Kelly Rutherford Heads to the Hill Again to Testify About Kids Ordered to 'Live in Exile'

Kelly Rutherford Testifies in Congress About Custody Battle
Courtesy Kelly Rutherford

07/17/2015 AT 03:45 PM EDT

As her own custody battle drags on, Kelly Rutherford returned to Washington, D.C., on Thursday to testify at another congressional hearing about "left behind" children.

Rutherford, 46, spoke about her fight to bring son Hermes, 8, and daughter Helena, 6, home to the United States permanently. The kids live in Monaco and France with their father, German businessman Daniel Giersch, but are spending the summer with her.

"Nobody in this country seems willing or able to do anything to help bring my American children home, even though this is the country that sent them away," she said, according to a news release. "I can only see this as a legal kidnapping by a California judge forcing my children to live abroad for so long that the other countries seize control over their lives. I just ask each of you here today how it is possible that two American citizens have been ordered by their own government to live in exile in a foreign country?"

The former Gossip Girl star was on the Hill to support the Sean and David Goldman Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act, a law that went into effect last August that gives the State Department the authority to bring American children who have been kidnapped and taken overseas back to U.S. soil. Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, who wrote the legislation, argued that the White House's report on its progress had "major gaps."



Rutherford posted an Instagram of herself with U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas from the hearing Friday. She and Lee also attended a congressional briefing on the issue last month.

The actress has been posting photos of her summer with Hermes and Helena in New York City, taking them to museums and art classes.

Giersch, 41, has not commented on the case, though his lawyer has called Rutherford's past statements on the matter "unfortunate" and "false."
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