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
Mexico 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 October 1, 1991.
For information concerning travel to Mexico, 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 Mexico at: http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.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 Mexico. 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
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20520
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The Mexican Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE). The Mexican Central Authority performs an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications. They can be reached at:
Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores
Dirección General de Protección a Mexicanos en el Exterior
Dirección de Derecho de Familia
Plaza Juárez No. 20, Piso 17
Colonia Centro, Del. Cuauhtemoc
C.P. 06010 Mexico, D.F.
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Mexico, the left behind parent should submit a Hague application to the Mexican Central Authority, either through the USCA or directly. In exceptional cases, some courts may accept a petition filed directly. The Mexican Central Authority will, upon receipt and acceptance of the Hague Convention application, prepare a written communiqué for the court containing an explanation of the Hague Convention and its objectives and forward the application to the appropriate state court. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Mexican Central Authority, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.
There are not fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Mexican central authorities. If the applicant parent hires an attorney, attorney fees 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, Mexico. 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 Mexico. 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.
Applicants are not required to retain an attorney to file a Hague Convention application in Mexico. A parent may choose to retain an attorney, however, to follow-up on the case and to provide them with direct information on the status of the case. A retained attorney should contact the Mexican Central Authority as soon as possible after the application is submitted. The Mexican Central Authority does not represent Hague Convention applicants in court or assign an attorney to represent the applicant.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico posts list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law at: http://mexico.usembassy.gov/professional-services.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 following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
Courts in Mexico prefer to resolve cases through voluntary agreements, usually negotiated under the supervision of the court. The use of professional mediation services is not widely available in Mexico and is not a prevalent practice in Hague Convention cases with Mexico.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico can be contacted at:
U.S. Embassy Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
06500 Mexico, D.F.
The Embassy of Mexico is located in Washington, D.C. at:
Embassy of Mexico
1911 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20037