Locate Resources for Reuniting with Your Child
Reuniting with your child can be a powerful and emotional event, especially if the reunification takes place after a long separation. You and your child may experience a wide range of emotions around this important occasion. If needed, your country officer can help coordinate U.S. and foreign government authorities' involvement in your reunification with your child.
- Reunification Funds – Reunification costs paid by the left-behind parents can be substantial. The Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has established a fund called The Federal Crime Victim Assistance Fund. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) administers the OVC funds for left-behind parents. To learn more about this fund, contact your country officer and/or NCMEC.
- Reunification Counselors – Many left-behind parents find it helpful to use the services of a reunification counselor to help guide them through the process. NCMEC has a list of reunification counselors. Please contact NCMEC for further information.
What You Can Do
Contact the Authorities
Locate Your Child
State Departments Role
Steps You Can Take on Your Own
Learn about the Hague Abduction Convention & Local Laws
State Department's Role
Steps You Can Take On Your Own
What is the Hague Abduction Convention?
Explore Your Legal Options
Prepare for Reuniting with Your Child
Do not Attempt
We strongly discourage trying to take your child and bring him or her back home because this could:
- Endanger your child and others;
- Have a negative effect on any future legal action you might wish to take in that country;
- Result in your arrest and imprisonment in a foreign country where you are subject to local laws.
If you do succeed in leaving the foreign country with your child, you and anyone who assisted you may be the target of arrest warrants and extradition requests in the United States or any other country where you are found.