The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ordered that two children abducted from Panama by their mother must be returned to their father’s homeland, reversing a trial judge who ruled the children had become so “settled” in the United States that they should be allowed to stay.

Under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the general “principle of return” should have mandated the children be returned to Panama after being twice abducted from their mother, an American citizen, according to the panel’s ruling.

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