GreeceOfficial Name: Hellenic Republic
Embassies and Consulates
91 Vasilisis Sophias Avenue
10160 Athens, Greece
Telephone: (30) (210) 721-2951
Emergency Telephone: (30) (210) 729-4444 or (30) (210) 729-4301
Fax: (30) (210) 724-5313
U.S. Consulate General Thesseloniki
Plateia Commercial Center
43 Tsimiski Street, 7th floor
546 23 Thessaloniki
Telephone: (30) (2310) 242-905
Emergency Telephone: (+30) 2310 242 905 (Dial 0 at the prompt)
Fax: (30) (2310) 242-927
Greece 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 June 1, 1993.
For information concerning travel to Greece, 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 Greece.
Hague Abduction Convention
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 Greece. 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
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The Greek Central Authority (GCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications. The Ministry of Justice forwards completed Hague applications to the Legal Council of the State, which in turn will assign the case to a legal representative. Parents or legal guardians and other parties (e.g., the child) have the right to their own legal counsel. The GCA can be reached at:
The Greek Central Authority
Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights
96 Mesogeion Avenue
Telephone: 011  (210) 776-7312
Fax: 011  (210) 776-7499
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Greece, 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 GCA. It is extremely important that each document written in English be translated into Greek. 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 GCA, 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 Greece 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, Greece. 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 Greece. 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, it is not mandatory for a petitioner to retain a private attorney because the GCA will assign a legal representative to present the case to the court. However, the legal representative does not represent the left-behind parent or legal guardian who submitted the Hague Abduction Convention application; instead, the legal representative represents Greece and submits the request for return on behalf of the Greek Minister of Justice. Applicant parents or legal guardians have the option to hire a private attorney at their own expense in Greece to join the legal representative in presenting the Hague Abduction Convention case. A privately hired attorney should contact the GCA as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed with the Greek Central Authority.
The U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece, 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 persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
Mediation may be available for both abduction and access cases. Although the GCA does not provide mediation services directly, there are registered attorneys who act as mediators and offer mediation services in every Greek Bar Association.
Do not attempt to take back your child
We strongly discourage taking matters into your own hands. The measures could be illegal and may delay your child’s return. Attempts to re-abduct your child from the United States may:
- Endanger your child and others;
- Prejudice any future judicial efforts you might wish to make in the United States; and
- Could even result in your arrest and imprisonment.
Finally, there is no guarantee that the chain of abductions would end with the one committed by you. A parent who has re-abducted a child may have to go to extraordinary lengths to conceal his or her whereabouts, living in permanent fear that the child may be re-abducted yet again.
If you are contemplating such desperate measures, we advise you to consider the emotional trauma inflicted on a child who is a victim of an abduction and a re-abduction. We discourage re-abduction not only because it is illegal, but also because of possible psychological harm to the child.
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 in the relevant jurisdiction.