Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
If your child has been abducted, you can turn to International Social Service. We can give you advice and information. We listen to you and advise you which agency you should or might contact. Give us a call or write to us: Contact.
If your partner has applied under the Hague Convention on Child Abduction to have the child returned, proceedings for the return of the child will be pending in Germany. Usually those applications are granted, with a few exceptions. Ultimately it is possible that your child's return to the country of origin will be enforced. But it does not have to come to that. A voluntary return of the child should always be taken into consideration, mainly in the interest of the child. Give us a call or write to us: Contact. If you tell us more about it, we may find a solution.
On principle, those fears must be taken seriously. It should be clarified what are the causes for those fears and what can be done to respond to them. Not every fear must prove true. And: first and foremost it should be tried, in the interest of the child, to facilitate contact of the child with both parents. Therefore, it is important to find out whether a serious risk of child abduction really exists. For this purpose, you should provide as much information as possible: how would you describe your relationship to the other parent? In what sort of situation does he or she find themselves? What is the cultural background of each parent? What is the role played by other family members? Contact us so we can discuss everything. Together we can think about the further course of action. Perhaps it will be helpful to discuss matters with the other parent, or perhaps a mediation process should be started, or precautions have to be initiated.
Under certain conditions this is possible. It depends on several factors: the custody arrangements, the legal system of the country to which you wish to travel, etc. We will be pleased to provide you with more information.
International child abduction refers to a situation where a child has been taken from one country to another without the consent of the parent who has custody (or shares joint custody) of the child.
A typical example is a case where one of the parents travels with the child to another country for vacation and does not return to the country where the child habitually resides. Usually when a child is abducted, this is done by only one of the parents - but there are cases as well where children are abducted by both their parents, if custody was removed from the parents and they leave the country together with their child without consent of the guardian.
The Community of States has reacted to these cases. The Hague Convention of 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction provides rules for the procedure and preconditions for the return of a child to their State of habitual residence. However, the Hague Convention has not been signed by all the States. For more information whether the Convention is applicable in your case, please contact us: Contact.
In some countries, it is in fact a criminal offence, which may lead to the issuance of an international warrant of arrest against you, or you may be arrested when you try to enter the country.
If you want to find out if it would be regarded as a criminal offence in a particular country, you may enquire in that country directly, or contact us: Contact. In many cases we will be able to obtain that information for you.
Right of access between children and parents
There are several options. One is to turn to the Central Authority in Bonn. This Central Authority will take action if the State concerned has signed the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. Moreover, there are other possibilities to be considered. We will be pleased to give you more information.