What is an LBP?

LBP stands for ‘Left Behind Parent’. What is a left behind parent? Well this answer is where we get to the main purpose of my doing this podcast. We’re talking about Parental Alienation and more specifically International Parental Child Abduction or IPCA. Which put simply, is a situation where two parents from different countries have children together, and I’ll use an example of, say we have a mother from Ireland and a Father from Sweden, they meet in Ireland and have children, then the Father without the consent of the mother takes the children away to live in Sweden and denies the mother access to the children, shutting her out of their lives. This is International Parental Child Abduction.

The father in this scenario is known as the ‘Abducting Parent’ or ‘Taking parent’ the Irish mother is known as the Left Behind Parent. Abductions usually take place without the knowledge or approval of the Left Behind Parent, sometimes also in defiance of family court orders, sometimes before court orders have been made. But always in violation of international law.

The scenario I just mentioned is not based on anyone I know personally, and the countries I used as examples were just random countries I thought of off the top of my head purely for the purpose of explanation. But the stories I will feature in this podcast will involve real people and situations.

In regards to my guests and content. I will attempt to speak to as many people as I can who are affected by IPCA. Mostly left behind parents themselves, but I will also be speaking to some children, who are now adults, who were abducted themselves. I’ll be talking to a psychologist about depression and other related mental health issues. I hope to speak to some legal experts also. I will endeavor to speak to as many experts and people directly affected by IPCA as possible. I will share more details of my personal story later in this podcast, however, just quickly by way of information and transparency I need to inform you up front that my experience in IPCA involves my son, who was abducted from Australia to Japan by his mother. The reason I am mentioning this now, is in order to explain where I have found my guests and chosen to speak to the ones I’ve interviewed for the first few episodes. As a left behind parent myself, I have obviously networked with other left behind parents both in Australia and Internationally. Some of whom with which, I am pleased to say, I have become friends. Others are colleagues with whom I’ve worked and interacted with the goal of trying to be reunited with our kids. When I decided it was time to do this podcast, as I thought about who to interview, obviously the logical starting point was with those I already knew. I hope over time that people I have not met but are affected by IPCA will contact me to appear on this podcast, but to get started I had to involve people I already know. And, as my son is in Japan, understandably the majority of LBPs with whom I associate with are also LBP’s of kids in Japan. Also, as I’m sure you’ll understand, my particular knowledge and experience in this regard is centred more on Japan than any other country. I make this point preemptively at the start of this series, so as to hopefully avoid confusion later on, because the first couple of episodes, including this one, are focused mainly on Japan. And I don’t want people to listen to this show and assume that I just have a beef with Japan and therefor want to target them. The intent of this podcast is to try to reach out to as many people, affected by as many countries as possible. I really do want to highly the international part of international parental child abduction. But, again because the majority of the LBPs I interact with have children in Japan, these are the LBP’s I first approached to appear on this show.

I have more interviews lines up with mothers and fathers involving many countries. And, as I said earlier I will also be doing episodes from the abducted child perspective. As the show grows, it is my hope it will diversify and highlight as many stories people and countries as possible. But in the initial few weeks you will hear a lot about Japan.

In regards to Japan, I must say that I do not hate the country or its people. I am aware of some LBP’s that have become very bitter towards the country to which their children were taken. My son was taken to Japan, so you might think that I hate the country and have animosity towards it. This is certainly not the case. During the podcast you will learn that many children have been detained unlawfully in Japan. In fact they are in the top 3 countries in the world in terms of numbers of unlawfully detained children. They have very different family laws to western countries such as Australia and the US. In that, their domestic laws don’t acknowledge both parents in regards to relationship break down and divorce. We will get more into the law in the following episodes, but I want to make it clear that although I have issues with their family law system and some particular individuals in Japan, I do still love the Country, the people and most elements of it’s culture. It is a beautiful and unique country with many wonderful aspects to it. But, as with the case with most nations, they have their good points and their bad points. In Japans case, their family law system by 21st century standards, is not one of their strong points.

This podcast is not designed to be entertaining, however I know that if it is boring that no one will listen to it, so I’ll try to make it as engaging and interesting as possible. Please listen, and if you appreciate it, please share it on social media and rate in on your preferred podcast format. I do not make money from doing this show, and it is provided free to the listener, but the goal is to make it reach as many people as possible in order to raise awareness.

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