A One Stop Shop for Family Law in Australia
If a parent (or guardian) takes a child from their home in Australia to another country without the permission of either a Court or the other parent (or guardian) it is International Child Abduction.
If your child is abducted and taken to a country outside Australia, then how difficult it may be to recover your child back to Australia, will depend on whether the country they are in is a signatory to the Hague Convention.
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international agreement between some countries that covers international parental child abduction.
In our separate fact sheet you can see a list of countries that are Hague Convention Countries. This list is updated from time to time by the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department.
If your child is in a country which has not signed so as to agree to become a party to the Hague Convention, it will be more difficult to recover your child however it may still be possible to have your child returned to Australia.
You will probably have to engage a lawyer in the overseas country to issue legal proceedings in that overseas country for the recovery of the child, at the same time as you also issue proceedings in the Family Court of Australia.
If your child has been taken to a Hague Convention Country then read our fact sheet about how to recover your child from a Hague Convention Country.
Click here to access the Hague Convention Child Abduction Section and to read more about International Child Abduction.
Other Questions answered in the International Child Abduction Section
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