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Delvoye v. Lee

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
329 F.3d 330 (2003)


Christina Lee (defendant) and Wim Delvoye (plaintiff), a resident of Belgium, met in New York and began a romantic relationship. When Lee became pregnant, Delvoye convinced Lee to have the child in Belgium, because the country provided free medical care. Lee traveled to Belgium on a three-month tourist visa with the intention of returning to New York after their child was born. By the time Lee gave birth to a son, Sebastian, her relationship with Delvoye had deteriorated. After initially resisting, Delvoye signed a consent form that enabled Lee to obtain an American passport for Sebastian and allowed Lee to return to the United States with Sebastian. Delvoye’s and Lee’s subsequent attempts at reconciliation failed, and Delvoye filed a petition in federal district court, seeking to return Sebastian to Belgium pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Convention). The district court denied Delvoye’s petition and held that Delvoye had failed to meet his burden of proving that Sebastian was a habitual resident who was wrongfully removed from Belgium. Delvoye appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Schwarzer, J.)

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