Burkina Faso 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 November 1, 1992.
For information concerning travel to Burkina Faso, 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 Burkina Faso.
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 Burkina Faso. 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
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The Burkina Faso Central Authority (BFCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity. The BFCA plays the role of facilitator in Hague Abduction Convention cases, taking measures to locate the child and taking parent, to visit the home and interview the taking parent, and to seek a voluntary return. If the taking parent does not agree to a voluntary return, the BFCA will forward the Hague application to the public prosecutor and act as the formal applicant in return proceedings before the court.
Contact the BFCA at:
Ministère de l'Action Sociale et de la Solidarité Nationale
01 BP 515
Telephone numbers: +226 5030-6880 /5031-0055
Fax: +226 5031-8530
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Burkina Faso, the USCA encourages parents to review the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located on the Department of State website and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process with the foreign Central Authority. All documents written in English must be translated into French. Please note, however, that certified translations are not necessary. However, all relevant legal decisions or agreements must be authenticated. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the BFCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the U.S. or Burkina Faso central authorities. Attorney fees, if necessary, are the responsibility of the applicant. 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, Burkina Faso. 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 Burkina Faso. 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.
The BFCA does not provide an attorney to left-behind parents, but it provides a list of attorneys. Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to submit a Hague Abduction Convention application to a court in Burkina Faso, because the BFCA acts as the formal applicant in court proceedings. Parents or legal guardians have the option to hire a private attorney to represent them, but all attorney fees will be the applicant's responsibility. If retained by the parent, a privately hired attorney should contact the BFCA as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed with the BFCA.
The U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 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.
Mediation may be available for abduction and access cases. The BFCA will contact Burkina Faso Social Services officials and attempt to initiate mediation services in all Hague Abduction Convention cases. Mediation is voluntary.
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.