Linda Shay Gardner Attorney


([email protected])

Since 1995, attorney Gardner has worked or advised on approximately 300 Hague Convention or other family abduction cases. She routinely works to return children under the Hague Convention on Child Abduction and related family law issues (including divorce and support), and consults in cases in which there is no bilateral treaty. She has represented and consulted with attorneys, private organizations, foreign governmental agencies and parents in cases involving: Aruba, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Holland, Honduras, Hong Kong,  Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria. Northern Ireland, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Scotland, U.A.E. and Venezuela.

She also also represents clients involved in interstate custody litigation and has appeared in jurisdictions in various other state courts and in federal courts to represent clients in these matters. This litigation usually centers on the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.


On many occasions, attorney Gardner has provided her services without charge or at a substantially reduced fee to parents whose children have been lost through international parental abduction, and attorney Gardner provides her services gratis through North Penn Legal Services to clients who meet their (legal aid) financial qualifications.

Attorney Gardner maintains a small practice in Bethlehem, with a focus on family law matters. She has been responsible for the return of many children to their parents after the wrongful abduction by the other parent. Working with families to be reunited with their children around the globe has brought an international dimension to the legal profession in Bethlehem. To contact Attorney Gardner you can email her at [email protected]

Governmental / Private Law Activities

– Private Law Delegate representing the United States at the Third Meeting of the Special Commission to Discuss the Operation of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction, at The Hague, March 17-21, 1997

– Routinely consulted by the Office of Children’s Issues, Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State regarding abduction cases

– Works closely with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, representing parents whose children are abducted into the United States from other countries

– Resource for REUNITE, the United Kingdom’s private organization specializing in parental child abduction

– Member, Attorney Advisory Committee, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children – attorney advisory committee on issues of abducted children

– Board Member, Committee for Missing Children, an international organization providing support for parents of abducted children, with offices in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA and Langenselbold, Germany

– Member, ICAAN, International Child Abduction Attorney Network, serving as pro bono (free) attorney for parents of abducted children, as part of project underwritten by the ABA Center on Children and the Law and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

– Advisory Panel, Rachel Foundation, Texas for Reunification of children with families after estrangement or abduction

– Media Contact: Cited in articles in England, Northern Ireland, Germany and throughout the United States on abduction issues, including AP articles, feature stories and other references to abduction issues

– Media contacts: Television appearances (including Nancy Grace Show on CNN in Spring 2007), Radio interviews regarding abduction issues, and newspaper interviews in U.S. and abroad

– Consulted by other attorneys throughout the United States who have questions regarding abduction issues, offering ongoing assistance to practitioners handling these matters; receives calls on a weekly basis

– Cases normally involve coordinating efforts of local/state police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Interpol, and other law enforcement agencies to facilitate return of abducted children and capture of parents who have kidnapped the children

– Prepared and submitted affidavits of law and opinion letters to other attorneys and to various courts on specific cases involving the risks of child abduction, both in the United States and abroad



Adoption, Child Support, Divorce, Family Law, International Law, Trusts, Wills, Juvenile Crimes, Misdemeanor, Parole & Probation, Traffic Violations, Alimony & Spousal Support, Childrens’ Rights, Collaborative Law, Custody & Visitation, Domestic Violence & Neglect, Juvenile Law, Paternity, Prenuptial Agreements, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney and Appointment


Temple University School of Law
Teachers College, Columbia University
Lehigh University
Moravian College

Honors: Admitted to Hall of Fame for Field Hockey in 2007
Major: Sociology and Psychology


95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation



Commission on the Future of Moravian College: Global Engagement Task Force, Member, 2000

American Bar Association, International Section, Vice-Chair, International Family Law Committee, 2005 – 2006

Northampton County Bar Association, Member, Past Board of Governors


Board of Managers, Moravian Historical Society
2006 – Present
Prior Board Member, Sayre Child Care Center

Prior Board Member, Sun Inn

Ball and Auction Committee Member, Celtic Cultural Alliance

Board Member, Children’s Rights of Pennsylvania, Allentown Pennsylvania