Goldman School of Public Policy - University of California, Berkeley

Central Authority’s Role

The Central Authority's Role in a Petition for Removal

The Central Authority plays a prominent role in any petition for removal under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. According to the provisions of the Hague Convention, each signatory country must designate a Central Authority to handle petitions for removal in the signatory country and to respond to other signatories' Central Authorities. Each Central Authority is responsible for managing its own caseload and priorities.

In the United States, the Office of Children's Issues in the Department of State serves as the Central Authority for both incoming and outgoing applications for petition for removal. Until 2008, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children handled requests from left-behind parents to remove children from the US. The Central Authority recommends that parents seeking access to children that were removed from or to the United States apply to the United States Central Authority for assistance with the removal process or to the Central Authority of the country where the child is now located.

Obtaining Assistance From the Central Authority

While the United States Central Authority may provide to left-behind parents free or reduced-cost legal assistance with the legal process, the same is not true for parents who have allegedly abducted a child to the United States.

At The Hague Domestic Violence Project, we hope to provide a resource for parents who have fled with their children from domestic violence and then been alleged to have abducted the child under the provisions of the Hague Convention.

Please Contact the Hague Domestic Violence Project

If you are a lawyer or advocate representing a party facing a petition for removal of the child under the Hague Convention, please use this site to find the resources you require. If you do not find what you are looking for here, please contact The Hague Domestic Violence Project for further assistance.