The last time Loyda Rodriguez saw her daughter, the 2-year-old was being whisked into a taxi cab by a stranger in her native Guatemala. It was 2006, and Anyeli Rodriguez became a missing child, a victim of a kidnapping. But now that she's been located, the Guatemalan mom can't simply get her child back. Because the American parents who adopted her think Anyeli is theirs.
So who's right? They both are.
A child's biological parent is a parent. A child's adoptive parent is a parent. There's no clear line in the sand in cases like this. And if there were, it would nullify the whole concept of legal adoption. Biology can't simply trump the love and care that adoptive parents give a child.
And since 2008, Timothy and Jennifer Monahan have been loving and caring for "their daughter," a little girl ABC News reports they thought they'd legally adopted through an agency here in the United States. They've been her parents for four years! And they don't seem like bad people. Although the adoption is considered illegal in Guatemala because the little girl was kidnapped, Guatemalan officials have reportedly cleared the Monahans of any wrongdoing. The blame rests on the shoulders of the people who stole her.
But that doesn't mean Anyeli is theirs. Her biological mom is still alive and very much wants her. Loyda is doing everything she can in the courts to get "her" daughter back.
I don't blame her. I also don't blame the Monahans for holding tight to their little girl. They're both right. If I was on either side, I know I'd be doing everything both sides are doing and then some.
The sad thing is that either way, innocent people are going to be hurt here. Rip a kid who's been living in America for all these years out of the home she knows best, and drop her in Guatemala, and little Anyeli will have it rough. Not to mention the anguish the Monhans would have to go through. On the other hand, leave her in America, and the little girl may feel the pull of her biological family. And her mom and other relatives will most certainly be in pain.
The only choice here, frankly, stinks. These parents need to sit down and do the modern day version of King Solomon's old "cut the baby in half" suggestion. They have to decide what is best for Anyeli, not what's best for either group of adults.
What would you do in this situation? Could you let go of your child if you knew it was better for them?
Image via MegaBu7/Flickr