The parents of a Houston journalist taken hostage in Syria in 2012 have applauded President Barack Obama's decision to not prosecute families for paying ransoms to kidnappers.

Obama said Wednesday that U.S. government officials can communicate directly with terrorists and help families negotiate for the release of hostages.

Marc and Debra Tice said in an interview Thursday on "CBS This Morning" that they would have coped better with the kidnapping of their son, Austin, had the policy been in place when he was taken.

Debra Tice says the family is still working to get Austin released and that Obama's new policy will only be proved effective when they have their son home.

The family has said they don't know who kidnapped their son, but that they believe he is alive.