International Parental Child Abduction

English

Country Information

Ecuador

Ecuador
Republic of Ecuador
Exercise normal precautions in Ecuador. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise normal precautions in Ecuador. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Esmeraldas, Carchi, and Sucumbíos provinces due to crime.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Ecuador:

Esmeraldas, Carchi, and Sucumbíos Provinces – Level 4:  Do Not Travel

Since January 2018, a transnational crime group has kidnapped and murdered Ecuadorian citizens in Esmeraldas province, in addition to carrying out bombings targeting Ecuadorian military and law enforcement.

The U.S. government is limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Colombian border area, as U.S. government personnel cannot travel to the provinces of Esmeraldas, Carchi, and Sucumbíos without permission from the Embassy’s security office. However, U.S. government personnel are permitted to travel to the northern bank of the Napo River in Sucumbíos, an area approximately four miles wide.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

... [READ MORE]

Hague Convention Participation

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

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 Quito

Ave. Avigiras E12-170 y Ave. Eloy Alfaro 
Quito, Ecuador
Telephone: +(593)(2) 398-5000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(593)(2) 398-5000
Fax: +(593)(2) 398-5100

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil
Santa Ana St. and Jose Rodriguez Bonin Ave.
San Eduardo, Ecuador
Telephone: +(593)(4) 371-7000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(593)(4) 371-7000
Fax: +(593)(4) 371-7045

General Information

Ecuador and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Convention (Hague Abduction Convention) since April 1, 1992.

For information concerning travel to Ecuador, 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 Ecuador.

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.

 

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 Ecuador.  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:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 202-485-6221
Website

The Ecuadorian Central Authority (ECA) is the Edificio del Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social (MIES). The office can be reached at:

Autoridad Central
Subsecretaria de protección especial
Edificio del Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social (MIES)
1er piso
Quito, Ecuador
Telephone: +593(2)398 3000 Ext.5152
E-mail
Website

To initiate a Hague case for return or for access to a child abducted to Ecuador, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the ECA, either directly or through the USCA.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to ECA, 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 Ecuadorian 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.

Return

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, Ecuador.  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.

Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Ecuador. 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 Ecuador-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 with courts in Ecuador. The ECA will act on behalf of the left-behind parent when a private attorney is not retained. Beginning in January 2012, per an agreement entered with ECA, the Ecuadorian Office of Public Defenders assumed the role of legal representation on behalf of the ECA for left-behind parents in Hague Convention cases.    

The U.S. Embassy in Quito maintains a list of attorneys. Additionally, the US Consulate General in Guayaquil maintains a list of attorneys that 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

The Ecuadorian Central Authority strongly promotes mediation in abduction cases and will attempt to initiate mediation in all Hague Abduction Convention cases. 

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: February 13, 2015

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Quito
Ave. Avigiras E12-170 y Ave.
Eloy Alfaro 
Quito, Ecuador
Telephone
+(593)(2) 398-5000
Emergency
+(593)(2) 398-5000 
Fax
+(593)(2) 398-5100

Ecuador Map