International Parental Child Abduction

General Information

Ecuador and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Convention (Hague Abduction Convention) since April 1, 1992.

For information concerning travel to Ecuador, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, currency and entry regulations, and crime and security, please see country-specific information for Ecuador.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizen Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Ecuador.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 202-485-6221
Website

The Ecuadorian Central Authority (ECA) is the Edificio del Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social (MIES). The office is located at:

Venezuela 131 OE4 y Sucre. Pasaje Amador. Edificio MIES. Piso 4
Quito, Ecuador
Telephone: +593(2)398 3000 Ext.5152
Website

To initiate a Hague case for return or for access to a child abducted to Ecuador, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the ECA, either directly or through the USCA.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to ECA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Ecuadorian central authorities.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Ecuador.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

Visitation and Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Ecuador. The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand Ecuador-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

Measures to forcibly obtain physical custody of your children could be illegal. Attempts to re-abduct your child may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts you might wish to make; and
  • Result in your arrest and imprisonment.

Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to file Hague Abduction Convention with courts in Ecuador.  The ECA will act on behalf of the left-behind parent when a private attorney is not retained.  Beginning in January 2012, per an agreement entered with ECA, the Ecuadorian Office of Public Defenders assumed the role of legal representation on behalf of the ECA for left-behind parents in Hague Convention cases.    

Lists of attorneys in Quito and Guayaquil can be found on our legal assistance page.

Mediation

The Ecuadorian Central Authority strongly promotes mediation in abduction cases and will attempt to initiate mediation in all Hague Abduction Convention cases.