Parental child abduction is a tragedy. When a child is abducted across international borders, the difficulties are compounded for everyone involved.
The Department of State considers international parental child abduction, as well as the welfare and protection of U.S. citizen children taken overseas, to be important, serious matters. We place the highest priority on the welfare of children who have been victimized by international abductions.
The Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues (CA/OCS/CI) is designated to provide assistance to the left-behind parents of international parental child abduction:
Office of Children’s Issues
Toll Free Phone from within the U.S.: 1-888-407-4747 (8 a.m. – 8 p.m.)
Phone: (202) 736-9090
Abduction Office Fax: (202) 736-9133
Please refer to the country specific flyer for Austria if your child has been abducted to Austria.
The contact information for the Austrian Central Authority (Federal Ministry of Justice) is:
Bundesministerium für Justiz
Tel: +43 1 521 52-0
Fax: +43 1 521 52-2829
If the taking parent is not willing to return the child voluntarily, the Austrian Central Authority can appoint an attorney to represent the left-behind parent in court hearings.
Alternatively, parents may, if they desire, retain private Austrian legal counsel and have their Hague application handled by their chosen attorney. Payment arrangements would then be made directly with your attorney. In these cases, it is important to let the USCA (U.S. Central Authority) and the ACA (Austrian Central Authority) know of this decision.
The Austrian Federal Government is extremely supportive of mediation programs to resolve international parental abduction cases. While courts cannot order cases into mediation, judges can and do strongly encourage mediated resolutions and can stay hearings to permit parties the time to mediate.
Participation in mediation is voluntary. Mediation is conducted as a bi-professional co-mediation (one mediator with a psychosocial or educational and the other with a legal professional background) and means-tested funding is available if the mediators partner with the Family and Youth Ministry https://www.bmfj.gv.at/familie/trennung-scheidung/mediation.html