International Parental Child Abduction

International parental child abduction is the removal or retention of a child outside their country of habitual residence in breach of another parent or guardian’s custody rights.

Our goal is to assist left-behind parents in pursuing each child’s return to their country of habitual residence through lawful means.

The Hague Child Abduction Convention

“Desiring to protect children internationally from the harmful effects of their wrongful removal or retention…as well as to secure protection for rights of access” – Preamble to the Hague Abduction Convention

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction provides a framework for countries to work together in specific ways to resolve international abduction cases. The treaty came into effect between the United States and the United Kingdom on July 1,1988.

Visit the Department of State’s International Parental Child Abduction website for important information about the Hague Convention, tips on preventing abduction or stopping an abduction in progress, and FAQs about the action you should take if you think your child has been abducted.

Important resources

The U.S. Department of State’s Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP)
The UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office Child Abduction guidance
Reunite International Child Abduction Centre
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Legal advice

A court order prohibiting removal may give law enforcement more authority to prevent abduction. We strongly advise you to obtain professional legal advice specific to your child’s circumstances.

Embassies and consulates cannot provide legal advice or recommend any particular solicitor or law firm. However, we have compiled a list of some child custody solicitors operating in the United Kingdom.