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abduction from icon Abductions FROM the U.S.

What you can do:

  • The State Department's Role

    Contact the Office of Children's Issues

    Speak with a country officer to discuss your case. We know what resources are available in different countries and can answer questions.

    Learn how we can help

    Call anytime:

    1-888-407-4747 from the U.S. & Canada

    1-202-501-4444 from abroad

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    Steps You Can Take on Your Own

    Contact local authorities in the U.S.

    • File a missing person's report with local police department
    • Contact your state's authority on missing children
    • Find local resources in your state

    Gather documents about your child

    Find out about international and local laws where you child is located

  • The State Department's Role

    Local law enforcement agencies in the country where your child is located will likely have the authority to locate your child.  For information on contacting law enforcement in the country where your child is located, please see the country information flier for the country where your child is located.

  • What is the Hague Abduction Convention?

    The Hague Abduction Convention is an international agreement among 73 countries, including the United States, that can help a parent whose child has been taken abroad in violation of their parental rights.

    Why the Hague Abduction Convention Matters

    The State Department's Role

    Country officers understand resources available in each country and can provide information to help you decide what may be the best course of action in your case.  If the Hague Abduction Convention is available to you, your country officer can help you file a Hague Application.  However, it is always best to consult with an attorney to determine the best course of action for your individual case, and prior to submitting your Hague Application.

    Learn about filing a Hague Application

  • The State Department's Role

    Our country officers are available to provide information about options available to help you determine what may be the best course of action in your case.  However, it is always best to consult with an attorney before taking any actions on your case. 

    Steps You Can Take on Your Own

    Whether or not the Hague Abduction Convention is available to you, there are other options to consider:

    Find Support

    An attorney in the country where your child is located may be useful in helping you to evaluate your options and navigate the legal system.  U.S. embassies and consulates keep lists of attorneys in each country.

    Learn more about finding an attorney abroad

  • The State Department's Role

    Once you've located your child and successfully used the legal system, your case officer can provide you with advice about reuniting with your child, and can help coordinate U.S. and foreign government involvement.

    Steps You Can Take on Your Own

    There may be funds available to you that cover travel costs for the physical return of your child when no other resources are available.

    Locate funds for reuniting with your child

    Find Support

    Many left-behind parents find it helpful to use the services of a reunification counselor to help guide them through the process.

    Locate counseling for reuniting with your child