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Couple Ordered to Return Adopted Child — 3 Years Later

Baby shoes

Court ruling or no, how do you give up your child — even if it is to her birth mother?

My heart goes out today to a little girl and her parents — all three of them.

A Guatemalan girl was apparently kidnapped in 2006 and smuggled of her native country by a child trafficking ring under a new name and adopted by a couple in the United States. It was reportedly unbeknownst to the U.S. couple that the little girl was wrongfully taken from her mother.

Five years after the girl was snatched, a judge in Guatemala is ordering the couple to return their adopted daughter to her birth mother, who is represented by the human rights group, the Survivors’ Foundation.

But no matter how happy I might be for the child’s birth mother to be reunited to be with the baby who was kidnapped, how do parents ever get over having to give back the child they raised for three years?

According to the court ruling, if the girl is not returned within two months, the international police organization Interpol must intervene.

The couple Timothy James Monahan and Jennifer Lyn Vanhorn Monahan of Liberty, Missouri are allowed to appeal the ruling.

More than 4,000 children used to be adopted into the United States annually from Guatemala, but the adoptions were suspended in 2007 amid claims of fraud and kidnapping by alleged adoption brokers. This case is believed to be the first in which a Guatemalan court has ordered a child returned, but they are hoping for more results in similar cases.

The girl in this case was born in October 2004, stolen in November 2006 and then adopted in December 2008.

It’s hard not to be happy — ecstatic, actually — for the little girl’s birth mother to be reunited with the child who was taken for her, and at the same time it’s hard not to experience a broken heart on behalf of the adoptive parents who are losing the little girl they have raised as their own.

No matter who wins this case, it seems that everyone has lost — and not just by a little.

 

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