Security Alert
May 17, 2024

Worldwide Caution

International Parental Child Abduction


Country Information


Exercise normal precautions in Canada.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in Canada.

Read the Country Information page for additional information on travel to Canada.

If you decide to travel to Canada: 


Hague Convention Participation

Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?

What You Can Do

Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Ottawa

490 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8
+1 (613) 688-5335
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (613) 238-5335
Fax: +1 (613) 688-3082

The Ottawa consular district includes the counties of Kingston, Lanark, Leeds, Prescott, Refrew, Russell, and Stormont in Eastern Ontario, and those parts of the Québec regions of Outaouais and Abitibi-Témiscamingue near Ottawa.


U.S. Consulate General Montreal

1134 Rue Ste- Catherine West
Montréal, Quebec H3B 1H4
 +1 (514) 398-9695
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (416) 645-9124
Fax: +1 (514) 398-9748

The Montreal consular district includes Greater Montreal and the regions of Southern Quebec Province (Laurentides, Lanaudiere, Laval, Montreal, Montregie, Estrie, and the southern parts of Centre-du-Quebec), including Joliete, Drummondville, and Sherbrooke.

U.S. Consulate General Toronto

360 University Ave
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1S4
 +1 (416) 595-1700
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (416) 201-4056
Fax: +1 (416) 595-5466

The consular district includes the province of Ontario except for the counties of Kingston, Lanark, Leeds, Prescott, Refrew, Russell, and Stormont, which are served by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.

U.S. Consulate General Vancouver

1075 West Pender Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 2M6
 +1 (604) 685-4311
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (604) 685-4311
Fax: +1 (604) 685-7175

The consular district includes British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.

U.S. Consulate General Halifax

Purdy's Wharf Tower II
1969 Upper Water Street, Suite 904
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3R7
+1 (902) 429-2480
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (902) 429-2480, Press 1

The Halifax consular district includes New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the French islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

U.S. Consulate Winnipeg

201 Portage Avenue, Suite 860
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 3K6
+1 (204) 940-1800
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (403) 266-8962 and press "0" for assistance (Consulate General Calgary)
Fax: +1 (204) 940-1809

The Consulate in Winnipeg provides only emergency services for U.S. citizens. Routine services such as visas, passports and notarials are handled at other U.S. Consulates General, primarily Calgary.

U.S. Consulate General Quebec 
2, rue de la Terrasse Dufferin
(Vieux Quebec, behind Chateau Frontenac)
Quebec, Quebec G1R 4T9
 +1 (418) 692-2095
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (418) 692-2096
Fax: +1 (418) 692-4640

The consular district includes Quebec City and those regions of Quebec Province to the North and East of the Montreal and Ottawa Districts (indicated above) – to include the area around Saguenay/Lac Saint-Jean, Rimouski and the Gaspé Peninsula – as well as the Territory of Nunavut.

U.S. Consulate General Calgary 
615 Macleod Trail S.E., 10th Floor
Calgary, Alberta T2G 4T8
 +1 (403) 266-8962
Fax: +1 (403) 264-6630
Email: Canada.ACS@gdit-gss.comThe consular district includes Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories, excluding Nunavut.

General Information

Canada 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 July 1, 1988.

For information concerning travel to Canada, 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 Canada.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Child Abduction. The report is located here

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 Citizen 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 Canada.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State 
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
SA-17, 9th Floor 
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444

In Canada, each province and territory has its own Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention.  If the whereabouts of the child is known or there is reason to believe the child is located in a specific province or territory, the USCA forwards applications under the Hague Convention to the appropriate Provincial Central Authority.  If the child's whereabouts are not known, the applications are forwarded to the Federal Central Authority in Ottawa, Ontario. 

The following is a list of all Canadian Central Authorities:


Canadian Federal Central Authority
Ms. Sandra Zed Finless
Justice Legal Services
Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive, Tower C, 7th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2
Tel: (613) 996-1300
Fax: (613) 992-6485


Edmonton Office
Doug Lewis
Acting Director of Family Law
Alberta Justice
13th Floor, City Centre Place
10025 - 102A Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2Z2
Tel: (780) 415-1880
Fax: (780) 427-5914

Calgary Office
Jonathan Nicholson
Family Law Calgary
Department of Justice
1660 Standard Life Building
639 - 5th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0M9
Tel: (403) 297-3780
Fax: (403) 297-6381


Penelope Lipsack
Barrister and Solicitor
Legal Services Branch
P.O. Box 9280, Stn. Prov. Govt.
1001 Douglas St.
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 9J7
Tel: (250) 356-8433
Fax: (250) 356-8992


Janet Sigurdson
Family Law Branch
Manitoba Justice
1230 - 405 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB R3C 3L6
Tel: (204) 945-2850
Fax: (204) 948-2004


Catherine Berryman
Office of the Attorney General - Family Crown Services
P.O. Box 5001 (14th Floor)
Moncton, New Brunswick E1C 8R3
Tel: (506) 856-3844
Fax: (506) 869-6148


Brian F. Furey, QC
Family Litigation Unit
Civil Division
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, Newfoundland A1B 4J6
Tel: (709) 729-2887
Fax: (709) 729-2129


Dana Webster
Policy and Planning Division
Department of Justice, GNWT
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2L9
Tel: (867) 920-3362
Fax: (867) 873-0659


Nicholas Dorrance
Senior Solicitor
Nova Scotia Department of Justice
P.O. Box 7
4th Floor, 5151 Terminal Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2L6
Tel: (902) 424-7788
Fax: (902) 424-7158


Erin George
Legal and Constitutional Law Division
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 1000, Station 540
Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0
Tel: (867) 975-6354
Fax: (867) 975-6349


Shane Foulds
Ministry of the Attorney General
Central Authority for Ontario
1201 Wilson Avenue, Building B, 5th floor
Downsview, Ontario M3M 1J8
Tel: (416) 240-2484
Fax: (416) 240-2411


Loretta Coady MacAulay
Department of Justice and Public Safety
Family Law Centre
1 Harbourside Access Road
P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A 7N8
Tel: (902) 368-4886
Fax: (902) 368-6474


France Remillard
Direction des Services Professionnels
Ministere de la Justice du Quebec
1200, route de l'Eglise, 2e etage
Quebec G1V 4M1
Tel: (418) 644-7153
Fax: (418) 528-9716


Betty Ann Pottruff, Q.C.
Ministry of Justice and Attorney General
Policy, Planning and Evaluation
310-1874 Scarth Street
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 4B3
Tel: (306) 787-8954
Fax: (306) 787-9008


Judith M. Hartling
Litigation Group
Legal Services Branch, YTG
P.O. Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6
Tel: (867) 667-5856
Fax: (867) 393-6379

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Canada, the left behind parent may submit a Hague application to the Canadian Central Authority, either directly or through the U.S. Central Authority. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the appropriate central authority in Canada, 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 the Canadian 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, Canada.  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 Canada.  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

Procedures vary across Canada; however, in most provinces, the central authority performs an administrative function and does not present the case to a court or represent the applicant parent in legal proceedings. Applicant parents generally must present the case to court directly, usually with the assistance of legal counsel. Therefore, retaining an attorney in Canada for Hague petitions is strongly encouraged. Under the Hague Convention, Canada is not obligated to pay for, or in any way assume any costs resulting from, court proceedings. Some provinces or territories provide legal assistance based on economic need. For information regarding procedures or how to apply for legal assistance in a particular province or territory, contact the U.S. Central Authority or the appropriate provincial or territorial Central Authority office.

The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada 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.


Although Canada does not have a standardized mediation process for Hague Convention cases, mediation may be an option in a number of provinces. The relevant Canadian Central Authority can provide information on mediation options to assist parents in pursuing the return of, or access to, their children under the Hague Convention.

Exercising Custody Rights

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:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

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. 


Last Updated: July 6, 2015

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Ottawa
490 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 1G8, Canada
+1 (613) 688-5335
+1 (613) 238-5335
+1 (613) 688-3082

Canada Map