The story about a young, missing Guatemalan girl whose mother searched for her for five years and eventually found she had been adopted by a couple in Missouri has been floating around for a couple of years now. But the latest news is that the mother, Loyda Rodriguez Morales, has essentially won her case. CNN reported on Monday that the Guatemalan government had ordered the girl returned, and that because it was considered a case of human trafficking, would call Interpol to enforce the order if the adoptive parents didn't comply. According to Erin Siegal, a fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University who's been covering the case closely, that's an unprecedented move in the world of international adoptions.
And as Metafilter noted, the case has been "rocking the adoption world." On forums such as guatadopt.com, members have been debating the case for years. On Thursday, a screed from a user named LauraLyn blasted the way the Monahans had handled the case.
They were offered mediation, and this could have happened in Guatemala or in Liberty. Instead they dug in their heels to hold on to 'their daughter', refused communication, and forced a torturous court process. They claim to want 'to protect' 'Karen Abagail' from 'further trauma'. This is so hard to believe when they have traumatically turned the lives of so many people upside down to keep what does not belong to them. Perhaps other adopted children from Guatemala today are asking: Are my adoptive parents like the Monahans?
But another, Grey, was quick to defend the Monahans' right to privacy and due process.
They have been branded as complicit in fraud, without (to my eyes, at least) facts and evidence. They were faced with a very uncertain situation, and a clear threat (via email) that the little girl they were seeking to adopt could be harmed if they did not continue with the process. Labeling them as accomplices to human trafficking given the nature of their situation is more that unfair; it’s slander.
As an Aug. 12 report in the Houston Chronicle pointed out, "SURVIVORS Foundation, the human rights group representing the birth mother, does not allege the Monahans knew anything about a kidnapping."