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Obtaining assistance when a child residing in Québec is removed or retained outside Canada

You can request the assistance of the Gouvernement du Québec if your child who resides in Québec has been removed or is being retained outside Canada by the other parent.

Cases not eligible for assistance:

You, your child and the other parent all reside in Québec

Contact the local police or a lawyer

Your child resides in another Canadian province

Contact the local police or a lawyer

Your child resides abroad but not in one of these States This hyperlink will open in a new window.

Contact the local police, a lawyer or the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit This hyperlink will open in a new window. at Global Affairs Canada.

You live in one of these States This hyperlink will open in a new window., your child has been removed or is being retained in Québec and you seek their return to your State.

As a parent, you cannot take action directly with the Gouvernement du Québec. The Central Authority This hyperlink will open in a new window. of the State where you reside must contact the Gouvernement du Québec to initiate the process. Start by contacting them. The Gouvernement du Québec will then open your file.


Your child must:

  • be aged 15 or under
  • be in one of these States This hyperlink will open in a new window. since the removal or failure to return
  • habitually reside in Québec
  • have been removed or not returned after the Act came into force for the State in question.

The other parent must be in violation of your custody rights under the Act.


In some cases, the child could remain in another country despite your efforts. This happens when the other parent proves to the court that:

  • you do not actually exercise your custody rights
  • you agreed to allow your child to move to another country
  • your child does not want to return
  • your child’s return could expose them to physical or psychological harm or place them in an intolerable situation
  • your child is now settled in their new environment (over a year).


General notice

Translation of documents

All documents must be written in French or English, depending on the State where your child is located.

However, in some cases, you must have them translated into the language of the State where the other parent has taken refuge. If so, we will notify you after reviewing your documents.

To request assistance from the Gouvernement du Québec:

  1. Complete the form Request for Return of the Child (AJ-132A) (PDF 129 Kb)
  2. Include the following documents:
    • A document in which you:
      1. present the circumstances in which your child was removed or retained outside Canada (e.g., separation or dispute between the spouses)
      2. state whether there is a court judgment awarding custody
      3. state what steps you have taken to locate and request the return of your child
      4. explain, with reference to actual facts, why you believe that your child’s safety or well-being is under threat, if that is the case.
    • A copy of airline tickets
    • A copy of your child’s birth certificate
    • A copy of your marriage certificate
    • A photo of your child
    • A photo of the other parent
    • A list of the people you know (e.g., grandparents, other relatives, friends or neighbours) who may be able to help us locate the child
    • Any other document issued by an organization (e.g., school, daycare or medical clinic) that may have relevant information.

      If they exist, also include the following documents:
      • A copy of:
        • the homologated child custody agreement your reached with the other parent dated prior to the abduction; or
        • the court order on the custody of your child or a change of custody request dated prior to the abduction.
      • A copy of the documents you received regarding your former spouse’s court application for custody in the State where your child is located
      • A copy of the arrest warrant issued for the other parent
      • Expert reports produced during custody proceedings
        • Letter from the Director of Youth Protection stating that your child is not the subject of a child welfare report and a certificate of good conduct issued by the police (optional, but could be requested at a later date).

Send your request by email or by mail

  • Emails
  • Address

    Direction des orientations et des affaires législatives – Entraide internationale
    Ministère de la Justice
    1200, route de l’Église, 4e étage
    Québec (Québec) G1V 4M1


The Gouvernement du Québec offers this service free of charge.

However, you will be responsible for any document translation costs.

Furthermore, if you initiate court proceedings, you will have to pay your lawyer in the State where your child is located (unless that State offers the services of a lawyer or legal aid free of charge).

You will also be responsible for the costs of your child’s return (e.g., airline tickets and accommodation).

Get more information on costs

Time limit

You may file a request for assistance at any time.

Last update: February 26, 2024


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General notice

You have questions or require additional information?

Please contact Services Québec