United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 29, 2023
The term “abducted child” means a child who is the victim of international child abduction.
The term “abduction” means the alleged wrongful removal of a child from the child’s country of habitual residence, or the wrongful retention of a child outside such country, in violation of a left-behind parent’s custodial rights, including the rights of a military parent.
The term “access case” means a case involving an application filed with the Central Authority of the United States by a parent seeking rights of access.
The term “Annual Report” means the Annual Report on International Child Abduction required under section 9111 of this title.
The term “appropriate congressional committees” means the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
The term “bilateral procedures” means any procedures established by, or pursuant to, a bilateral arrangement, including a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and another country, to resolve abduction and access cases, including procedures to address interim contact matters.
The term “bilateral procedures country” means a country with which the United States has entered into bilateral procedures, including Memoranda of Understanding, with respect to child abductions.
The term “child” means an individual who has not attained 16 years of age.
The term “Convention country” means a country for which the Hague Abduction Convention has entered into force with respect to the United States.
The term “Hague Abduction Convention” means the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at The Hague
The term “interim contact” means the ability of a left-behind parent to communicate with or visit an abducted child during the pendency of an abduction case.
The term “left-behind parent” means an individual or legal custodian who alleges that an abduction has occurred that is in breach of rights of custody attributed to such individual.
The term “non-Convention country” means a country in which the Hague Abduction Convention has not entered into force with respect to the United States.
The term “overseas military dependent child” means a child whose habitual residence is the United States according to United States law even though the child is residing outside the United States with a military parent.
Subject to subparagraph (B), the term “unresolved abduction case” means an abduction case that remains unresolved for a period that exceeds 12 months after the date on which the completed application for return of the child is submitted for determination to the judicial or administrative authority, as applicable, in the country in which the child is located.