The Hague Abduction Convention (Convention) is an international treaty that provides a civil remedy to parents seeking the return of a child wrongfully removed or retained across international borders. The Convention also allows a party to file an application to secure rights of access to children when parents live in different countries.
Please speak to your attorney before completing your Hague application package. In most countries, only one application packet is needed per family. Some countries require translations of your application and supporting documents. Ask a country officer for more information about translations and other country specific requirements.
There are two types of Convention cases: return and access. While the application forms are similar for both types of cases, the outcome you are seeking is different. Check the box for “Return” if you are seeking the return of your child, or check the box for “Access” if you are seeking access to, or visitation with, your child. In order for you to file an application for the return of a child to the United State with the U.S. Central Authority, the United States must have been partnered with the country when your child was wrongfully removed or retained.
If you are applying for access to your child, use this section to propose what type of access to your child. Please be thorough in your proposal as you consider issues such as what type of access you are seeking, how related expenses will be paid, when and where any visits will occur, and any other information you think is relevant. If you need more space you may attach additional pages to your application.
The Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, prohibits the disclosure of a record about an individual from a federal agency’s system of records without the written consent of the individual, unless the disclosure is within one of twelve statutory exceptions. You can use this form to give consent for the Department to share information with persons and organizations whom you authorize. You may list your attorney, a specific family member or friend, or any other individual under Section A if you wish to do so. Please note that if you check “Yes” for “Individual Members of Congress and Staff,” on the second page of this form, we will notify your congressional representatives that you have reported your child as abducted. If you wish to change your Privacy Act waiver, you may update it at any time by providing a new Privacy Act waiver.
In addition to completing Convention application along with a translation, if applicable, you will also need to provide the following additional documents, if applicable to your circumstances.
NOTE: A complete application requires a number of legal documents. Some courts require original documents, and the foreign Central Authority will generally require you to submit original or certified copies of all legal documents in these circumstances. Please contact our office if you are unable to provide original or certified copies.
While the foreign Central Authority might accept your application in English, some countries require parents to provide the application and other materials in a local language. Speak with your country officer for more information about the translation requirements for the country where you child is located.