DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change
without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed to practice in the relevant
France and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since July 1, 1988.
For information concerning travel to France, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for France at: http://www.travel.state.gov/abduction/country/country_5076.html.
The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention. In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including France. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The French Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministère de la Justice et des Libertés. The Ministère de la Justice et des Libertés forwards completed Hague applications to the appropriate Public Prosecutor attached to the civil court of general jurisdiction in the jurisdiction where the defendant resides. The Prosecutor brings the case on behalf of France. Parents or legal guardians and other parties (e.g., the child) have the right to their own counsel.
The French Central Authority can be reached at:
Ministère de la Justice et des Libertés
Direction des Affaires Civiles et du Sceau
13, Place Vendôme
75042 PARIS Cedex 01
Telephone: +33 (1) 4477 6105 / 6380
Fax: +33 (1) 4477 6122
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in France, a parent or legal guardian is encouraged to review
the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located at the Department of State website
and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central
Authority. It is extremely important that each document written in English be translated into French. Please note, however,
that certified translations are not necessary. Any competent person or organization may translate the documents. The USCA
is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Ministère
de la Justice et des Libertés, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or French Central Authorities. Attorney fees, if necessary, are the responsibility of the applicant parent. Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.Back to Top
A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, France. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application
A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in France. The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
Retaining an Attorney:
In a Hague Abduction Convention case, the French Central Authority will assign a Public Prosecutor to present the case to the court, and it is not mandatory for a petitioner to retain a private attorney. The Public Prosecutor, however, does not represent the left-behind parent who submitted the Hague Abduction Convention application; the Prosecutor represents the French Republic and submits the request for return on behalf of the French Central Authority. The parent or legal guardian who has submitted the application may hire a private attorney in France to join the Prosecutor in presenting the Hague Abduction Convention case, however, legal aid is only available to French citizens. A privately hired attorney should contact the French Central Authority as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed with the French Central Authority.
The U.S. Embassy in Paris, France, posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law at: http://photos.state.gov/libraries/france/5/acs/paris-attorneys.pdf
This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department
of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services
provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly
by the lawyers.
The International Mediation Mission for Families, created at the Ministry of Justice in France in April 2001, provides mediation services to facilitate Hague procedures when the French Central Authority finds it appropriate or upon a prosecutor’s request. The French Central Authority promotes mediation in abduction cases and will attempt to initiate mediation in most Hague Abduction Convention cases.
The U.S. Embassy in France can be contacted at:
U.S. Embassy France
2 avenue Gabriel
75382 Paris Cedex 08
Physical Address (GPS & Google maps)
2 avenue Gabriel
Telephone:  (1)43122222
Fax: 33 (1)42669783
The Embassy of France is located in Washington, D.C., at: