Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guatemala: U.S. adoptive parents must return child kidnapped from birth mother

As reported in the Kansas City Star:
A Guatemalan judge has ordered a U.S. couple to return their daughter to her birth mother four years after her adoption, siding with a foundation that says the child was kidnapped.

Judge Angelica Noemi Tellez Hernandez has ruled in favor of Survivors' Foundation, a Guatemalan human rights group that sought to overturn the adoption based on the mother saying that her daughter was kidnapped in 2006 and put up for adoption the next year.

Tellez's ruling Tuesday also says that Guatemala must cancel the passport used to take the girl out of the country by the U.S. couple, who reportedly live in Missouri but could not be reached for comment.

The ruling said they must return the child immediately.


thewonderfulhappens said...

Wow. Just wow.

birthmothertalks said...

I don't know the whole story and I feel bad for the loss for all involved but kidnapping children can't be allowed. As long as we have money in adoption it's going to leave room for corruption.

Karen said...

They've had her for 4 years, and she was not placed for adoption for at least a year. She has to be at least 5 years old, and has spent the majority of that time (if not all of it) without the birth parents.
So much left open here.....Did the birth mother take money then have a change of heart? Is the birthmother doing the right thing by taking the child away from her "parents"? It's her right, if the child truly was kidnapped...but is it "right" for her to do that if this child has NOT known any other parents her entire life?
Difficult, and thought provoking.
The birthmother might have won, but IMHO, the child loses on both fronts....if she were to stay with her parents after finding the birthmother, and thinking she was kidnapped....OR if she goes back to the birthmother, a complete stranger, after being at least 5 or 6 years old.
I really cant help but wonder if, in a case like this, the 'right thing' would not be to split custody somehow.

LisaLew said...

This story makes me want to weep for the girl, her birth mother and her parents who must love her unconditionally.

Momma C said...

So if it were your child- after 5 years you would just say "okay, stay with your new family" I am often surprised at the duplicity of AP who would do anything to find their children if they had been kidnapped then expect those children's first parents to just "leave them"

There is no evidence that the birthmother sold her and changed her mind and there is clearly enough evidence that she was kidnapped that a court has ruled she should be returned. I think that it is telling that we are looking for other explanations that put the blame on the birth mother. Interestingly though- the adoptive parents look like maybe they knew that the child was fraudulently available and found away around that detail

Mei Ling said...

"OR if she goes back to the birthmother, a complete stranger, after being at least 5 or 6 years old. "

Not that I agree with the idea of a child going back to blood-kin after 4-5 years has passed...

But does it ever occur to anyone that at the beginning of the adoption, the adoptive parents are just as much of a stranger to the child at that time?

We often say "the only parents s/he has ever known."

Does this not dismiss that babies do not know the mother whom they were grown within? After all "the only parents s/he has ever known" is often used as reference towards the child staying with the adoptive parents?

Why isn't this ever brought up in defense of the birthparents? (I'm talking about cases where the adoption is still fresh - not 4-5 years later, of course)

Mei Ling said...

"Does this not dismiss that babies do not know the mother whom they were grown within?"

Should be:

"Does this not dismiss that babies DO know"...

Anonymous said...

There is no easy solution end of story. Everyone is, has been, and will be hurt in these situtations. Hopefully what works best for the child will be the end result. No child wants to know they were trafficked and have a mother and father and siblings worrying about them. They may not grasp it now but give them a few years...they were sold...

Bottom line is there was a damn good reason Guatemala was closed. Just like how many other international country programs?

Everyone looses when corruption happens in adoption. Every single adoptee from a tainted program has valid reasons to question their own adoption. How do you answer them?

I am so very tired of the rah-rah AP community denying corruption happens. So much easier to blame UNICEF for a country closing than to require the industry to clean up their act and black list bad people and change the laws to make major jail time mandatory. Might make their wait time longer.

Sitting on outside you can see how the demand fuels the supply for babies - not the older kids sitting in the orphanages already - find babies as young as possible. Waiting lists for 0-12 or 0-24 grow - pressure is put to fulfill...these aren't orphans.

Get rid of the profit (yes even the non-profits - profit they just call it something else)and the corruption will stop when there isn't an economical reason to be there.

Sorry for the rant.

Anonymous said...

Karen: The child was two when she was kidnapped. She was living with her parents. They are middle class and were able to provide for her. She was playing outside when she was taken. Her parents reported her missing the very first day and have been looking for her for 5 years. She is almost 8 years old.

Anonymous said...

On top of that it was clear to the adoptive family from the start that the child was not a DNC match to the woman giving her up. The Guatamalan attorney was charged with corruption, as was a judge in the case.

There is a lot of evidence that the adoptive parents knew that something was not right. They made plans to push for the adoption anyway.

Anonymous said...

The "birthmother" didn't "win". A child was kidnapped from her parents. They want her back.
Why is it different if it is another counrty or culture that has been wronged? Wy assume the worst of the Guatamalan parents?

No different than a child in the US being kidnapped and then found and returned to the parents.

Sarah said...

The child was kidnapped and must be returned to her real parents.

If a white American child was kidnapped and subsequently adopted by American parents, and the kidnapped child found several years later, would we tell the real parents to shut up and go away, the child is better off with the illegal adoptive parents?

This story underscores how corrupt and racist the adoption industry in the US has become. It's little more than wealthier white women buying minority babies these days. It's wrong. To take another woman's child because you feel entitled to one is evil and wrong.

The child must go back, and I sincerely hope other countries make international adoptions much more difficult than they already are.

This is just another case of bullying, self-entitled Americans disregarding the humanity of anyone whose skin is two shades darker than theirs so that they can get what they want whenever they want it.

Anonymous said...

I agree Sarah. And the terrible tendency of Americans to assume that anyone in another country is poor and can't take care of their families.

The assumption of the adoptive community that the mother took money, changed ehr mind or was otherwise dishonest and use ehr child for profit is another place we will continue to get into trouble unless we change the way we think of other cultures.

The child was kidnapped and needs to be returned.

If people go with the argument that this child has been in the US and with the family for several years then we all must agree that Jaycee Dugard should remain with her kidnapper and abuser because he had her for 18 years.

The transition back to Guatamala will be difficult but it must be done. This is a case of international kidnapping.

Mei Ling said...

Anyone who says that a child cannot be returned because she's been with her adoptive parents for 3-4 years (at least), take a look at Wo Ai Ni Mommy.

The child was transferred to another family at AGE EIGHT!

Yes, the circumstances were different, but why the double-standards? If children are so resilient, then is it really about the child being transferred, or is it about the adoptive parents?

Anonymous said...

I have a question for attorney Malinda. What would you do if a Chinese judge ordered you to return one of your daughters because it was learned that she was kidnapped from her birth parent? I don't mean to put you on the spot but you are an attorney and a professor at a law school and I am so curious about what you would do. Also, is there any precedent where a US court would uphold the Guatemalan judge's ruling and force the adoptive family to return the child?

Anonymous said...

I 100% agree the child should go back to her parents! I have 5 of my own and cannot fathom my child being taken from me! Its a devestating thought!! However I dont think there is any need to determine that Americans are racist or think people with "skin two shades darker" arent capable of taking care of their children. People want a child to love, no matter what ethnicity. They want them safe, especially hearing what that child has probably been through. And once you fall in love with a child, you're forever in love, and taking that away is going to be devestating for them, but she needs to be with her mother....