If your child has been abducted to a foreign country, you can take the steps below.
A situation counts as international child abduction if the child is under 16, you have sole or joint parental responsibility and:
- the child was taken abroad without your permission, or
- the child is being kept abroad without your permission. For example, if you gave permission for a holiday or family visit in another country but not for a longer stay.
Step 1: Contact the Central Authority on International Children’s Issues
Contact the Central Authority on International Children’s Issues at the Ministry of Justice and Security as soon as possible. Each country that is party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction has its own central authority.
Contact details of the Dutch Central Authority (information in Dutch)
Application for return
The Central Authority can help get your child back to the Netherlands. This is done via an application for return. If your child is abducted to a country that is not party to the Hague Convention, the Central Authority will ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for assistance.
Step 2: Report the case to the police
International child abduction (or denial of parental rights) is a crime. You can report this to the police.
Advice and support from the Dutch International Child Abduction Centre
If you need advice or support, contact the Dutch International Child Abduction Centre (Centrum IKO). They can provide:
- information about international child abduction and its prevention
- help with filling in the request for return form for the Central Authority on International Children’s Issues
- the contact details of specialist lawyers in the Netherlands and abroad.