Brazil's New Era in Child Abduction Cases

By Dr. Maurício Ejchel

The Resolution IN 449/2022, enacted by the Brazilian judiciary, marked a significant shift in the approach to international child abduction cases, aligning with the 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. (access the Resolution)

This normative instruction, effective from March 30, 2022, was a result of both global criticism, particularly from the 2024 US Annual Report on International Child Abduction, and a collaborative effort with the Hague Convention, incorporating their assessments and recommendations.

IN 449 symbolized Brazil’s dedication to reforming and standardizing its judicial processes to provide a more effective and expedient resolution of child abduction cases. (access the recent statistics- Article Mr. Jeremy Morley)

Historically, Brazil faced challenges in handling international child abduction cases, characterized by delays and inconsistencies. These procedural inefficiencies often led to prolonged legal battles, contravening the principle of prompt return under the Hague Convention. Extensive international scrutiny, especially from the United States and the intervention of the Hague Convention’s committees, catalyzed the need for substantial reforms within the Brazilian judicial system. (acces the complete correlate legislation)

IN 449 emerged as a response to this international criticism and collaboration. The Supreme Federal Court of Brazil, recognizing the need for an overhaul, introduced this resolution to address the inefficiencies and inconsistencies in the handling of child abduction cases. The resolution aimed to significantly reduce the processing time for these cases, emphasizing the rapid return of abducted children and establishing a uniform legal approach across Brazil.

A key element of IN 449 was the implementation of strict deadlines to streamline the judicial process. The resolution mandated mediation sessions to be held within 30 days of filing the case and required a response or decision within 15 days. It also stipulated the prompt analysis of any injunction for the immediate return of the child, facilitating a quicker resolution in urgent cases.

IN 449 introduced standardization in handling child abduction cases across Brazil, ensuring consistency and predictability in legal proceedings. The resolution stated the illegality of child abduction, aligning Brazil’s legal framework with international norms and reinforcing its commitment to the Hague Convention.

The law mandated comprehensive hearing procedures and detailed psychosocial evaluations of the child, mother, and father, ensuring a thorough consideration of all relevant aspects before reaching a decision. While acknowledging exceptions to the non-return rule, IN 449 clarified that these exceptions should not automatically override the primary legal rights of the parent seeking the child’s return, maintaining the focus on the child’s best interests.

By 2023, the implementation of IN 449 had led to a significant improvement in the resolution of child abduction cases in Brazil. A 15% increase in the number of children returned was reported, indicating the effectiveness of the resolution in expediting case resolutions and reinforcing the legal framework against child abduction.

IN 449 represented an important advancement in Brazil’s approach to international child abduction cases. It introduced a more efficient, standardized, and legally robust system, greatly enhancing the protection of children’s rights and ensuring compliance with international standards. This development not only benefited affected families but also enhanced Brazil’s standing in the international legal community, particularly in family law.

No more Sean Goldman´s cases!

Best regards,

Mauricio Ejchel



Dr. Mauricio Ejchel is a highly qualified international lawyer based in São Paulo, Brazil. He graduated from the Law School of the Catholic University of São Paulo and holds a postgraduate degree in International Relations. In 1995, Dr. Ejchel was admitted to the Brazilian Bar Association and went on to establish MF Ejchel International Advocacy in 1996.

As a well-known commentator on legal matters, Dr. Ejchel is an expert in family law, international divorce, and Hague child abduction cases. He has appeared on several Brazilian TV networks and is a columnist for Radio Justice, affiliated with the Brazilian Supreme Court. Dr. Ejchel’s in-depth knowledge of international legal affairs has earned him a reputation as a respected authority in the field.

Dr. Ejchel is also a prolific writer, having authored numerous legal articles in both Portuguese and English. His steadfast dedication to safeguarding the interests of his clients has earned him a reputation as an accomplished and proficient barrister in Brazil.

With over 27 years of legal experience, Dr. Ejchel provides strategic counseling, directs mediation, and manages complex cases. He has contributed to legal cases in several countries and provided expert opinions in foreign courts. Dr. Ejchel’s dedication to protecting the interests of his clients is at the core of his legal practice. He believes that realization is based on a deep understanding of the law, navigating the Judiciary, awareness of his client’s needs, and a dedication to providing legal services.