If you or the other parent have brought your child to Denmark without the other parent’s consent, it may be a case of international child abduction.
You have brought your child to Denmark
The rules that determine whether it is lawful to go to Denmark with the child are those of the country where the child normally lives, and not the Danish rules. This also applies even if it is only a holiday.
If you have wrongfully brought your child to Denmark, it is a case of international child abduction. In general, the child has to be returned to the country where it normally lives.
The other parent has brought your child to Denmark
If your child has been abducted to Denmark or is being retained in Denmark following access, and your child normally lives abroad, you are normally able to get help to have the child returned.
You can apply to have your child returned under the Hague Convention or the European Convention if Denmark cooperates with the country in question under the conventions.
If the child has been abducted from a country with which Denmark does not cooperate under any convention, you must contact the authorities of that country.
Cooperation under the conventions
All convention states have a central authority which receives and transmits applications from parents who want their children returned.
You may apply to the Central Authority of the country where the child normally lives (the country of habitual residence) to have your child returned from Denmark. The Central Authority of that country will then send a request for return to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration. You can also send the application directly to us, but it will often be better if the application is sent by the Central Authority of the country where the child normally lives. The Central Authority will then assess at the same time whether it is a case of child abduction under the rules of that country. Ultimately, this will speed up proceedings.
When the Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration receives the request, we will send it to the local bailiff’s court of the place in Denmark where the child is staying. If we do not know where in Denmark the child is staying, we will ask the police for assistance to locate the child.
The bailiff’s court will assess whether it is a case of child abduction. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration is only responsible for the contact between the bailiff’s court in Denmark and the Central Authority of the other convention state.
If the bailiff’s court assesses that it is a case of child abduction, the child must normally be returned to the country from which the child was abducted. However, there may be reasons for deviating from this rule, for example:
- At the time when the request for return is submitted to the bailiff’s court, one year has elapsed since the abduction or the retention, and the child has settled in its new environment.
- There is a grave risk that the return would expose the child to psychological or physical harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation.
- The child objects to being returned and has attained an age and degree of maturity at which it is appropriate to take account of its views.
- A return will not be compatible with fundamental principles in Denmark relating to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.