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
Italy 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 May 1, 1995.
For information concerning travel to Italy, 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 Italy.
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 Citizen 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 Italy. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
The Italian Central Authority (ICA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministero della Giustizia. The ICA has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications. The ICA 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 Italy.
The ICA can be reached at:
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Italy, the USCA encourages a parent or legal guardian 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 ICA. It is extremely important that each document written in English be translated into Italian. Please note, however, that certified translations are not necessary. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the ICA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the U.S. or Italian 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.
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, Italy. 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 Italy. 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.
Parents or legal guardians are not required to retain a private attorney in order to file a Hague Abduction Convention application with a court in Italy. The ICA assigns a legal representative to present the case to the court. However, the legal representative does not represent the left-behind parent or the legal guardian who submitted the Hague Abduction Convention application; instead, the legal representative represents Italy and submits the request for return on behalf of the Italian Minister of Justice.
Parents or legal guardians have the option to hire a private attorney at their own expense in Italy to join the state-appointed legal representative in presenting the Hague Abduction Convention case. A privately hired attorney should contact the ICA as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed with the ICA.
The U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy, posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law at: http://italy.usembassy.gov/acs/professionals/lawyers/lawyers-main.html
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 USCA is not aware of any government or private organizations in Italy that offer mediation services in either abduction or access cases.
The U.S. Embassy in Italy can be contacted at:
U.S. Embassy Rome
via Vittorio Veneto 121
Telephone: (39) 06 4674 2406
The Embassy of Italy is located in Washington, D.C., at:
Embassy of Italy
3000 Whitehaven Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: (202) 612-4400
Fax: (202) 518-2154