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
Brazil 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 December 1, 2003.
For information concerning travel to Brazil, including information about the location of the U.S. Consulate General, 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 Brazil.
In April 2013, the U.S. Department of State cited Brazil as demonstrating patterns of non-compliance with the Hague Abduction Convention in its annual “Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.” The report is located here.
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 Brazil. 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 Brazilian Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Secretaria de Estado dos Direitos Humanos (SEDH).
SEDH’s role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing
Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of and access to children.
They can be reached at:
Secretaria de Estado dos Direitos Humanos
Setor Comercial Sul - B, Quadra 9, Lote C
Edifício Parque Cidade Corporate
Torre "A", 10º andar
Telephone/Fax: +55-61-2025-3481 and +55-61-2025-3975
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Brazil, the left-behind parent may submit a Hague application to the BCA. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the BCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. Petitioning parents may also initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to a child in Brazil by retaining a private Brazilian attorney and directly filing a Hague case before a federal court. However, if a Hague case is directly filed before a federal court, the BCA will not monitor the progress of the case and will have no authority to assist in any manner.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Brazil. Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney. 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 Brazil. 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 Brazil. 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 a private attorney is not required in order to file Hague Abduction Convention applications with courts in Brazil. However, parents should consider hiring a private attorney to follow up on cases, directly provide information to courts, and generally advise courses of action appropriate for their individual circumstances. A privately-hired attorney should contact the BCA as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed. If a parent does not hire a private attorney, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will act as the legal representative of the state of Brazil on behalf of Hague applications, because Brazilian law considers Hague abduction cases to be public cases. Therefore, it is important to note that the OAG does not represent the interests of either party. The OAG will file cases with a federal court.
The Brazilian Bar Association and the Brazil’s Defensoria Publica Da Uniao (Public Defender’s Office) offer free legal assistance for any type of legal proceeding to those who demonstrate financial need. For additional information, please contact the Brazilian Bar Association, Sao Paulo Section, Legal Assistance Committee at: email@example.com.
The U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.
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..
In Hague Abduction Convention cases, the BCA always promotes mediation between parents before sending the case to the courts. Voluntary agreements are also strongly encouraged by the courts. Upon receiving a case, judges schedule a formal conciliation hearing to determine if parties can reach an a agreement which would then be formalized by the court. If a voluntary agreement is not reached, the court will then conduct further hearings and rule on the merits of the application. There are no NGOs or non-profit organizations that mediate between parents in abduction cases in Brazil.
The U.S. Embassy in Brazil can be contacted at:
U.S. Embassy Brasilia
SES - Av. das Nações, Quadra 801, Lote 03
70403-900 - Brasília, DF
Telephone: + (61) 3312-7000
Fax: +(61) 3312-7651
Website (includes contact information for all U.S. consulates in Brazil): http://brazil.usembassy.gov
The Embassy of Brazil is located in Washington, D.C. at: