If you have joint custody
It is a case of international child abduction, if all these conditions are met:
- Custody is in dispute.
- No decision has been made allowing the child to stay or take up its residence abroad.
- The other parent has taken the child abroad or retains the child abroad without your consent and with the intent to remain abroad.
If you have sole custody
It is a case of international child abduction, if both these conditions are met:
- No decision has been made allowing the child to stay abroad.
- The other parent has taken the child abroad or retains the child abroad without your consent and intends to remain abroad.
If you do not have custody
It is not a case of child abduction, if you do not have custody. The other parent, who has custody, is allowed to take the child abroad without your consent.
What to do in case of international child abduction
If your child has been abducted to or is retained in a convention state, you can apply to have your child returned under the Hague Convention of 1980, the Hague Convention of 1996 or the European Convention.
All convention states have a central authority which receives and transmits applications from parents who want their children returned. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens is designated as the Central Authority of Denmark.
Go to information about the states with which Denmark cooperates at the moment
If your child has been abducted to or is being retained in a state which has not acceded to either of these conventions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark will handle the case. You may contact the Child Abduction Unit, which will coordinate the efforts to get your child back.
The Child Abduction Unit cannot advise you if you wish to bring your child back to Denmark on your own and without consulting the other parent. Such an action may be considered a "second abduction" and thus considered illegal in the country, to which your child has been abducted. Accordingly, you may risk prosecution, should you attempt to bring your child back on your own. This also applies if you should make arrangements with a third party about bringing your child back to Denmark without involving the authorities.
If you want your child returned from a convention state you must send the following documents to The Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens, Holmens Kanal 22, 1060 Copenhagen K, Denmark:
- Declaration form. The declaration form must be completed in order to enable the Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens to act on your behalf and obtain and pass on information relevant to the case.
- Application form
- Copy of the child’s/children’s certificate(s) of birth and baptism, original or certified copy. The place of registration of the birth can usually issue a new certificate in both Danish and English
- Documentation for custody
- Photos of the child and the alleged abductor
The documents must be translated into the official language of the recipient country, that is, the country to which the child has been abducted.
The application form may be completed in English. Applications for Norway, Sweden, Finland or Iceland may be completed in Danish. Most countries request the application form in their official language as well. The application forms are available in this website in the official languages of some of the countries. Accordingly, only the information you add to the application form will need translation.
Please call the ministry on +45 33 92 93 00, if you have any questions about completing the forms or about the required documentation.
If you want your child returned from a non-convention state you must send the following documents to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens, Holmens Kanal 22, 1060 Copenhagen K, Denmark:
You can apply for legal aid to cover your expenses for the abduction case - regardless to which country the child has been abducted. The legal aid may cover expenses that are not covered by your personal legal expenses insurance or the rules of the legal aid in the country to which your child has been abducted or in which your child is being wrongfully retained.
You can only apply for legal aid if you live in Denmark and your child lived in Denmark before the abduction.