Parents who believe there is a risk of abduction of a child by the other parent may wish to take steps to prevent the child from leaving the country. Federal law requires the signatures of both parents for a child under 16 years of age to obtain a U.S. passport. If a child already has a passport, the United States Department of State may not revoke that passport.
The Hague Convention is a treaty that provides a method for return to the United States of a child who has been abducted by a parent. The Hague Convention applies only to participating countries. A list of countries that are parties to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspect of International Child Abduction can be found at: www.travel.state.gov/content/childabduction/en/country/hague-party-countries.html
If the country is not a party to this Hague Convention, issues can arise in cases of parental child abduction. A custody agreement issued in the United States is not binding abroad, although it could be considered as evidence by foreign courts. An action must generally be commenced in the foreign Country’s Courts, where that country’s laws would apply. In these cases, the parent must seek advice from an attorney admitted to the practice of law in that foreign country.