Monday, April 20, 2009

The best interests of the child: Children stolen for adoption- Guatemala and beyond

In 2006, 4 Guatemalan girls were stolen from their mothers. One of those girls was identified just prior to adoption and returned to her mother Ana Escobar. The other 3 girls are believed to be adopted by US adoptive parents who, through no fault of their own, are now faced with difficult issues.

I cannot imagine the fear, anger, and grief that the Adoptive Parents of these girls might be feeling now. It is certainly not fair that they find themselves in this situation.

Adoptive parents who may find themselves in the situation of parenting a child who may have been stolen should know that they are not alone; there are others who have walked this path. Many of these parents have chosen to establish a relationship with the child's first family.


You can read several cases of families who chose to open their adoption and establish relationships with their child's first families:

David and Desire Smolin
Julia and Barry Rollings
Mosley family

You can read stories of families who have not chosen to establish a relationship:

Wisconsin family
McKrola family
Borz family
In particular, here is a powerful video of Gustavo Tobar


Children grow fast, the needs of the infant are different than the needs of the teen and young's decisions impact a whole life.

Identifying an adopted child as a stolen child, does not automatically lead to returning the child to the first family. That has virtually never happened to US adoptive parents of a stolen international child.


For more than a year, the situations of three mothers of stolen children, Raquel, Olga, and Loyda, have been championed by Norma Cruz of the Survivors Foundation in Guatemala. Ms Cruz was one of 8 women worldwide who were recognized in March 2009, as Women of Courage by the US Secretary of State.

You can read about Raquel, Olga, and Loyda

For myself, the one thing that is very clear, is that the 3 mothers in Guatemala: Raquel, Olga, and Loyda, deserve to know where their child is currently living.

It is clear to me, that extensive DNA tests should be used to determine whether the children in question are the daughters stolen from Raquel, Olga,and Loyda. (Sadly, the original DNA tests performed in Guatemala were probably falsified.)

Disrupting the young girl's lives and abruptly returning them to their first mothers may not be in the girl's best interests.

But it is clear to me that it is in the best interest of the girls to be able to have a relationship with the mothers they were stolen from.

It is possible to do, and it is the right thing to do.

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