Searching for
   Your Child

If you are not sure about where your child was taken, locating your child is the top priority. Frequently, the abducting parent goes to great lengths to keep this location hidden, such as changing the name of the child. You are not alone, however, in this search. There are resources available to help you find your child. Some of these resources are listed below. Our office will work with you to access these resources to try to locate your child as quickly as possible.

State and Local Law Enforcement

Law enforcement officials may be able to assist you on the local level with locating missing children. Please contact your local city, county, or state agency for further information regarding your options and their abilities in such cases.

U.S. Embassies

If you know the country where your child may be located, a consular officer from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in that country can work with government officials in that country to try to locate your child. The following information will aid in efforts to confirm or rule out your child's location outside of the United States:

  • Your child's or children's full name (and any aliases, other names by which they may also be known);
  • Your child's date and place of birth;
  • The full name (and any possible aliases) of the taking parent;
  • The names, addresses, telephone numbers of friends, relatives, place of employment, the taking parent's legal representative or business connections; employment, the taking parent's legal representative or business connections.
  • Your child's last known location.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Field offices across the country serve as the primary points of contact for those requesting FBI assistance in locating missing children. To request FBI assistance or learn more about their services, please contact the Crimes Against Children Coordinator at your local FBI Office.

International Police

The International Police Organization (INTERPOL) can assist in the location of your child by producing a Yellow Notice that will notify INTERPOL when your child passes through an international border that is connected to the INTERPOL system. Additionally, INTERPOL Red Notices can be issued on the taking parent based on state or federal warrants. Ask your local police to contact INTERPOL for more information.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

NCMEC offers parents a wide array of resources and assistance depending on where you live and what your situation is. Please contact 1-800-The-Lost for more details. Visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children here>>.

This work extends beyond individual families. So, we are encouraging foreign governments to join us as parties to The Hague Convention on Child Abduction. Today we are treaty partners with 68 countries, and we want that number to grow. This convention is a necessary tool for resolving these difficult cases and giving more children the opportunity to come home.

On this National Missing Children's Day, let's continue to stand up, speak out, and do our part to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe. And let's help children around the world come home.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a message in honor of National Missing Children's Day, on May 24. Secretary Clinton says, "On this National Missing Children's Day let's continue to stand up, speak out, and do our part to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe. And let's help children around the world come home. (see related articles below).


U.S. Department of State

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