Kidnapped girl adopted overseas in legal battle over parental right
The seven-year-old-girl, Anyeli Liseth Hernandez Rodriguez, was born in Guatemala on Oct. 1, 2004 to a construction worker family.
Anyeli disappeared on Nov. 3, 2006, after her mother, Loyda Rodriguez Morale, was distracted while opening the door of their house. The last moment she saw her daughter was when the two-year-old was being whisked into a taxi by a stranger.
The kidnapped child spent over a year at an adoption agency before being adopted by a U.S. couple living in Missouri, Dec. 9. 2008.
But Morales found her daughter after she had been adopted, and asked the U.S. government to send her back to her motherland.
The U.S. government said it can’t help in returning the girl because the two countries had not signed the Hague Abduction Convention at the time (2006). It said the appropriate venue in the U.S. for pursuing this case would be a state court.
A Guatemala court already ordered the girl to be returned to the country last year.
However, the American parents issued a statement through a public relations firm, which indicated that they would not give up the child, now named Karen Abigal Monahan. They said they would continue to seek the safety and the best interests of their legally adopted child.
The Survivors Foundation, a human rights group that is handling the case on behalf of the Guatemalan parents, argued that the girl should be returned to her biological parents.
The parents and the foundation have been seeking to find a U.S. firm to take the case to court, AP reported Wednesday.