Trinidad and TobagoOfficial Name: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Embassies and Consulates
15 Queen's Park West
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
Emergency Telephone: (868) 622-6371, then press 1.
Trinidad and Tobago and the United States have been treaty partners under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction since August 1, 2013.
For information concerning travel to Trinidad and Tobago, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, currency and entry regulations, and crime and security, please see country-specific information for Trinidad and Tobago.
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 Trinidad and Tobago. 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
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The Trinidadian Central Authority (TCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the International Office of Child Rights & Civil Child Abduction Authority, under the Ministry of the Attorney General. The TCA'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, or access to, children. The TCA's contact information is as follows:
International Office of Child Rights & Civil Child Abduction Authority
Ministry of the Attorney General
23-27 St. Vincent Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
Telephone: 625-5505 Ext. 2631
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Trinidad and Tobago, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the TCA. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the TCA, 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 Trinidad and Tobago. 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 Trinidad and Tobago. 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 Trinidad and Tobago. 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
Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to file Hague Abduction Convention applications with courts in Trinidad and Tobago. 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 TCA as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed. If a parent does not hire a private attorney, the TCA will act as the legal representative of the state of Trinidad and Tobago on behalf of Hague applications, but does not act as the legal representative of either parent.
Some parents may qualify for legal aid in Trinidad and Tobago. For more information, on requirements, click here.
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 TCA always promotes mediation between parents before sending the case to the courts, and it can schedule a formal conciliation hearing with a court to negotiate and formalize a mediated agreement.
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.