Who Does the Hague Convention Apply To?
If you believe you might be facing the terrifying situation of International Child Abduction, you will need to determine whether the Hague Convention treaty is “in force” between the U.S. and the other country involved.
In a nutshell, the Hague Abduction Convention is an international agreement to safeguard intercountry adoptions. An application may be made when a child is taken or retained across an international border, away from his or her habitual residence, without the consent of a parent who has rights of custody under the law of the habitual residence, if the two countries are parties to the Convention. The child must be promptly returned to the habitual residence unless the return will create a grave risk of harm to the child or another limited exception is established.
The Convention has the child’s best interest, and provides a shared civil remedy among partner countries. Depending on where your child was taken determines whether the Convention is “in force” between nations. It is therefore important to determine whether the Convention is in force with the particular country in question and when the Convention went into force between the U.S. and the other country.
HAGUE CONVENTION & ITS BACKGROUND
The Hague Convention is essentially a treaty that many countries, along with the US have joined. On May 29, 1993, the Convention established international standards of practices for intercountry adoptions. The United States signed the Convention in 1994, and the Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008.
How do you determine whether the treaty is “in force” between the U.S. and the other country involved? The Federal Judicial Center explains with the following:
‘The issue of whether the Convention is “in force” between states can be complex. There are differences in the processes by which a state can be bound by the treaty, specifically between those who are “member states” and those who become “party states.”
Member states are states that were members of The Hague Conference on Private International Law at the time of adoption of the Child Abduction Convention at the 14th Session in 1980.
The differences between the two is the following:
- Actions by member states include ratifications, approvals, or acceptances.
- Party states are all other countries that agree to be bound by the Convention and “accede” to the Convention.
For member states, the ratification by one member state causes the convention to automatically come into force between that ratifying member state and all other previously ratifying member states. However, when a member state ratifies the Convention, the Convention does not automatically enter into force between that state and a party state that has acceded to the convention.
The treaty “enters into force” between two countries when they are both bound by the Convention. In order for the Convention to enter into force between a member state and a party state, the member state must expressly accept the accession by the party state.
The same applies to the accession of one party state vis-á-vis another acceding party state; that is, the accession must be specifically accepted by the previously acceding party state.’
101 states are a party to the convention. Like extradition treaties, some countries that have signed a Hague Convention treaty with the United States are noncompliant or refuse to hold up the terms of the treaty.
LIST OF U.S HAGUE CONVENTION TREATY PARTNERS
Below are the countries that participate in the Hague Convention and are “in force” with the United States of America. You can find the official list with dates and more here.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||3249.317||12/1/1991|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||53.871||6/1/1995|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1406.585||8/1/2013|
Most of the world, including the United States, belongs to the Hague Convention, and they will negotiate treaties to help streamline international justice. When family law disputes cross international boundaries, it is essential to have the help from a knowledgeable family law attorney who understands all of the laws that go along with child custody cases.
Our attorneys, Erin Masters and Anthony Joseph, have extensive knowledge and experience with The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“The Hague Convention”) that was enacted into law through the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (“ICARA”) which provides that a parent whose child has been wrongfully removed from or retained in the United States may petition for the child’s return to his or her country of habitual residence.
Browse Our Featured Hague Decisions:
- Sulcaite, Memorandum Opinion and Order
- Ho, Memorandum Opinion and Order
- Hinnendael, Decision and Order
Contact us here today to set up a complimentary consultation.