A Vancouver Island woman intends to apply to an overseas court to try to have her allegedly abducted daughter returned to Canada.
Tasha Brown held a press conference Tuesday at the Nanaimo Golf Club to announce her intentions as she continues her efforts to see four-year-old daughter Kaydance Etchells come home.
Brown alleges that her estranged wife Lauren Etchells abducted their daughter in 2016 and according to Brown’s lawyer Elisabeth Strain, Lauren Etchells is in custody in Jersey in the British Isles.
Brown has secured legal representation in Jersey and says her lawyer there will make an application to the British courts, arguing Hague Convention protection. According to the Government of Canada, the Hague Convention “protects children and their families against the risks of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad.”
Brown said she doesn’t know if or when the case would be heard, but said she plans to travel to Jersey once her paperwork is in order. She expressed some concern about Jersey’s courts recognizing her rights as a same-sex parent.
Earlier this month, Saanich Police learned that Lauren Etchells, her parents and her two children, Kaydance and Marcus, had been picked up by the States of Jersey Police and Jersey Customs and Immigration Service. The group was spotted landing an inflatable dinghy on the shores just south of St. Catherine, Jersey, an island in the English Channel.
“For the most part of this, I’ve thought that they’ve been on a beach frolicking freely and laughing while I was crumbling,” said Brown. “So to actually learn that they’ve gone to this kind of extent to actually risk those kids’ lives, I don’t think anyone would have predicted that.”
Saanich Police had worked with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and Interpol trying to locate Lauren Etchells since 2016. A Canada-wide warrant was issued.
Strain said her client’s case is important in trying to show that “[for] left-behind parents, sometimes this does work out.”
“Everybody wants a happy ending,” she said. “What is the happy ending?”
-files from Kendra Crighton/Black Press