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 to practice in the relevant
The Netherlands 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 September 1, 1990.
For information concerning travel to Netherlands, 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 the Netherlands at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_982.html
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 the Netherlands. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The Dutch Central Authority (DCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). Upon receipt of a new Hague application, the MOJ will contact the taking parent to determine whether he or she wants to voluntarily return the child to the country of habitual residence. In cases where the applicant is not aware of the child’s location in the Netherlands, the MOJ attempts to find the child with the assistance of several authorities. The DCA can be reached at:
Ministry of Justice
Directie Justitieel Jeugdbeleid (Youth Policy Division)
Afdeling Juridische en Internationale Zaken (Department for Legal and International Affairs)
2500 EH THE HAGUE
Telephone number: +31 (70) 370 79 11
Fax number: +31 (70) 370 7900
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in the Netherlands, the USCA encourages parents or legal guardians 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 foreign Central Authority. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Dutch Ministry of Justice, 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 the Dutch central authorities. Applicant parents may be responsible for additional costs, such as airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered and attorneys fees if the parent does not qualify for free legal assistance from the Dutch government
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 the Netherlands. 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 the Netherlands. 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
Retaining an Attorney:
Left-behind parents are required to retain the services of private Dutch legal counsel to forward their Hague petition to the appropriate court. Family law matters require legal representation; however, the state will provide an attorney to individuals unable to afford one.
The U.S. Embassy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law at:
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 may be available for both abduction and access cases. The DCA does not provide mediation services directly; however the DCA does provide referrals to private and non-governmental organizations that offer mediation services. Courts and notaries readily formalize agreements that are negotiated under the guidance of a mediator. Mediation costs vary according to the duration of the negotiations
The U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands can be contacted at:
U.S. Embassy Netherlands
American Citizen Services
U.S. Consulate General
1071 DJ Amsterdam
Telephone: (31) (0) 20 575 5309 Between 8 AM and 4:30 PM
(31) (0) 70 310 2209 Evenings, Weekends, and Holidays
Fax: (31) (0) 20 575 5330
The Embassy of the Netherlands is located in Washington, D.C. at: