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What the State Department does after a child abduction

If your child was taken from you by the other parent and removed from the county, the United States State Department may be able to help you get your child back home to you. For example, the State Department may do the following on your behalf:

  • Give you as much information as it can about your legal rights and options as a parent of a child who was abducted internationally.
  • Accept your Hague application if your child was taken to a Hague Abduction Convention country. As a part of this process, the State Department will keep track of the progress of your international abduction case at the Foreign Central Authority.
  • Offer a list of local attorneys available to assist you in the nation where your child can be found.
  • Answer questions about your case when dealing with federal and local police.
  • Help you communicate with non-governmental organizations and U.S. agencies that are available to help you.
  • Assist in cases where a child has been abducted and is still in the U.S, but there is a risk that the child could be taken from the country.

There are several things, however, that the State Department will not do on your behalf. These include:

  • Take your child into custody.
  • Assist a parent to break the laws of a foreign country and/or the United States.
  • Pay legal costs on your behalf.
  • Give you legal advice.
  • Provide legal representation in court.
  • Give you lodging or other assistance if you're trying to recover your child by yourself.

If your child was taken from you to another country, a family law attorney will be able to help you work to get your child back. These cases can take time and involve multiple layers of complexity, but when the appropriate steps are made, many parents can achieve success.Review our website for more information on our family law services.

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