« Back to Search

Authority to Declare Foreign Countries or Political Subdivisions as Reciprocating Countries


Published: June 28, 2000


DATE: JUN 28, 2000


Dear Colleague:

Section 459A of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 659A] authorizes the Secretary of State with the concurrence of the Secretary of Health and Human Services to declare foreign countries or their political subdivisions to be reciprocating countries for the enforcement of family support obligations if the country has or has undertaken to establish procedures to establish and enforce duties of support for residents of the U.S. at no cost.

With the participation of OCSE, state IV-D representatives, and other experts, the Department of State has held negotiations with over thirty countries regarding the establishment of reciprocity, has concluded several agreements, and is nearing completion of others.

Ireland, Poland, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic, and the Canadian Provinces of Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Manitoba have in effect federal reciprocity agreements under 42 U.S.C. 659A. On May 19, 2000, the Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State, published the first of the cumulative public notices on completed federal reciprocity agreements in the Federal Register [65 FR 31953]. Additionally, agreement in principle and most of the details have been completed with Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway, and Australia and it is anticipated that these agreements will be effective soon. The U.S. Central Authority for International Child Support, established in the Office of Child Support, is available to facilitate IV-D efforts on case cooperation with these jurisdictions.

Further information on international child support enforcement generally may be found at the Department of State's webpage or by contacting OCSE's Division of Policy, Office of Child Support Enforcement, phone: 202-401-9386, fax: 202-260-5980.


David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement


cc: ACF Regional Administrator
ACF Assistant Regional Administrators
CSE Regional Program Managers

Last Reviewed: January 2, 2018

Was this page helpful?

Step One
I found this page helpful because the content on the page: (check all that apply)
I did not find this page helpful because the content on the page: (check all that apply)

Your feedback is important to us and will help improve our website. Thank you!

Step Two
Back to Top