Child Abducted Overseas to a Country who is not a Signatory to the Hague Convention
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.
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.
For more information on the Hague Convention
For more information on the Hague Convention, including a status table for each signatory country, click here to read the full text of the Convention.
If your child has been taken to a Hague Convention Country then read our information sheet about what you need to do to recover them under the Hague Convention.
We also have a information sheet on the situation if your child is taken to a Non Hague Convention Country.
Relocation, International & Domestic Child Abduction: More Information
We also have the following pages providing additional information in relation to both Relocation of a Parent with a Child within Australia (domestically) and International Child Abduction:
- List of Hague Convention Countries
- What happens when a Child is taken to a Hague Convention Country
- What happens when a Child is taken to a Non-Hague Convention Country
- How to get a Passport for a Child
- How to make a Special Circumstances Application for a Child Passport
- Stopping a Child Travelling overseas: Child already has Passport
- Stopping a Child Travelling Overseas: No Passport for Child Issued yet
- Court Orders regarding Passports and Overseas Travel Orders
- Matters considered by Courts regarding issuing a Passport or making an Overseas Travel Order
- Can I stop the other Parent Relocating with my Child
- We’re on friendly terms – Do I worry about possible relocation
- The other parent might relocate: Do I need to do anything?
- Court Orders about Relocation explained in full
- How does a Court decide Relocation Cases if a Parent moves away or wants to move away
- Documenting your Parenting Agreement in a Binding and Enforceable way
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All Topics in the Child Issues Section
- Types of Parental Responsibility Orders
- Child’s Time with Parents: Shared Care or not
- Grandparents: Rights to see Grandchildren
- Documenting a Parenting Agreement
- Best Interests of the Children
- Relocation of a Parent with a Child
- Change of a Child’s Surname
- Child Passports & Overseas Travel after Separation or Divorce
- How to change a Final Parenting Order previously made by the Court
- International Child Abduction