KenyaOfficial Name: Republic of Kenya
Embassies and Consulates
United Nations Avenue
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: +(254) (20) 363-6451
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(254) (20) 363-6000
Fax: +(254) (20) 363-6501
For information concerning travel to Kenya 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 Kenya.
Hague Abduction Convention
Kenya is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Kenya and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.
Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. The government of Kenya maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet at Kenya Law Reports on Gender and Family. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Kenya and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States: 1-202-501-4444
Parental child abduction is a crime in Kenya. See the Penal Code Chapter 63 Section 174.
Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court. Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.
Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Kenya and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.
The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States. Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Kenya for information and possible assistance.
Retaining an Attorney
Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Kenya are authorized to provide legal advice.
The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, 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. The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), Kenya branch, is a professional body for Mediators and Arbitrators in Kenya and can assist in locating a mediator. The CIArb, Kenya branch, does not provide mediation services directly; it provides referrals to private and non-governmental organizations that offer mediation services specific to a client’s needs. Mediation is voluntary.
Exercising Custody Rights
It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a valid custody order, if the parent attempts to gain access to the child, the parent’s actions may be illegal in the country where the child is physically present and may ultimately delay the child’s return and even result in the parent’s detention. To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney. For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.
The U.S. government cannot legally interfere with the judicial system of another sovereign nation.
Left behind parents should report international parental child abductions as quickly as possible to the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues by calling 1-888-407-4747 from the United States and Canada and +1 202-501-4444 from overseas. This number is available 24 hours/day, including for emergency situations where a parent believes an international parental child abduction is in progress. During federal government business hours in Washington, D.C., country officers who are experts on international parental child abduction are available to provide assistance.
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.