Macedonia 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 December 1, 1991.
For information concerning travel to Macedonia, 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 Macedonia.
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 Macedonia. 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
SA-17, 9th Floor
The Macedonia Central Authority (MCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The MCA has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications. In Macedonia, Convention cases in the first instance and first appeal proceedings are reviewed and decided by the Center of Social Work (CSW) within the jurisdiction of the child’s location. There are 30 inter-municipal Centers of Social Work in Macedonia. Cases only go to the judiciary if a party appeals to the Supreme Court.
The MCA can be reached at:
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
Rue Dame Gruev No 14
Republic of Macedonia
Telephone number: +389 (2) 3106-376
Fax number: +389 (2) 3220-408
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Macedonia, the USCA encourages a parent or legal guardian to review the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located at the Department of State website and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the MCA. All documents must be translated into Macedonian, including the Hague Abduction Convention application. Please note, however, that certified translations are not necessary. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the MCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative process.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Macedonia central authorities. It is not mandatory for a petitioner to retain a private attorney. Additional costs may include airplane tickets 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, Macedonia. 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 Macedonia. 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 MCA does not require parents or legal guardians to retain a private attorney in order to file a Hague Abduction Convention application. Cases are first heard by an administrative agency. Parents may choose to retain private legal counsel in Macedonia to handle their Hague case. A parent who hires private counsel should notify both the Macedonia and the U.S. central authorities.
The U.S. Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia, 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 persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
Macedonia is supportive of mediation programs to resolve international parental child abduction cases. While the CSW cannot order cases into mediation, mediation is strongly encouraged.
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.