“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.”
(Wasn’t that cute, though? the way she just co-opted the “they are all my real parents” thing some adoptees have been saying for years to justify a kidnapping?)
A commentor opines that both sets of parents are victims in this case. Not so. The parents who lost their child are victims. The Monahans are victors. They used their position of relative power and wealth to buy stolen goods and insist on keeping them. They appear to have done everything legally, but they did not do everything right. How do I know?
Hands up, everyone who knew by 2008, when Anyeli left Guatemala, that some Guatemalan adoptees had been stolen. OK, one, two, three, four–what? We stopped doing adoptions from Guatemala over this kind of thing when?–thirty-three, thirty-four, thirty–2007?
Keep your hands up, please, I’m still counting. Fifty-eight, fifty-nine, sixty… (I doubt I have that many readers, but you get my point). Thanks, you can put’em down now. If the Monahans didn’t know adoption from Guatemala was corrupt, it’s because they didn’t want to know.
They didn’t do their homework because they could simply buy an “A.” I’m sure their adoption agency assured them everything was above-board. And, just as we do not have major purchases like houses or cars inspected before we buy them when the sellers tell us they are honest, they wrote the check and took the seller’s word. I truly believe they didn’t know–but I think that has no bearing on the case.
Sra. Rodriguez asked for Anyeli back in 2009, three years ago, after having spent the intervening years searching for her. So two years of this child’s being out of her family can be laid at the feet of the kidnappers, but the other three are on the Monahans. Because in cases like this, if you fight long enough and spend the most money, you almost always win, especially if you’re USAians and the other side aren’t. (It’s worth noting that Anyeli spent one of those intervening years waiting to be adopted. Unnecessarily languishing, one might say.)
It seems the Monahans could have done the right thing three years ago, but chose not to. Speaking of “the right thing,” if I were a drinker, I’d suggest a new drinking game for this case. Look through the comments to any article about Anyeli and take one shot for every…oh, let’s say every three times you read “Giving her back would be the right thing, BUT…” Even at three comments per shot, you’ll be dead of alcohol poisoning before you even know you’re tipsy.
I believe, because I see no reason not to, that the Monahans love Anyeli, and that sending her back to Guatemala will tear them apart emotionally. I think this is what commentors refer to when they keep saying there “are no easy answers” here, but the answer is the one easy thing in all of this: Return the stolen child to her mother. It’s what comes after that that will be hard for everyone. The Monahans, if they want to do what’s in the child’s best interests, will let her go and do all they can to help ease this transition. That will hurt like Hell–I don’t even know how to imagine that kind of hurt. I don’t know how to imagine the hurt of having my kid snatched from me either, let alone the hurt of being told to “just let it go, she’s in a better place now.”
If you haven’t read this yet, please do. It’s long, in part because its author is more interested in being fair to all parties involved than I am, but please read the whole thing.