Is it possible to apply to the Hague Convention from a non-signatory country?

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The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a treaty executed by over 90 countries around the world.  Like any other treaty, it binds the member countries to certain promises that must be upheld in relation to each other.  However, the Convention holds no power over countries that are not member States.  Therefore, applications cannot be made to or from countries that have yet to sign the Convention.

The Hague Convention requires countries to put into place certain bureaucracies to help facilitate the return and acceptance of abducted children.  Each country that has signed the Hague Convention must set up a central authority designated to handle Hague cases and after the case has been filed, the courts and central authorities in both countries will work together to facilitate the return of the child.

However, because teamwork between the two countries is required to return the child, countries that have not signed the Hague Convention and designate a central authority cannot participate in Hague Convention cases.  Therefore, if the child is abducted to a non-signatory state, or if the child’s habitual residence is not in a signatory state, then the Hague Convention cannot apply.

If you have a question about the Hague Convention, please contact our office for a legal consultation.