Breaking: Guatemalan Court Revokes Passport for Child Adopted to US Under Name “Karen Abigail”

Date: 2011-08-03

Unprecedented news from Guatemala: A 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 US 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 judge, Angelica Noemi Tellez Hernández, also issued the following orders for the adoptive parents:

“… los señores Timothy James Monahan y Jennifer Lyn Vanhorn Monahan, para cual se les fija el plaze de dos meses, contados a partir de que se encuentre firme la presente sentencia y debiendo tomar en cuenta el interes superior de la niña, bajo apercibimiento de que en case de incumplimiento, se les impondra una multa de tres mil Q, sin perjucio de las demas responsabilidades en que pudieron incurrir; y se ordenara la localizacion de la nina por medio de la Policia Internacional- INTERPOL.”

Basically, she’s given the Monahans a deadline of two months to respond, counting down from the date of the ruling, July 29, 2011. If they don’t cooperate, a fine of 3,000 Quetzales (about $389) will be imposed, and the Guatemalan authorities will “order the location of the girl through the International Police, INTERPOL.”

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Wow.

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Coincidentally, on one of my reporting trips to Guatemala, I was provided access to thousands of documents about the “Karen Abigail” case, including a copy of the child’s passport application. Here’s a photo I snapped of it [Photo has been removed ]:

 

The photo at the top of this post [Photo has been removed], in color, is of a child named Anyelí Rodríguez. It was taken roughly two years earlier than the passport photo above for “Karen Abigail.”

The Monahans originally accepted an adoption referral for “Karen Abigail” from the agency Celebrate Children International, and one of Guatemala’s most famous and outspoken lawyers, Susana Luarca, later helped finalize the adoption.

The young couple Loyda and Dayner Rodríguez believe that “Karen Abigail” is their missing daughter, Anyelí Liseth Hernández Rodríguez, who was abducted from their yard in Guatemala five years ago. “I think that they are going to ultimately return her,” Loyda told me hopefully last August, during an interview.

Here’s a brief and slightly modified excerpt from chapter eight of my upcoming book, “Finding Fernanda,” summarizing the case:

The daughter of Loyda Elizabeth Rodríguez and Dayner Orlando Hernández, both twenty-four years old, was kidnapped on November 3, 2006 from their home. They reported Anyelí’s kidnapping the same day. The couple had two other children together, and two-year-old Anyelí was their middle child and only daughter. After years of pleading with authorities to help find her missing daughter, Loyda finally found a photo she believed to be Anyelí in Guatemalan immigration records, in the adoption file of a child called “Karen Abigail López García.”

But the child had already been taken out of the country. “Karen Abigail” left Guatemala aboard Continental airlines flight #457 on December 9, 2008 with a new set of parents, Jennifer Vanhorn Monahan and Timothy Monahan of Liberty, Missouri. They were clients of the Florida-based adoption agency Celebrate Children International, a Christian nonprofit with a serious complaint history dating back to the company’s start in 2004. A “contact” for the agency, a young Guatemalan man in his 20′s named Marvin Bran had initially offered “Karen Abigail” to agency director Sue Hedberg for placement. When the Monahans accepted an adoption referral for “Karen Abigail,” the lawyer listed on their Guatemalan Power of Attorney form was none other than César Augosto Trujillo, the same man who handled many other “Marvin Bran babies,” including the little girl at the heart of my book: Fernanda Alvarado.

The Monahans’ adoption was a slow, tangled process that began in 2006. By July 2007, a failed DNA test revealed that a fake birth mother had relinquished “Karen Abigail.” According to emails the Monahans sent to Guatemalan private investigators, they were distressed and confused. They’d already waited seven months for the adoption to move forward, with almost no progress.[i] On August 1st, Jennifer Monahan wrote in her personal timeline of the adoption that agency head Sue Hedberg had planned to ask LabCorp, the primary DNA testing facility in the US used for adoptions, to “bury” the results of the mismatched test. But “LabCorp can’t do that anymore,” Monahan noted, because of newly tightened regulations. She’d grown suspicious about what was unfolding in the adoption, and took careful notes of everything that transpired, including, her notes say, recording conversations with Sue Hedberg. When Monahan asked Hedberg what could be done after the child’s failed DNA test, aparently seeking alternative ways to push the adoption through, Hedberg responded that Marvin might bring the child to an orphanage, where she might eventually become declared abandoned. Or, Hedberg said, Bran might dump the girl “somewhere where nobody could find her.” In subsequent emails, Monahan said she was “terrified.”

Guatemalan adoption attorney Susana Luarca became involved in the case, and the Monahans ultimately were able to adopt “Karen Abigail” through an abandonment process, meaning that the DNA test results- which were meant to prevent fraud in adoption- could be conveniently ignored. ”Karen Abigail” left Guatemala with the Monahans in December 2007.

It was exactly the kind of scenario Loyda Rodríguez feared: that her missing girl would leave Guatemala before the crawling judicial system could look into her case. A year had passed from the time she filed a missing child complaint on November 3, 2006, and the time “Karen Abigail” left Guatemala, in early December 2008.

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For Rodríguez, getting anyone to pay attention to her family’s plight was an uphill battle. Rodriguez, along with four other women, had staged a 10-day hunger strike in the summer of 2009 in front of Guatemala’s Supreme Court of Justice to call attention to the cases. ”It was traumatizing,” Rodriguez recalls. “After eight days, I felt like my head was no longer my own. So hungry.But at about the fifth day we weren’t as hungry. We consumed only water.”

The other three women participating in the hunger strike were the director of Sobrevivientes, Norma Cruz, a young women whose stolen child had been recovered, Ana Escobar, and two others, Olga López and Raquel Par, who believed their missing children had been laundered with new identities and adopted to families in the middle America.

“On the fourth day, the doctor told me, m’am, I’m sorry, but you’re too old for this,” Cruz told me in one of my interviews with her. “I’m almost 50. I never fully recovered from it. By the time we went to the congress to sign the ‘convenio’ it was hard for us to walk…”

On August 29, 2009, another DNA test was administered, comparing a DNA sample from Loyda Rodriguez to one on fie in Guatemala for ”Karen Abigail.” It was a match. The Guatemalan press wrote about it, but American media outlets didn’t pick up the story. Fundación Sobrevivientes helped the Rodríguez family file an amparo, a legal move in Guatemala sort of akin to a request for help or protection, in the court system. They expected the results to take up to six months.

Instead, the process took almost a year. The decision last week by Guatemalan judge Angelica Noemi Tellez Hernández to annul the passport and birth certificate for “Karen Abigail” is unprecedented, as is the request for the child’s return.

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About two weeks ago, on July 20th, I called Jennifer Monahan. Lawyers for the Rodríguez family had granted me access to thousands of records about the ”Karen Abigail” case, and Monahan’s phone number was on on of them.

A woman answered the phone, and when I asked for Jennifer Monahan, she asked me who I was. I identified myself, saying I had just finished writing a book about adoption fraud that contained a lot of overlap with the people involved in her adoption of “Karen Abigail.” The woman sort of stumbled over her words, telling me she wasn’t Jennifer.

I told her that if Jennifer wanted to talk to me, it could be done confidentially. I explained that I already understood a lot about her experience, since Guatemalan sources had shared a trove of emails and documents related to the adoption. I offered to send her a few pages, to show the depth of what I was talking about. The woman told me to fax them to Jennifer Monahan by faxing them to the same number I’d called. I explained that I didn’t have a fax, and she told me, curtly, to find one.

I suggested that I could email them, instead, to an email address I had on file for Jennifer. She got quiet, and said that would be ok. I thanked her for her time and repeated that if Jennifer Monahan wanted to speak to me, it could be off the record. Later that day, I emailed an 11-page .pdf of documents to an email address I knew had been used by Jennifer Monahan. Here’s a small sample, excerpted from an adoption timeline Monahan sent via email to Susana Luarca. The “Sue” referenced here is Sue Hedberg, director of the adoption agency Celebrate Children International:

I haven’t heard back from Monahan, nor do I expect to. With this latest court development, I can’t offer her any kind of anonymity- the Monahans are named publicly in the ruling. If they don’t cooperate, Guatemalan authorities are threatening to get INTERPOL involved.

On Facebook, Fundación Sobrevivientes, the nonprofit providing pro-bono legal help to the Rodríguez family, expressed support for the court, saying they considered the resolution to be “historic and a light of hope for all Guatemalans, because justice in Guatemala, despite all of the obstacles, is changing, not with giant steps as we want, but case by case.”

On the morning of August 2nd, Sobrevivientes sent out a press release regarding the court ruling. On the last page, they included a little collage of those facing charges that vary from plain old human trafficking to fraud, conspiracy, and aggravated kidnapping in the “Karen Abigail” case. Those crooked yellow circles are my own– I’ve highlighted people involved that also played a role in the abduction of the daughters of Mildred Alvarado, one of the two main characters in my book Finding Fernanda.

 

Update 8/4/2011, 11:52 PST: After reading some of the comments on the new mainstream media reports about this case, I’ve added more info to the post from my files, including the section about the hunger strike and the DNA test.

Update 8/3/2011, 2:14 PST: Here’s what Norma Cruz from Sobrevivientes told me this morning about the case, and the Monahans’ cooperation (or lack thereof):

“Los Monahan[s], nunca se han comunicado, para que esclarezcamos los hechos o poder llegar a una conversacion que nos lleve a un acuerdo minimo.”

That translates, roughly, to “The Monahans have never communicated, either to clarify the facts or to arrive at a conversation that will lead us to a minimum agreement.”

*NOTE: I’ll post the court ruling in full tomorrow.

I’ve previously written on items and people related to this case on the Finding Fernanda blog here (“May 6th, 2011: Breaking: Susana Luarca In Custody”), here (“July 8th, 2011: Breaking: New Charges on Yajaira Noemí Muyus case”) and here (“May 19th, 2011: On GuatAdopt’s “On Susana, CICIG, and the Senator”).



[i] Email supplied to the Ministerio Publico by Marvin Bran’s former defense attorney Fernando Linares; access to “Karen Abigail” case file granted to me by Guatemalan lawyers for the Rodríguez family.

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Great news for the parents!!

How many can imagine how wonderful this news must be for the parents of a kidnapped child?

Adopted into "a good loving family" or not, a kidnapped child is a kidnapped child... that kidnapped child belongs with her God-given parents... parents who happen to be victims of adoption fraud.

Wow, this is BIG NEWS

I have wondered about the 'next step' for the Guatemalan government. Slowly but surely Norma Cruz and Survivor's Foundation has been making headway in Guatemala--confronting impunity in international adoption! Sadly, the outcome will be a misery for all involved including "Karen's" biological mother as tranistioning a child back to Guatemala is (a) incredibly uncertain with the legal battle which will carry on for YEARS, no doubt, and (b) parenting a traumatized child who does not speak Spanish, who is confused, etc. is a major challenge. Ultimately, sad for all. Now, we await the next steps. THANKS FOR SHARING!!!

Traumatized child

I am sure that the child was traumatized when she was kidnapped, sold into adoption, put into an orphanage and then adopted by two people who were not Spanish speakers. No one ever speaks of the how the adjustment will be with any American kidnapped child. Why does that argument always crop up with ICA kidnapped children? Maybe if the APs wouldn't have pressed for the adoption to go through or returned the child when they arrived in the US FIVE years ago when they first found out that Karen Abigail was kidnapped Anyeli, then maybe alot of suffering would have been avoided. It was selfish not to consider the pain of a mother whose child was kidnapped! It is NOT like the APs JUST found out. They have known ALL along...WHO this child was. It has been FIVE years.

Think about the parents of the kidnapped child and their long wait of five years.

Think about it...

I'm afraid using the "think about the traumatized chid" card is going to be the first one drawn if this case goes to the next legal step.

It is the oldest argument used in adoption fraud custody battles... and it's the ploy that shows just how biased people have become when it comes to who makes the best parent:  adoptive or biologic.  The stereo-type is one where the APs are more stable (they are married), more educated (have secure jobs), and more able to provide more tangibles/opportunities than a parent who may have not much more than a small over-crowded home, a family, and love.

I have news:  AP's can get divorced, they can lose jobs, and what seemed idyllic at one time can be lost if unexpected events like illness or instability happen.

We see the bias and favor given to AP's frequently in cases where father's rights were ignored and violated, "for the sake of the child".  Lawyers for the adoptive parents will often stand firm on the claim that  the adoptive parents are the only parents the child has ever known.  As if this is reason enough to not give a child ( taken without consent) back to the original parent(s) who have sustained an unimmaginable hardship/loss.  It's not as if the custody battle is between an adopter who wants a child and a egg/sperm doner who doesn't want his/her own child.  We're talking about cases where a parent wants to raise and care for his/her own child, but they are being denied, because an adoption attorney has gotten involved!

I hope the insanity is not lost on people when an AP in such a case will lament about the cruel dangers parent-child separation can bring to a child who is loved and shows signs that he/she has bonded to others and is doing well in terms of growth and development.

Brief reminder: traumatic loss is the foundation of an adoptee's life.  In some circles, the severing of the mother-child bond is seen as a human inflicted  primal wound... a wound that requires special long-term care and attention. 

Here's the good news, as it gets reported by the adoption industry:  children adapt.... they adapt and heal quickly when they share a bond that's rooted in love and familiarity. 

The advantage reunion has over adoption?  With family re-union, almost all complex adoption issues like fear or abandonment and matters that relate to identity magically go away without the aid of a paid therapist who specializes in adoption issues.  Can't say such magic happens with an adoption-plan.... adoption issues will remain, no matter how good the home environment.

A final thought, as an added twist.  Don't know how many are aware of this, but there is an odd mixed message being sent these days on various adoption forums, like adoption.con.  More and more I am reading how AP's are looking to not only find Guat Moms for their adopted kids, but they are looking for ways to help support them, financially.  Really.  Seriously.  [Think about this, if you were adopted.]

If the mothers are so wonderful and deserving, then why are they reunited with their kids for only a brief visit?  If the Guat mothers are so good, why are the Americans keeping the kids?  What does this kid for cash program say about the American Adoption Plan?

Language barrier

I'd like to add something about the trauma that goes with not knowing the language that's being used. 

Have people forgotten the demand put on children adopted from foreign-speaking countries?

These children don't arrive understanding/speaking English.  Most have no idea what adoption IS, or what it implies, for life.  The older the child, the worse this language barrier is, as more than likely, the older adopted child was not in good care, but put in a poor environment, like an orphanage, where sexual abuse and neglect are rampant. 

For those who may be interested, one of those most compelling descriptions I have ever read about life with a new language comes from an adoptee from Korea.  I strongy recommend people who worry about the effects of a strange language (and environment) on a scared transplanted child read Kimette's piece titled, Call us mommy and daddy.

I don't buy the idea that learning Spanish at the age of five is going to be traumatic.  And I don't think the return of the child means the AP's should just slip away.  Those APs ARE her family members, through adoption.  I would hope planned visits and an on-going relationship would continue throughout the life of the child.

Surely others would agree with me, plans for reunification SHOULD include slow introductions and thought-filled changes that will help wean the child back into her family.  After all, she's already been through the trauma and abrupt changes that go with a foreign adoption, hasn't she?

Sad for all, sadder for some

What concerns me about this (and similar cases where kidnapping has taken place and adoption fraud has followed), there is an obvious bias given to A) white (American) adopters and B) people who can afford the expensive rates that go with fancy lawyers and respected doctors who are willing to testify in a court of law, if necessary.

No where is racism and bigotry seen more clearly than in these situations where color and economic status seems to be the criteria that determines who would make the best parent for the child in-question.

So let's turn this situation around for a minute.

Let's pretend the mother whose child was kidnapped was a white American.  Let's pretend the person who adopted through corrupt adoption facilitators were dark foreigners, and the adoption agency was not affiliated with any agency within the USA.  What sort of media attention would this case get, then?  What would public outcry sound like after more got news of the story?

Color and economics aside, this is a woman's issue.  The adoption industry is slowly but surely pitting woman against woman and as far as I'm concerned educated women who know a thing or two about the plights of (other) women treated like sub-humans need to  stand up and NOT TURN THEIR BACKS to the corruption that takes place within the child placement industry.

Exploitation of women and children should never be tolerated, no matter what the religion,  the color, or country of origin that woman and child is.

Period.

RIGHT RIGHT! KERRY!

I couldn't agree more than what Kerry wrote above about this case. Especially: "No where is racism and bigotry seen more clearly than in these situations where color and ecconomic status seems to be the criteria that determines who would make the best parent for the child in-question."

Sad, that most of these comments come from APs who adopted from Guatemala.... expand on that, and how these beliefs spill over, to the adopted children, as they grow. What does that say, about the child's country of origin.... their home? Their ancestors? You see this time and time again.... a child from Guatemala is better off in the US, no matter what... even if they were kidnapped.

No words.

Parenting a traumatized child

"(b) parenting a traumatized child who does not speak Spanish, who is confused, etc. is a major challenge. "

Kerry and/or Niels, so does that means that parenting a traumatized child (loss and grief and adoption is traumatizing, not to mention leaving one's country) and that a child does not speak the language of the parents and is confused IS a major challenge? Somehow alot of APs seem to do it, why not the biological mother of the kidnapped child who has been searching for her child for a long time?

Didn't you know? This is different

Somehow alot of AP's seem to do it, [parent a traumatized child], why not the biological mother of the kidnapped child who has been searching for her child for a long time?

The mother not only searched "for a long time", she started searching the day she was stolen.  Unfortunately, the biggest crime this mother committed was she lived, (and still lives) in Guatemala. 

Not so surprising to me is the issue being discussed on message boards.  The big topic is not so much about the crime of kidnapping for the adoption industry, but about money, future opportunities, and what is in a child's best interest.  (In short, it is assumed the mother is "challenged" and incapable, whereas the AP's have A) the education and insight B) the money and C) the resources to not only raise a child but also the means and ability close whatever gap there is linguistically.)

How can a mother in Guatemala compete, (especially if she is not given emotional support and trained/professional assistance to help her traumatized child)?

I have read many of the comments written on sites like MSNBC or adoption.con about this case, and while many are in support of reunification, I'd like to share what's being said about this particular kidnapping case, this mother, and her child, on various websites:

While I feel for the birth mother, you have to ask is this really in the best interests of the child. You are going to take this child from what is likely the only home they remember and force them to move to another country where they do not even speak the language. This is going to be a catastrophe for the child. I do not know what the right answer is. Maybe it would be to allow the birth mother to come to the US to be with the child??? 

After that many years, how is the child going to adapt to a whole new family, culture, and way of life? She is no longer a baby, and certainly will be confused by the change. While I feel sorry for the mother, perhaps she should consider the welfare of the child first --if she is happy, healthy, and well cared for, that should be the first consideration. Reminds me of a sad case years ago in Illinois, when a little boy was dragged screaming from his adoptive parents arms because his birth father won a court battle years after the adoption.

or

The birth mother definitely has the right to her child but yet the child most likely will have more opportunities and comforts in the US. Her birth mother will be a stranger to her. It's too bad that the child can't have the best of both worlds.

But my personal favorites?

I think this selfish to uproot a kid at this age and send it back to WHAT EXACTLY? What kind of life?  Has anyone answered that question? You're going to up root a kid that has a solid life, a lot of love and send it to Where? To The RUBBISH PILE?  This whole thing is just Stupid. I usually Root for the mother, but in this case, I take exception. I'm on the adoptive parents side.The real mother should realize this too. I'm sorry her kid was stolen, but all bets are on that she's as poor as they come, and really can't provide for it.  First of all let them Prove it was stolen and then if I were the adoptive parents I'd Fight Like Hell to Keep it.  Really people where is it better off, in the States or in a Dump?

and

I would want to know a lot more about the birth mother. What if she sold the child, now has changed her mind? What if she had too many children to feed? What are her circumstances? Can she care for the child now? Will the child die or be molested due to lack of care or supervision? How was this child kidnapped? Article (msnbc - the most unthorough news reporter) said the child was kidnapped from outside her house. Was the baby alone and if so, why? How did she determine this particular child is hers? Is there a DNA test? Life in Guatamala is NOT easy. My best friend and her husband are from there and I hear bad stories every day from them.

The stigmas... the stereo-types!  By all means, let's all think the very worst of a woman who lives in Guatemala and had her child stolen!

Have we entered an era where those who support adoption believe no original mother living in a poor region is fit to parent her own child chosen by corrupt child brokers?

Perpetuating the stereotypes

Kerry you asked, "Have we entered an era where those who support adoption believe no original mother living in a poor region is fit to parent her own child chosen by corrupt child brokers?" By all indications the answer is yes. That is the fantasy that is created and perpetuated.

It is important to note that the mother AND father in Guatemala of Anyeli are neither indigenous nor poverty stricken.

Noted

It is important to note that the mother AND father in Guatemala of Anyeli are neither indigenous nor poverty stricken.

In fact, it was mentioned in Erin's blog, the couple lives in a nice middle-class neighborhood, the children go to school, are healthy, loved, and educated.

 

Jennifer Van Horn Monahan and Dr. Timothy Monahan

What I wish was exposed in that weak AP article is that the Monahans have dodged, ducked and avoided Guatemalan authorities and Sobrevivientes for almost THREE years now. The fact that Anyeli was stolen is not new news to them. The court case that recently annulled the adoption and revoked the passport started almost three years ago as well, and the Monahans were well aware of it at it's inception. In fact, they were contacted by Sobrevivientes repeatedly prior to them filing this case, and were asked to work things out with Loyda (the mother) so legal action would be the last resort. The Monahans refused. And then they hid behind their US attorney.

Norma Cruz and Loyda Rodriguez never wanted to take this case to court. They wanted to work things out with the Monahans outside of the legal system. They had other people (APs and activists) try to reach out to the Monahans, but the Monahans refused to open dialog with anyone. Norma Cruz's fear was that Anyeli would be traumatized court rulings (now Interpol) or, worse, Anyeli could end up in legal limbo in state care. But now, it's too late.

In short, the Monahans, who are very wealthy (and obviously feel very entitled) have not acted in good faith for YEARS. It's not like they were blindsided with this devastating news, and don't know how to respond. They had knowledge that the adoption case was fraudulent PRIOR to bringing Anyeli to the US, and yet they pushed, paid, and forced the adoption through regardless. And within a very short time (I believe 3 months or so) of being in the US with Anyeli, they were told that she was possibly stolen, and that a woman had identified Anyeli in pictures as her stolen daughter. The Monahans have had ample opportunity to do the right thing, come forward, or in the very least, communicate with investigators and Sobrevivientes, but they repeatedly refused.

The agency Celebrate Children first referred Anyeli to the Monahans, but upon a negative DNA test, the Monahans took the case to Susana Luarca, who is now in prison in Guatemala for this illegal adoption and others. It should be noted, that Celebrate Children/Sue Hedberg did not take the case to authorities upon learning about the negative DNA (as was the procedure). Instead, Anyeli remained in the adoption marketplace pipeline instead of being reunited with Loyda.

As many of us know, this case is one of the three cases that many of us have followed, studied, worked on, and watched unfold to this point. Anyeli is one of the Three Days for Three Daughters girls that were stolen from Guatemala, along with Heidi and Arlene. All three mothers of these daughters have cases in the Guatemalan court system to annul the adoptions, with Loyda's being the precedent setting case. Let's not forget the other girls.... Arlene who is living in Illiinois with the Colwell-Thomas family, and Heidy, who is living with the Ocheltree family. I hope they all go home to Guatemala sooner than later.

Erin Siegal has done years of work in this area, and has the most expertise and research on Guatemalan adoption fraud available. Her website is findingfernanda.com

Do you know the Monahans or

Do you know the Monahans or their adoption circumstances personally? You sure are putting a lot of speculation in a situation you probably know very little about. I do know them, not their adoption issues, but they are wonderful people wrapped up in a bad situation. I couldn't imagine being the birth parents or adoptive parents for this child right now. Be careful judging without first hand knowledge!

Nice can do not-so-nice

I feel the need to comment on a pattern that I have noticed since PPL has started.

Often times, "friends" of people involved in a case presented on PPL will come and post a warning message on PPL, and they will do this anonymously.

The warning will read similar to this:   "Be careful judging without first hand knowledge!"

In a case like this, there are certain facts that don't require knowledge of personal details, like what sort of wonderful friend that person has become.  Friendship has nothing to do with facts related to a case of kidnapping. 

With that, I'd like to know why is it "anonymous friends of the family" so often want to insist "very nice people" aren't capable of really poor choices?

One could be very nice, but still be thoughtless and selfish in their final personal decisions.

That's not being judgmental, that's just being honest.

you obviously havent read

you obviously havent read that much into the story. The Adopted Parents have not dodged the Guatamalen authorities at all. It wasnt until recently that the birth mother located the girl and got evidence that the child might be hers. Before this court order the Monahans, the adoptive parents, had no idea that there was anything wrong with the adoption. so to blatantly lie, and talk about them spending 3 years dodging Guatamalan authorities, when the authorities themselves were the ones that stole the child, is ridiculous. I read in another article that the bio mom searched every single orphanage with a picture of her daughter and the orphanage that she lived in for 2-3 years, lied to the bio mom and this orphanage is a state owned orphanage, or so says the bio mom.

Something stinks in denmark. 1st, when children that young are stolen for supposed black market adoptions, they are adopted right away because adopted parents want young babies. The girl was in an orphanage for about 3 years before she was adopted at the age of 5. What reason would they have to kidnap a girl and keep on to her and not give her up for adoption past the baby years, when adoptees are the most desireable. Then the mother supposedly does not know were her child is, what new name the child has, no real paperwork on the child, but supposedly she traces her down with no leads to were she was adopted. That sounds fishy, that she , with no leads found her child. I dont believe her story at all.

And obviously you have not read the facts....

And obviously you have not read the facts:

- that the child was reported missing when she was kidnapped
- that the mother had to go to court to be allowed to view adoption documents
- that the mother identified her daughter by a picture on adoption papers
- that the authorities investigated this case and found where the child was being housed
- that the child failed a DNA test with the woman who submitted the child for adoption, who was NOT the mother Loyda
- that the Monahans searched for a new attorney when the negative results came in from the DNA because the original attorney Marvin Bran Galindo dropped the case.
- the new attorney that the Monahans hired (Susana Luarca) knowing that the child failed a DNA test, that the documents that she came with were falsified, pushed forward to issue the child an abandonment case and issued her a NEW identity so that she could be processed into ICA, thus Karen Abigail was created.
- The court annulled the adoption of Anyeli/laundered name Karen Abigail
- The court annulled the passport and birth certificate of the child because it was processed with falsified documents.
- that those involved in the kidnapping, trafficking and processing of an illegal adoption were found gulity and are in jail, on house arrest awaiting trial, or on the run.
- Loyda (the mother of the child) PASSED a DNA test with the DNA of the child in Missouri was matched using the stored DNA from the US lab.
- That test that matched the grieving mother Loyda to the kidnapped child living in Missouri was the lab at the University in Granada, who are currently working to establish a DNA bank for kidnapped children who were sold into ICA.
- The court in Guatemala issued an order for the return of the kidnapped child, Anyeli.
- The attorney on behalf of the parents in Guatemala issued a statement that an allotted time would be allowed for the child to be repatriated to Guatemala as stated by the courts, if not Interpol would be contacted.
- The State Department is involved.

This is a HORRIBLE tragedy for BOTH families and to make errors about this case is not fair to neither side, but especially to the child.

You may want to search the archives for updated info on the arrests or see the links provided. Obviously you need to read up on things and get your facts correct.

Just to clarify about the abandonment process

Just to clarify about the abandonment process, it is not out of the ordinary to have a child with a negative DNA be turned into an abandonment case.
In fact, that was the norm in Guatemala. It was part of the accepted process in ICA in Guatemala and part of why so many things went so wrong.
Children were relinquished but the DNA test was done with a family member instead of the mother resulting in a negative DNA result. For unknown reasons this was done, some explanations were that maybe that the mother was far away, she did not want anyone to know she was pregnant and thus came to the city to give birth, obligations kept her from attending the DNA test, little knowledge of how a DNA is suppose to work thus a relative sat in during the test, she did not want her husband, boyfriend, lover to know, secrecy, coercion, kidnappings, etc. Whatever the reason, those in power being the attorneys and judges should have known better and investigated the cases and turned over every stone to make sure that that child was not kidnapped. It would have easily been discovered IF someone would have just tried to find out the identity of the child. So much time and pain could have been avoided for both families.

The Monahans, like many other families who have a referral with a negative DNA, did what so many other families did when a referral had a negative DNA, the case became an abandonment case. Now the question there in lies, now knowing that the child was kidnapped, what will the Monahans do?

Did you miss this?

"By July 2007, a failed DNA test revealed that a fake birth mother had relinquished “Karen Abigail.” According to emails the Monahans sent to Guatemalan private investigators, they were distressed and confused. They’d already waited seven months for the adoption to move forward, with almost no progress.[i] On August 1st, Jennifer Monahan wrote in her personal timeline of the adoption that agency head Sue Hedberg had planned to ask LabCorp, the primary DNA testing facility in the US used for adoptions, to “bury” the results of the mismatched test. But “LabCorp can’t do that anymore,” Monahan noted, because of newly tightened regulations. She’d grown suspicious about what was unfolding in the adoption, and took careful notes of everything that transpired, including, her notes say, recording conversations with Sue Hedberg. When Monahan asked Hedberg what could be done after the child’s failed DNA test, aparently seeking alternative ways to push the adoption through,..."

The Monahans waited 7 months for the adoption to move forward with almost no progress. Is this after the negative DNA test?

The agency director Sue Hedberg, according to the Monahans own notes, planned to ask Labcorp (the primary DNA testing facility in the US) to "bury" the results of the mismatched test. Um.....WTH????????

Seems the adoptive family is NOT so innocent in all this. If a child has a negative DNA, I don't care what the freaking norm was in any country, how can an abandonment route or whatever it is called be sought? Especially knowing the history of Guatemala ICA and that kids were kidnapped and mothers coersed.

Maybe the APs didn't know then fully what they know now fully. Doesn't that make them guilty of harboring a kidnapped child?

Re: abduction and child abuse

An interesting article, written by Rep. Chris Smith, who represents NJ's 4th District in the US House of Representatives... 

Child Abduction Is Child Abuse

Published : Friday, 07 Oct 2011, 10:10 AM EDT

A silent plague is afflicting our country. As if out of a horror movie, our children are disappearing one by one from our communities, families, and homes—1,492 disappeared in 2010 alone. More than 2,200 are missing today, right now, perhaps from your city, certainly from your state.

Like a casualty by friendly fire, the fact that the kidnappers are family members and former spouses only compounds the harm. 

International child abduction rips children from their lives, taking them to a foreign land and alienating them from a left behind parent who loves them and whom they have a right to know. Their childhood is disrupted, in limbo, or sometimes in hidin as the taking parent seeks to evade the law, or to conjure legal cover for their immoral actions.

Abducted children often lose their relationship with their mom or their dad, half of their identity and half of their culture. They are at risk of serious emotional and psychological problems—the result of “parental alienation.” They may also experience anxiety, eating problems, nightmares, mood swings, sleep disturbances, aggressive behavior, resentment, guilt and fearfulness. As adults, they may struggle with identity issues, their own personal relationships and parenting.

We must call it what it is. Child abduction is child abuse.

While the international community has recognized the harms and horrors of international child abduction, and established the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in 1980 for the deterrence of abductors and prompt return of children, American parents have consistently experienced multi-year waits and costly legal battles for the return of their children—if the children are returned at all. Less than 40 percent of children are returned from countries that have signed the Convention.

I experienced this firsthand in the fight to bring Sean Goldman home from Brazil in 2009. Sean’s return was five and a half years in the making. At my invitation, his tenacious father, David, testified on Capitol Hill and said, “I lived in a world of despondency and desperation, with a searing pain throughout my entire being. Everywhere I turned I saw an image of my abducted child.”

This was the case despite the fact that Brazil was a signatory to the Convention.

And from some countries which have not signed the Hague Convention, children are never returned. Such is the case with our friend and ally Japan, where more than 173 American children are currently held in separation from their American parent. 

I know of no case where Japan has issued and enforced an order to return a kidnapped American child. 

At another recent hearing I chaired--and broadcast on C-Span--members of Congress heard from Michael Elias, a combat-injured Iraqi veteran from New Jersey. Mr. Elias told of his anguish after his ex-wife, Mayumi Nakamura, used her Japanese consulate connections to abduct Jade and Michael Jr.—after the New Jersey court had ordered surrender of passports and joint custody.

She told Mr. Elias, “My country [Japan] will protect me.” She was right. Although Japan is reportedly prosecuting her for abusing her consulate connections, Japan has refused to return the children. Moreover, even if Japan does sign the Hague Convention, it will not cover current cases like that of Mr. Elias, or the 171 other children.

The wholesale loss of our children to any country is unconscionable. A less than 40 percent return rate for Hague Convention countries is unacceptable.

Our children must come home.

To that end, I've introduced the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2011, a bill to seriously monitor and hold nations to account via 18 sanctions and penalties if they demonstrate a pattern of non-cooperation in resolving individual cases. 

A decade ago, I authored the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TPVA) to combat both sex and labor trafficking. That law holds countries to account if they are complicit in human trafficking, a model I've incorporated into the new child abduction bill.

For countries that have not signed the Hague Convention, like Japan, the United State should immediately negotiate a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to ensure that the current cases are resolved and left behind parents are not left behind a second time—this time by treaty promises that will not apply to them and their children.

Children have the right to know and be loved by both of their parents. We must find the collective will to bring them home, and end the child abuse of child abduction.

The international adoption community needs to ask itself:   if the child is abducted from the USA, and that is seen as child abuse, what is it if the child is abducted from a foreign country, and sold through an adoption plan?

Pound Pup Legacy