In a case that is rocking the international adoption world, a Guatemalan judge has ordered the return of a six year old girl
to her biological family.
Loyda Rodriguez's two year old daughter was grabbed by an unknown woman and taken away in a waiting taxi. Loyda spent five years searching for her daughter, contacting Guatemalan authorities and international adoption agencies, and finally resorting to a hunger strike.
Five years after her daughter's disappearance, Loyda learned her daughter had been adopted by an American couple in Liberty, Missouri and that her name had been changed prior to the adoption. Upon this finding, the "Guatemalan court has ordered La Procuraduría General de la Nación (PGN, or Attorney General's Office) and the Ministry of External Relations to work with the U.S. Embassy
to 'locate and retrieve' a child adopted to Timothy and Jennifer Monahan of Missouri in 2007 under the fraudulent name 'Karen Abigail López García.' The court, Juzgado Constituido en Tribunal de Amparo, also ruled for the girl's passport to be annulled and for her birth certificate to be cancelled, based on the fact that the identity of 'Karen Abigail' seems to have been created for the sole purpose of facilitating an illegal adoption."
The Guatemalan court has given a deadline of two months from the July 29th ruling for the child to be returned to her biological family. If the child is not returned, Interpol may be contacted to treat the case as human trafficking. Nine people have been arrested in connection with the case, including the judge in Guatemala who let the adoption go through.
The president of Ethica
weighs in on the controversy, and the Liberty Tribune
has also reported on the matter.
In 2007, Guatemalan adoptions were suspended, and in 2010 an anti-corruption commission overseen by the United Nations found irregularities in adoptions from Guatemala. Adoptions were reopened in the same year,
though not without controversy.
A similar case occurred in 2008
, but the parents were fortunate enough to prevent the adoption prior to the child leaving the country.