is a pioneering leader, author, and researcher who has received numerous national awards for contributions to forging a safer and more productive world. Joseph is President of Safe Spaces, Inc. (

Copyright 2001 All rights reserved.