Texas parents may wonder if there is any international law that they can turn to if their children are abducted and taken overseas. The Hague Convention does establish a formal law to handle international custody disputes between the nations that have signed it. However, not every nation is a signatory to this treaty, and even some that have signed on to it do not always fully comply with its requirements.
The current list of countries that have signed the Hague Convention is available on the U.S. Department of State’s website. As of November of 2018, ninety-eight countries are actively participating as signatories to the agreement. The scope of the treaty as it currently stands covers the American continents, Europe, and Australia. However, participation by Asian countries is mixed, and only several nations in Africa have signed onto the convention.
Be aware that just because a nation has signed on to the convention or has acceded to it does not mean the country will be in full compliance with the treaty. The State Department website chronicles which nations are judged to be in noncompliance. As of the 2018 report, the department describes twelve countries, including the Bahamas, Brazil, China, the Dominican Republic, India, Japan, Jordan and Peru to have varying degrees of noncompliance, though the report also describes any progress these countries are making toward fully cooperating with the U.S. on child custody cases.
The State Department will also describe efforts to build relationships with countries that are not currently signed onto the Hague Convention. While there is no formal mechanism to adjudicate international child custody disputes in the non-Hague signatory nations, the State Department still continues to make child abduction cases a part of consular dialogue in the hopes of encouraging those nations to accede to the treaty or establish a formal means of dealing with child custody cases where the United States is involved.