Wednesday, August 3, 2011

An Exciting Decision: Guatemalan Court Orders Return of Child Adopted to US

Wonderful news!!!

Guatemalan Court Revokes Passport for Child Adopted to US Under Name “Karen Abigail”

She was one of the children featured on ThreeDaysforThreeDaughters which I have blogged about.   Now she needs to be brought back home to Guatemala and her family!!

Now, Guatemalan Judge Angelica Noemi Tellez Hernandez ordered a U.S. couple to return their adopted daughter to her birth mother, siding with a human rights group that says the girl was stolen by a child trafficking ring and put up for adoption. The girl was kidnapped in 2006 and taken out of the country under a new name two years later and was last known to be living in Missouri.

Tellez’s ruling also says Guatemala’s government must cancel the passport used to take the girl out of the country. It further orders that if the girl is not returned within two months, Guatemalan authorities should solicit help locating the girl from Interpol, the international police organization.

Nine Guatemalans, including a judge, have been charged in the case. The Survivor's Foundation doesn’t allege the U.S. couple knew the girl had been kidnapped. The court identified the couple as Timothy James Monahan and Jennifer Lyn Vanhorn Monahan of Liberty, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City.

The ruling says the U.S. parents can appeal the ruling in Guatemalan courts and asks the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala to help locate the girl.

Norma Cruz, of the Survivors’ Foundation, said she believes this is the first time a Guatemalan court has ordered a child to be returned on the grounds that an adoption was fraudulent.

I am pleased to see the Guatemalan gvt following up on these cases, albeit far too slowly. This is the second PROVEN case, the first was caught just prior to her leaving Guatemala for the US to be adopted: the child of Ana Escobar, taken at gunpoint! I wrote about these cases here, here, and here.

Ana Escobar and her daughter Esther taken on my visit to Guatemala, 2009 when I visited the Survivor's Foundation.

What is needed now for this child and and several others is for the US gvt to DNA all children suspected of having been kidnapped to conform or deny allegations of such international felony crimes. It is sinful that people could just go on with their lives with a possible kidnap victim in their home and ignore it...and not think it will kick them in the back someday when that child finds out, as they WILL, since there names have been all over Internet all of their lives!

How can people be THAT desperate for a child that they would turn their back on such an egregious avenue to obtain one? How do they sleep at night?

Do they think the "end" - more material possessions - justifies the means?

This is a huge victory that has been years in the making. It is just a first step not just for this one child, but for at least two other children likewise identified as possible victims, living in the US.

Sympathy for the adoptive parents would have been in order in 2006 when they were first told that the acquisition of the child they adopted was questionable...but not now, after they delayed requests to have her DNA tested to confirm or deny that the child had been a victim of a felony. They delayed and delayed, making the child a stranger in her own native land, he native language and her family.

Initially, they were victims themselves. They did not intend to kidnap nor to adopt a kidnapped child. But their reluctance to make it right as soon as their was suspicion, makes them complicit -  accessories after the fact.

What they did is every bit as wrong as the Brazilian family who kept Sean from his father David Goldman. They also did not kidnap the child but they kept him from his father and his native land. It is wrong. it is wrong when it is done TO Americans and it is equally wrong when it is done BY Americans!

I pray the other children likewise kidnapped and living with American families are all returned to their rightful, loving families.
"If ... the best interests of the child is to be the determining factor in child custody cases ... persons seeking babies to adopt might profitably frequent grocery stores and snatch babies from carts when the parent is looking the other way. Then, if custody proceedings can be delayed long enough, they can assert that they have a nicer home, a superior education, a better job or whatever, and that the best interests of the child are with the baby snatchers. Children of parents living in public housing or other conditions deemed less affluent and children of single parents might be considered particularly fair game." -- Justice James Heiple, Illinois Supreme Court in the "Baby Richard" case.


Lorraine Dusky said...

Thanks for this post, Mirah. So much news about adoption and baby selling in the news. If I hear one word about the adoptive parents crying that they are losing their child I will scream. all they had to do was some homeword to discover how the Guatemalan adoption network was corrupt.

This should receive wider media attention.

Mirah Riben said...

I predict there will be a great deal of screaming and hollering and a whole of lot of "the only family she's ever know: crap before this is over.

I am so proud of my daughter who totally gets it and wrote this comment on facebook:

"I hope the US government complies and if not that interpol causes enough of a ruckus that our senate and representatives will rethink the rights of children as a right, international adoptions and take child trafficking in all it's forms and guises seriously...because adoptions that result from kidnappings are nothing other than human trafficking...good luck mom!"

Anonymous said...

How can you think that pulling a 6 year old child away from the only family she has ever known is supporting the rights of the child? You are a raving lunatic. I wish I could get my hands on you...I'd do more than give you constructive comments, you piece of garbage! If that birthparent cared about her child, she'd just ask for visitation...the child is loved and cared for by the only family she knows. How would your child react if she was pulled away from you at age 6? She'd need therapy for life, you piece of shit!

Mirah Riben said...

Your extreme anger is totally misplaced. I did not make the ruling, nor even did Lloyda, the child's REAL mother. it was the government of Guatemala. So please take your vile threats to them.

But let me ask you: Why wasn't visitation good enough for David Goldman for whom the whole country applauded? Why wasn't it good enough for the parents of Jaycee Lee Duggard or Elizabeth Smart or any other KIDNAPPED child? Because this kidnapped child was laundered through an adoption agency and handed to someone as if it were a legal adoption? Because they paid tens of thousdands of dollars for her?

The end justify the means in your warped book?

I hope and pray you never have a child stolen from you!

And I hope and pray Interpol does the right thing and returns this child as the adopters should have done as soon as they knew the truth.

Mirah Riben said...

Further, your cry of "the only family she's ever known" is absolutely incorrect in this case! She was kidnapped at two years of age having spent those first two years with her rightful mother. She then was somewhere in Guatemala with one or more families for another two years.

I am not saying that any of this is easy for any of the parties involved. Nor am I claiming it will not be a a painful transition for this innocent little girl.

But, you cannot use that totally untrue, baseless argument here.

I believe she should be returned with a transfer made as gradually as is possible, and I believe the current adopters should maintain visitation rights.

But, please spare me the dramatics and the anger. I am not the legal authorities who made the decsion. I am one human being who believes in righting a wrong - a crime was committed - a child was kidnapped.

In what world do you live that kidnapped children are NOT returned??? Even if their abductors were the "only family" they had ever known?

Should people who snatch newborns from hospitals keep them according to YOUR view and warped interpretation of justice and fairness and best interest of the child, since they would be the only family the child ever knew? PLEASE!! That argument is a tried worn out one and has no place in this case whatsoever.

You no doubt are so angry because you are likewise harboring one of the other children already identified as kidnap victims, aren't you...anonymous? You live in fear as well you should.

Anonymous said...

The public needs to know that this court hearing in Guatemala was a last resort for the Survivor's Foundation and the mother, Loyda. The adoptive family in the US (the Monahans) refused to open dialog with any Guatemalan officials, American activists, Sobrevivientes or the mother, and instead chose for years to hide behind their attorney. The last thing the mother in Guatemala wanted was legal action, but she had no choice due to the AP's stonewalling.

This child was stolen, she needs to be returned to her mother. Period, end of story. If the kidnapped child and her mother had been American (and white) I highly, highly doubt there would be any controversy about what to do, or what is "right". It's just another glaring example of US entitlement and/or racism, nothing more.

And Mirah, I'm glad you can track IP addresses, because that lunatic commenter above has threatened you, which if I'm not mistaken, is actionable.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Yikes, I just read the BS about "the only family she's ever known...! By that light, anyone who kidnaps an infant is entitled to keep her or him...because, come six months, the kidnappers "are the only family..." When I heard a story similar to this on NPR's Fresh air,. Terry Gross was only concerned about the adoptive family...not the kid's natural parent back in India.

Oh, I forgot, they are poor and foreign and so do not have the same feelings as rich white people...I wanted to smash the radio.

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget