International Parental Child Abduction

The U.S. Embassy is not able to intervene in private child custody issues.

The Hague Convention protects children in cases of international parental child abduction.  While Jamaica became party to the Convention in 2017, the Convention is not in force between Jamaica and the United States.  As a result, there is no formal mechanism for resolving cases under the Convention at this time.  The United States is engaged in discussions with the Jamaican government regarding partnering under the Convention.

Children in Jamaica are protected by Jamaican laws, and custody granted to a parent in the Jamaican courts is binding within Jamaica.  Jamaican parents have little recourse through the courts in the United States in child custody cases, but can contact child protection agencies in the state where their children reside. The Office of Children’s Issues at the Department of State also assists in cases of international parental child abduction. Please visit the Office of Children’s Issues for more information.

The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (formerly the Child Development Agency) has been designated as the Central Authority for Jamaica regarding international child abduction cases.  The Central Authority is the main point of contact in cases where the child has been taken to Jamaica, and can be reached by contacting:

Child Protection and Family Services Agency
48 Duke Street, Kingston
876-948-2841; 876-948-2842; 876-922-8857, 876-922-5615, 876-922-1751
jacentralauthority@childprotection.gov.jm