Certain features are shared by those who abduct infants. Recognizing these traits and understanding the underlying motivations can help prevent these unfortunate incidents.


NOTE: An abductor may not show these features. Healthcare providers and parents must be alert to any behavior that could pose a threat to infants.


General features of an infant abductor:

(1) female 12 – 50 years of age ("childbearing" age)

(2) often overweight

(3) may be compulsive, manipulative, deceptive and lying

(4) may have lost a baby of her own or be incapable of having one

(a) may already have a child

(b) may be attending a fertility clinic

(5) often married or cohabitating

(6) the companion's desire for a child, or the desire to improve the relationship with the companion, may be the motivation

(7) frequently visits several facilities in a community prior to the abduction

(8) frequently tries to familiarize herself with the layout of the place (maternity ward, daycare center, home, etc.) selected for the abduction, asking detailed questions about procedures

(9) usually plans the abduction but does not target a specific infant, often taking any infant that is available when the opportunity strikes

(10) may ask to see, feed or hold infants

(11) may impersonate a healthcare professional such as a nurse, social worker or laboratory technologist

(12) may become familiar with workers at the site and may try to get to know the parents

(13) tries to provide good care for the baby after the abduction

(14) lives in the community where the abduction takes place

(15) usually has no prior criminal record

(16) may resort to violence if taking the infant from a home


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