International Parental Child Abduction

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Country Information

Thailand

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

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

Reconsider travel to:

  • Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla provinces due to civil unrest.

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

If you decide to travel to Thailand:

Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla Provinces

Periodic violence directed mostly at government interests by a domestic insurgency continues to affect security in the southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla. U.S. citizens are at risk of death or injury due to the possibility of indiscriminate attacks in public places. Martial law is in force in this region.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these provinces as U.S government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to these provinces.

... [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

EMBASSY

U.S. Embassy Bangkok
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330
Thailand
Telephone:
+ (66) (2) 205-4049, 02-205-4049 (within Thailand)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) (2) 205-4000, 02-205-4000 (within Thailand)
Fax: +(66) (2) 205-4103, 02-205-4103 (within Thailand)|
Email: acsbkk@state.gov

CONSULATE 

U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai
387 Witchayanond Road
Chiang Mai 50300
Thailand
Telephone:
+(66) (53) 107-777, 053-107-777 (within Thailand)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) 81-881-1878, 081-881-1878 (within Thailand)
Fax: +(66) (53) 252-633, 053-252-633 (within Thailand)
Email: acschn@state.gov

General Information

Thailand 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 April 1, 2016.

For information concerning travel to Thailand, 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 Thailand.

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 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 Thailand.  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
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709

Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website
Email: AskCI@state.gov

The Thai Central Authority (TCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Office of the Attorney General.  The Thai Central Authority has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications. 

They can be reached at:

Office of the Attorney General
International Affairs Department
Rajaburi Direkriddhi Building
Government Complex
Chaeng Watthana Road, Laksi
Bangkok 10210, Thailand
Tel : +662-142-1637
Fax : +662-143-9791 /
Email: inter@ago.go.th

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Thailand, the left-behind parent may choose to submit a Hague application to the TCA, either through the USCA or directly, or with the Central Juvenile and Family Court via an attorney.  The TCA can facilitate locating the child and can attempt to contact the taking parent to request a voluntary return on behalf of the left-behind parent.  The Hague application and supporting documents submitted to the TCA must be in English and, if feasible, in Thai.  However, please note that all documents submitted to the Central Juvenile and Family Court must be translated into Thai.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the TCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the USCA or the TCA.  However, applicants will bear the cost (200 Thai baht) for filing the Hague application with the Central Juvenile and Family Court and any other related court fees.  If the left-behind parent hires an attorney, attorney fees are the responsibility of the left-behind parent.  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, Thailand.  The U.S. Department of State can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application for return.

Visitation/Access

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Thailand.  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 for access.

Retaining an Attorney

The TCA does not represent left-behind parents in court or assign a private attorney to represent left-behind parents. The role of the TCA is administrative and neutral. Left-behind parents should consider retaining an attorney to file the Hague application with the Central Juvenile and Family Court.

The Office of International Peoples’ Rights Protection may provide free legal services (English available).

Contact Information:

Office of the International People's Rights Protection
Office of the Attorney General
Government Complex (Building A)
Chaeng Watthana Road, Lak Si
Bangkok 10210, Thailand
Tel: 0-2142-1532
Fax : 02149-9179-142-1637
Fax : +662-143-9791
Website: http://www.humanrights.ago.go.th/

E-mail: humanrights@ago.go.th

The Lawyers Council of Thailand may also provide legal services.  More information is available on their website (Thai only).

The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand 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.

Mediation

Mediation may help parents resolve both abduction and access cases. The Prachabodee Center, which is under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, and the Human Development Foundation (Mercy Centre) provide informal, private, non-legally binding mediation services. Legally-binding mediation is only available through the courts. 

More information is available here for the Mercy Centre

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: April 1, 2016

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Bangkok
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330
Thailand
Telephone
+ (66) (2) 205-4049
Emergency
+(66) (2) 205-4000
Fax
+(66) (2) 205-4103

Thailand Map