My child hasn't come back from a trip abroad

Perhaps you gave permission for your child to go on holiday or a visit to relatives abroad, but they haven’t come back when they were supposed to.

This is known as wrongful retention. You should contact a solicitor and get legal advice as soon as possible. You may be able to get legal aid to help.

Wrongful retention

Wrongful retention is not a criminal offence in the UK – but you still have options.

If the country your child is in has joined the Hague Convention, you may be able to get help to get your child back from authorities in the UK and the other country.

If the country has not signed up to the Hague Convention, you may be able to start legal proceedings in the UK or in the other country that put pressure on the other parent to return the child.

Either way, you should get specialist legal advice and support.

Useful contacts

Call Reunite International on 0116 2556 234 for advice, information and support.

Find help to get your child back from abroad (GOV.UK). This government tool will put you in touch with the right people to help.

Government guidance on international parental child abduction gives information on useful contacts and how to begin the process of returning your child.

If you live in England and don’t have a solicitor you can call Child Law Advice on 0300 330 5480. Their website features detailed information on child abduction issues.

Still need help? Let's see if we can get you the help you need.

Get in touch on [email protected]