What does the name “Take Root” mean?

Our name reflects our dual objectives of:

    1. Providing direct support to help heal the sense of “uprootedness” that continues to haunt many victims of long term abduction, and,
    2. Serving as a platform that empowers victims to stake a claim in “their” issue by adding their hard won wisdom and insights to public and policy discussions on child-abduction.

What is your mission?

Take Root’s mission is to elevate the voice of the abducted, using the collective wisdom of former missing children to improve America’s missing child response

What is the “Missing Child Service Gap?”

The missing child service gap is a term coined by Take Root’s Executive Director, Liss Haviv, to refer to the combined lack of direct support services for primary victims in the wake of their abduction, and, the lack of data and testimony collected directly from primary victims upon which to base the development of such services.

What are “Rooters?”

“Rooters” is the nickname for participants in Take Root’s peer support program for victims of child abduction.  All participants were abducted as children.

Were all Take Root members abducted by their parents?

No.  Some Rooters were victims of non-family abduction.  The total number is, like the total number of non-family abductions compared to family-abductions, very small.

Is Take Root a support group?

No. Take Root is a non-profit organization that runs multiple programs, one of which is a peer support community for former abducted-children.

Why is membership in Take Root limited to individuals over the age of 18?

First and foremost, Take Root simply does not have the resources to administer a program for minors. It has also been our experience that most recently recovered children do not want to become part of an organization for abducted-children – they (understandably) want to get as far away from the “abducted” label as possible! This seems to continue throughout the teens and 20’s – most of our members are 30 or older and say they would not have been ready to participate in an organization like ours at earlier stages in their lives.

What is Take Root’s position on Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?

The “research” backing Richard Gardner’s theory of PAS consisted for the most part of his own personal observations rather than systematic, peer-reviewed studies. PAS has never been accepted into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and has  been denounced by professional groups including the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family.  (It is additionally worth noting that Richard Gardner’s ideas are also controversial in light of provocative statements he made criticizing society’s condemnation of pedophiles, and seeking to portray adult-child sexual contact as normal.  He ended his career – and his life – by stabbing himself to death with a steak knife in 2003.)

It is Take Root’s studied opinion that Gardner’s concept of PAS, which was developed in the context of high-conflict divorce and custody battles, falls apart when applied to missing-child cases in which the child is physically isolated and denied options for independent reality testing. Take Root calls the dynamic that occurs in this unique situation “Manufactured Reality.”  We believe this concept, developed specifically within the framework of abduction studies, is a more accurate description of the dynamic. (More on Manufactured Reality can be found in our Kid Gloves publications and Gray Papers series). In our experience as a collective of hundreds of former abducted-children, the PAS label is often misused as an instrument of control that wrongfully pathologizes the child to their great detriment during the recovery process.


Does Take Root support the opinion that family-abduction is child abuse?

Not as a blanket statement. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.  We have members who were abducted to remove them from abuse on the part of the left-behind parent. We call these Concern-Driven cases (meaning the taking parent is motivated by a concern for the child’s best-interest, as opposed to what we call Agenda-Driven cases in which the abduction is driven by the taking parent’s own desires). Every case is different and one of our agency values is that we only make factual statements about family-abduction that hold true across all cases in our database. Take Root does, however, contend that all missing-child cases of family-abduction are cases of child-endangerment, an assertion supported by a five point argument elaborated in our Gray Papers series.

Take Root uses the term “former abducted-children,” um, shouldn’t it be “formerly abducted children?”

Nope, not if you are using “abducted-children” as a compound noun versus using “abducted” as a verb or adjective. (Think former beauty queen, former president, former Olympic athlete, etc). We use “abducted-child” as a title/label very intentionally when referencing family abduction because so many people mistakenly insist that children taken by family members are not abducted.