Portuguese Central Authority

Portuguese Central Authority as requesting Authority

Acting as the requesting Central Authority, the Portuguese Central Authority intervenes, mainly, as follows:

  • On request of the holder of custody, whose respective rights need to be reinstated or enforced, or on request of any person, institution or other body claiming that custody rights have been restricted or breached
  • On request of the holder of access rights, whose respective rights need to be reinstated or enforced, or on request of any person, institution or other body claiming that access rights have been restricted or breached
  • By signalization, namely upon request of Courts and administrative entities such as the Portuguese Child Protection Services, under the scope of promotion and protection of children and youth.

Therefore, the Portuguese Central Authority intervention is reflected on the technical analysis of the requests and the respective submission to the foreign counterpart of:

  • An Application-request to another Central Authority, for the return to Portugal of children or youth, who have been removed or retained without the consent or knowledge of the holder of custody or access rights.
  • An Application-request to another Central Authority, for the enforcement or reorganization of access rights in the State where the child or young person is residing.
  • An Application-request to consider the need to take measures for the protection of a child living in another State.

Procedure-01-reqerente

If you live in Portugal and you wish to request the return of a child displaced or retained illegally abroad, or if you pretend to request the protection of rights of access of a child residing abroad, you may, having such request a legal basis, contact preferably by email, the Directorate-General of Reintegration and Prisional Services, as Portuguese Central Authority, which is responsible, among other things, for providing the clarifications and necessary assistance to instruct the application and to obtain the necessary documentation to send to the foreign Central Authority.

It is not mandatory to appoint a lawyer during the initial phase of the proceedings with the Portuguese Central Authority.

However, at a later stage of the proceedings, it may be necessary to appoint a lawyer in some requested States, in accordance with the domestic law of those States.

If legal aid is needed, the holder(s) of custody / access rights may require the benefit of legal aid. The holder should contact the competent authorities of the State of his residence. In Portugal, Instituto de Segurança Social I.P. is the competent authority for legal aid issues.