Taiwan: Family Law


Taiwan is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Hague Convention is by far the most significant international treaty pertaining to the prevention of international child abduction--indeed, at least 74 countries are party to the Convention, including the United States.

The failure of a country to become a party to the Convention sends an extremely strong signal that the country's legal institutions will not cause an abducted child to be returned to her habitual residence. The likelihood of such a return is rendered particularly unlikely if the abductor is a national of the country and has family in that country.

The U.S State Department has issued a specific warning to parents concerning Taiwan that:

"Taiwan is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction; nor are there any international or bilateral treaties in force between Taiwan and the United States dealing with international parental child abduction. American citizens who travel to Taiwanplace themselves under the jurisdiction of local courts. American citizens may wish to consider this before planning a trip to Taiwan with dual national children."

The danger is greatly exacerbated when the abducting parent is a Taiwanese mother. In Taiwan custody is invariably given to a mother. The U.S. State Department reports that "in Taiwan, parents who are legally married share the custody of their children. If they are not married, by law the custody is granted to the mother unless there are known facts of inappropriate behavior, mental or social problems."

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