Travel.State.Gov > International Parental Child Abduction > Country Information > Syria International Parental Child Abduction Information
The U.S. Department of State strongly recommends that U.S. citizens remaining in Syria depart immediately. More information can be found in the U.S. Department of State’s Syria Travel Advisory. The U.S. Embassy in Damascus suspended operations in February 2012 and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to U.S. citizens who choose to travel to or remain in Syria despite the Travel Advisory.
The Government of the Czech Republic, acting through its Embassy in Damascus, serves as Protecting Power for U.S. interests in Syria. The range of consular services the Czech Republic provides to U.S. citizens is extremely limited. U.S. citizens in Syria who seek consular services should contact the U.S. Interests Section of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Damascus at USIS_damascus@embassy.mzv.cz.
U.S. citizens in Syria who are in need of emergency assistance, and are unable to reach the U.S. Interests Section of the Embassy of the Czech Republic or must make contact outside business hours, should contact the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan:
Telephone: 962 (6) 590-6950
Emergencies: 962 (6) 590-6500
U.S. citizens may also call 1-888-407-4747 (from the U.S.) or +1 202-501-4444 (from overseas) for assistance.
For information concerning travel to Syria, including information about the current security situation in Syria, 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 our country-specific information for Syria and the Syria Travel Advisory.
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.
Syria 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 Syria and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.
Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. Parents should consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Syria 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.
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Parental child abduction is a crime in Syria.
Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in Syria to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court. Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.
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 Syria 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. They should also e-mail the Office of Overseas Citizens Services in Washington at SyriaEmergencyUSC@state.gov. For additional information, see the Embassy of the United States in Damascus, Syria.
Neither the Office of Children's Issues nor consular officials at U.S. Embassies or Consulates are authorized to provide legal advice.
Sharia law courts and other religious courts provide mediation services in custody disputes. There are no non-religious, non-governmental organizations that offer mediation services.
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.