Parents Discover Girl They Adopted Is a Kidnap Victim & Mom Wants Her Back

kidnappingThe 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

family, adoption


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

the4m... the4mutts

In this situation, nobody will be 100% happy. The BEST thing would be shared custody.

I am no law expert, but I THINK the law would give the child back to the biological mother.

Its going to be a long road for all involved. If I were the biological mother in this case, I would be grateful that my daughter was cared for. She could have ended up much worse off. But I would still want my baby back

jadsm... jadsmummy

The adoptive parents have know for 3 YEARS that the child was a victim of kidnapping. 3 YEARS! Not last month. 3 years ago they were victims as well and should have done the right thing and sent the little girl back to her mother. Now 3 years later of stalling and continuing this injustice against the little girl and her mother they are no longer victims they are perpetrators and accomplices to kidnapping.

MsRkg MsRkg

Absolutely not! If my son was kidnapped from me and found 4 years later, I would be fighting tooth and nail to get him back with me permanently. Custody wouldn't even be an issue, because he's my biological child, who I did not willingly surrender up for adoption. I would have no problem with the adoptive parents coming to see him and being involved in his life, but he would be with me 24/7. A kidnapping does not trump the rights of the biological parents and give more rights to the adoptive parents. This child was forcibly taken from a loving family and not by their choice.

Also location shouldn't even play a role in determining where this child should end up. So what if the kid is Americanized, going back to Guatemala might be a drastic change, but kids are resilient and can adapt. She would be fine with a change of location, and that shouldn't be used a point of favor for the adoptive parents by saying that she can have a better life here in the US. The little girl can have just as a productive life in Guatemala or the biological parents could move or something.

paren... parentalrights1

The birth mother damn well better get that child back.

Bonnie Bruns Williams

This is going to be a sad ending no matter who ends up with the little girl.  Jadsmummy, I don't see where it says the adoptive parents knew she was a victim of kidnapping anywhere. The adoptive parents thought they went through a legal agency -- so how are they accomplices to the kidnapping? They adopted a little girl and then 4 years later found out she had been kidnapped.  Both sets of parents are the victims in this, not to mention the little girl.

Bonnie Bruns Williams

I do have to hope that the birth mom gets her child back though, that is the right thing.  Like someone said, kids are resilient and she will adapt to living in Guatemala just fine.  If this were me, I would fight to get her back but let the adoptive parents be as involved as possible.

Michelle Henderson

In the article the birth mom says

"I'm looking for a law firm that will pursue this in the courts in the United States," she said. "Even if she can't come home, to at least be able to have contact with her."

Jeez, they won't even let her talk to her daughter? That seems like the best course of action for the child. Live with the adpotive parents in the only home and family she can remember, but have regular contact with her other family.

nonmember avatar Lord K

This is sadly a no-win situation for everyone. Clearly the girl will have more opportunities growing up in the USA. The way I see it, the best interests of the girl would be to live with her American family, but they can take her to visit her biological mom. Guatemala isn't too expensive to make a couple trips a year to. Then, once she's an adult and settled in her career, she can petition bring her mom to the US.

In fact, I know a couple who adopted a boy from El Salvador, but in their case the mom gave up her boy as a baby because she was very poor. The couple tracked down the mom, assured her that her son was in very good hand. While he was growing up, wrote frequent letters and sent photos, and the kid grew up to be a doctor. I would like to say it ended happy, but sadly, his mom got killed during the civil war, but at least she knew her son was doing well.

MamaY... MamaYankee

That is the most selfish thing I have heard. What makes them think that not returning the child is okay? Just because a piece of paper says so? They are NOT this child's parents and are just as guilty as kidnapping as the person who snatched her away. That action alone shows they are undeserving of being parents and worry more about their selfish desires than the true well-being of the child. What makes them think that just because they live in America that she will have a better life? I would not trade my island childhood for anything.This child will DESPISE her "parents" when she discovers later in life how she really became a part of that "family".

nonmember avatar Lisa L.

Shared custody? nobody wins? mother should be happy her child was cared for?

you ppl are absolutely freakin NUTS

the child was kidnapped, KIDNAPPED!!! why does ANYONE other then the bio parents have a right to this girl?!?! it's sad for the adoptive parents, but there is clearly a RIGHT and a WRONG here

1-10 of 298 comments 12345 Last