Argentina 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, 1991.
For information concerning travel to Argentina, 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 Argentina.
The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA). 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 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 Argentina. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
The Argentine Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Foreign Relations and Worship. The Ministry of Foreign Relations and Worship performs 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:
Ministry of Foreign Relations and Worship
Legal Affairs Department
International Legal Cooperation Department
Esmeralda 1212 - 4th floor
1007 Buenos Aires
Telephone: +54 (11) 4819 7170; +54 (11) 4819 7172
Fax: +54 (11) 4819 7170; +54 (11) 4819 7172
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Argentina, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the Argentine Central Authority (the Ministry of Foreign Relations and Worship), either directly, or through the U.S. Central Authority (USCA). The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Ministry of Foreign Relations and Worship, 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 Argentine central authorities. 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, Argentina. 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 Argentina. 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.
In Argentina, Hague Abduction Convention cases cannot be filed in an Argentine court without legal representation. When parents cannot afford a private attorney and meet the Argentine Central Authority’s financial requirements for assistance, the Argentine Central Authority may assist qualified applicants by seeking the appointment of a public defender.
The U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina 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 Argentina, pre-trial mediation in Hague cases is not mandatory, although the interested parties may request it. Mediation is performed by registered mediators, and the cost is established by law and varies depending on the outcome of mediation. The Argentine Central Authority does not provide or arrange mediation services. However, non-governmental organizations, such as the Legal Bar Association, and governmental organizations, including the Ministry of Justice and the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, offer mediation services free of charge to those who demonstrate financial need.
While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. 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 U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent. Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:
The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.
To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.
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.
For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.
Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.
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.