International Parental Child Abduction

The U.S. Embassy is not able to intervene in private child custody issues.  With the exception of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the nations within our AOR (Eastern Caribbean) are not parties to the Hague Convention which protects parents in cases of international parental child abduction.  Children in the Eastern Caribbean are protected by their national laws and custody granted to a parent in the Eastern Caribbean courts are binding within the Eastern Caribbean.  In turn, Eastern Caribbean parents have little recourse through the courts in the United States in child custody cases but can contact child protection agencies in the state where their children reside.  In cases where the child has been taken to the Eastern Caribbean, parents should contact the relevant Child Development Agency in its respective nation which oversees the welfare of children.

St. Kitts and Nevis and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since June 1, 1995. For more details, please click here.

The Office of Children’s Issues at the Department of State assists in cases of international parental child abduction. The Department of State may be able to assist citizens in cases involving abducted children.  Please visit the Office of Children’s Issues for more information.