Travel.State.Gov > International Parental Child Abduction > Country Information > Ecuador International Parental Child Abduction Information
Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 593-2-398-5000 or 593-9-9788-3222
U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil
Santa Ana St. and Jose Rodriguez Bonin Ave.
San Eduardo Sector
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 593-4-371-7000
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 Child Abduction. The report is located here.
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.
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The Ecuadorian Central Authority is at the Ministerio de Justicia, Derechos Humanos y Cultos. The office can be reached at:
Dirección de Acceso a la Justicia, Protección y Reparación Integral
Secretaria de Derechos Humanos
Ministerio de Justicia, Derechos Humanos y Cultos
Av. General Francisco Robles and Av. General Ulpiano Páez 10th floor
Telephone: (+593) 02 395 5840 ext: 212
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.
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.
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.
The U.S. Embassy in Quito maintains a list of attorneys. Additionally, the US Consulate General in Guayaquil maintains a list of attorneys that 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 following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
The Ecuadorian Central Authority strongly promotes mediation in abduction cases and will attempt to initiate mediation in all Hague Abduction Convention cases.
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:
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.