Caution
October 19, 2023

Worldwide Caution

Update
January 10, 2024

Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

International Parental Child Abduction

English

Country Information

China

China
People's Republic of China
Reconsider travel to Mainland China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions. Exercise increased caution when traveling to the Hong Kong SAR due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. Reconsider travel to the Macau SAR due to a limited ability to provide emergency consular services. Exercise increased caution when traveling to the Macau SAR due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. See specific risks and conditions in each jurisdiction.

Reissued with updates to wrongful detention language and information for the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions (SARs).

Summary: Reconsider travel to Mainland China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions.

Exercise increased caution when traveling to the Hong Kong SAR due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

Reconsider travel to the Macau SAR due to a limited ability to provide emergency consular services. Exercise increased caution when traveling to the Macau SAR due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

See specific risks and conditions in each jurisdiction. 

... [READ MORE]

Hague Convention Participation

Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No

What You Can Do

Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Beijing
No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600
Telephone: +86 10-8531-4000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +86 10-8531-4000
Fax: +86 10-8531-3300
Email: BeijingACS@state.gov
This consular district includes Beijing, Tianjin, Gansu, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Xinjiang, Chongqing, Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Tibet.

U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau
26 Garden Road
Central, Hong Kong
Telephone: +852 2841-2211, +852 2841-2225, +852 2841-2323 
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 
+852 2523-9011 
Fax: 
+852 2845-4845
Email: acshk@state.gov 
This consular district includes the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions (SARs).

U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou
No. 43 Hua Jiu Road
Zhujiang New Town
Tianhe District, Guangzhou 510623
Telephone: +86 20-3814-5775
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +86 10-8531-4000
Fax: +86 20-3814-5572
Email: GuangzhouACS@state.gov 
This consular district includes Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan.

U.S. Consulate General Shanghai
No. 1469 Huai Hai Zhong Road
Xuhui District, Shanghai 200041
Telephone: +86 21-8011-2400 
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +86 10-8531-4000 
Fax: +86 21-6148-8266 
Email: ShanghaiACS@state.gov 
This consular district includes Shanghai, Anhui, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang.

U.S. Consulate General Shenyang
No. 52 14th Wei Road
Heping District, Shenyang 110003
Telephone: +86 24-2322-1198 
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +86 10-8531-4000
Fax: +86 24-8610-6904 
Email: ShenyangACS@state.gov 
This consular district includes Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning.

U.S. Consulate General Wuhan
No. 568 Jian She Avenue
New World International Trade Tower I
Jianghan District, Wuhan 430022
Telephone: +86-27 8555-7791 
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +86 10-8531-4000 
Fax: +86 27-8555-7761
Email: WuhanACS@state.gov
This consular district includes Henan, Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi. Please note that U.S. Consulate General Wuhan provides emergency U.S. citizen services, as well as some routine services on a limited basis, until a move to a new office where full services will be provided.

General Information

For information concerning travel to China, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country specific information for China. 

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

Hague Abduction Convention

China is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between China and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  The government of China maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet here under Marriage Law.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in China and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children's Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children's Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State 
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
CA/OCS/CI 
SA-17, 9th Floor 
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website: travel.state.gov

Under Article 262 of the Criminal Law, abduction of a child under the age of 14 that would cause the child to be separated from his/her family or guardian is a crime in China, Please see full text of the law, which does not clearly address how this law applies if the abductor is a parent.

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in China and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children's Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.   Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in China for information and possible assistance.

Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children's Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in China are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list.  Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

Mediation

Divorce cases brought before the courts often include voluntary mediation to resolve conflicts and to help develop parenting plan(s) best for the family.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in China who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. For more resources please check www.npc.gov.cnor for the Chinese version please obtain information at http://www.gov.cn.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Last Updated: June 1, 2015

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Beijing
No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Chaoyang, Beijing
Telephone
+(86)(10) 8531-4000
Emergency
+(86)(10) 8531-4000
Fax
+(86)(10) 8531-3300

China Map