International Parental Child Abduction

The Department of State has no higher priority than to safeguard the welfare of U.S. citizens abroad, the most vulnerable of whom are children. We believe that a court in the country of a child’s habitual residence is, in most cases, best placed to make decisions on matters of custody and access.

The Office of Children’s Issues serves as the U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention (Convention), an international treaty that offers a civil remedy to resolve international parental child abduction cases.  In that capacity, the Office of Children’s Issues leads U.S. government efforts within the Department of State and with other U.S. government agencies to prevent international parental child abduction, assist children and families involved in these abduction cases, and promote the principles of the Convention.

If You Believe an Abduction is in Progress:

If you believe your child is being abducted internationally by another family member and has not yet left the United States, you can call the Office of Children’s Issues at any time at 888-407-4747.