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International Locate Requests from Central Authorities Only

IM-18-11

Published: December 6, 2018

INFORMATION MEMORANDUM

IM-18-11

DATE: December 6, 2018

TO: State IV-D Directors

SUBJECT: International Locate Requests from Central Authorities Only

It has come to our attention that states are receiving locate requests from entities in Hague Child Support Convention countries that are not the designated Central Authorities under the Convention.

The Hague Convention emphasizes communication between Central Authorities, especially for requests such as locate-only requests. Article 7 of the 2007 Hague Child Support Convention provides for the Central Authorities of participating countries to make requests for specific measures to each other, where no application under Article 10 of the Convention is pending.

When locate requests are not centralized through a Central Authority, it is difficult to verify that the requests are for a child support purpose and raises concerns about the protection of private, confidential information. Therefore, states must only respond to locate requests originating from a Central Authority in a Hague Convention country and not from any other entities.

To determine if a locate request is coming from a Central Authority, consult the Country Profile of that country on the Hague website for the name and details of the Central Authority. In some instances, a Central Authority in a country may delegate responsibilities to other entities. In such an instance, if this delegation is not clear on the Country Profile, please check with OCSE.

Similarly, locate requests from foreign reciprocating countries should also originate from the Central Authority. Check the OCSE website to confirm the name and details of the Central Authorities for these countries.

OCSE also has a role in international locates. Section 459A of the Social Security Act authorizes OCSE to use the Federal Parent Locator Service to locate an individual for child support purposes on behalf of a Hague or foreign reciprocating country and notify the country of the individual’s state of residence.

We encourage states to direct countries to OCSE for this locate service, as appropriate, particularly if the country’s Central Authority is unsure of where an individual resides within the U.S.

INQUIRIES: Contact OCSE at ocseinternational@acf.hhs.gov.

Scott M. Lekan
Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Last Reviewed: November 29, 2019

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