Holy crap, folks...this one's a doozy...

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Shadowstar38:
Let the kid stay where she is and let the real mother have visitation.

Visitation...from Guatemala? Not sure if serious...

I don't see why we're questioning this, back to the biological mother.

It's easy to say this because I'm no where in the position. I can be open minded because it's not my child.

But if it was my child, I would at least petition to be apart of my child's life. It's not as simple as people want to make it. Have you read the article? She was raised and taught by Timothy and Jennifer Monahan. I might not be up on my ethnic names, but that doesn't sound Latino. Shipping her to Guatemala, where she might be able to communicate with some of her family, if not all? Not to mention the people around her... if it happened to me, I would resent the woman. Yeah, she might be doing it out of love, but I'd be a freaking kid. all I know is that my friends are gone, my family is gone, my home is gone, and I'm supposed to live with someone I just don't know and am now told 'this is my new family now'?

I'd spend every night trying to escape.

So... If this was my child, the best I could ever ask for is to be apart of her life. I can't rationally expect my life to be whole again just because I know my daughter is alive. I can not fix five of the most crucial years in a child's life, where she makes her bonds. But I would try to have a life with her and help raise her.

Anything else is selfish, even if it's supported by law.

Risingblade:
Obviously she should be give back to her biological parents. She was kidnapped and they've been looking for her for the past 5 years. Hell her biological mother at the very least wants to be able to have contact with her. Seriously these adoptive parents have no right to keep the child from her real parents. The whole adoption thing wasn't actually official anyway.

And what if the child doesn't want to go to the biological parents?

She can't even remember them, and you expect her to just instantly take them up and leave the family that has raised her for most of her life?

The adoptive family deserves her.

fletch_talon:
Here's what we do.
We cut the child straight down the middle and give half to each family.
I think there was supposed to be another step to this plan but I'm sure I'll remember it... eventually.

Then we keep the bits they don't want. It's a win-win.

In all seriousness, this is an odd one. I mean, she's literally spent the majority of her life with this adopted family, if she was given the choice I doubt the real mother would have a chance.
But does she get the choice?

It all comes down to who would provide the better physical and mental stability and benefits for the child.

The original mother can want the child back all she likes, but if she can not provide for the child, and if it causes the child emotional stress, it isn't beneficial for her.

However, because she has already been living with the foster family, and if she seems comfortable there, I believe she should stay there.

In my opinion, screw what the biological or adoptive parents want, the needs and stability of the child come first.

Raven's Nest:
Guys its not that difficult, the girl was freaking kidnapped, and at two years old its certainly something the mother will remember. It's not like the mum put her up for adoption and now all of a sudden wants her child back. The kid absolutely has to go back to her true biological mother without question.

Why should she "absolutely" have to go back to her biological mother?

What if this change of scenery causes the daughter concern? Mental stress? What if it affects her in a negative way?

How can you justify saying she "absolutely" has to go back with (from what I am reading, correct me if I am wrong) no concern for the child's mental health?

This is a tricky one.
Because she knows the parents she has got now and has friends etc.
Besides she doesn't know her "real mom" so maybe she could visit her once in a while and maybe as the kid gets older they could start wondering more about it.
So let her stay were she is, she most likely gets good education etc and start meeting with her mom, but staying were she has lived the past 5 years.

Well, obviously it's going to be uncomfortable for everyone involved whatever happens, but she HAS to end up back with the biological mother, surely? Not immediately, but in the end that's how it has to be.

Can you imagine being the parent of a child who was stolen, spending five years searching for her, finally finding the kid, only to have the courts decide to effectively uphold the kidnapping? That's the stuff of nightmares, right there.

Also, I'm trying really, really hard not to judge but... if you're going to adopt a child from a foreign country SURELY you'd do a fucktonne of research into how adoption works legally there and who you have to go through? I have no idea how convincing the traffickers were, but I can't help but feel the adoptive parents should have done some more digging :/

Eamar:
Well, obviously it's going to be uncomfortable for everyone involved whatever happens, but she HAS to end up back with the biological mother, surely? Not immediately, but in the end that's how it has to be.

I asked again earlier, but I will ask again now.

Why does she HAVE to end up back with the biological mother? How will being with a woman she does not effectively know be more beneficial for her mental health than being with a family she has known for the last 5 years?

If it does not benefit the child in the slightest and instead causes mental stress and other issues, what then?

dumbseizure:

Eamar:
Well, obviously it's going to be uncomfortable for everyone involved whatever happens, but she HAS to end up back with the biological mother, surely? Not immediately, but in the end that's how it has to be.

I asked again earlier, but I will ask again now.

Why does she HAVE to end up back with the biological mother? How will being with a woman she does not effectively know be more beneficial for her mental health than being with a family she has known for the last 5 years?

If it does not benefit the child in the slightest and instead causes mental stress and other issues, what then?

I believe the idea is that the biological mother is 'owed' something considering she was the one who carried the daughter around for nine months, went through the pain of childbirth and cared for the baby for two years. Someone then stole the child and presumably made a profit by selling her without any consent from the mother. To have the courts rule that she cannot have the child back seems extremely unfair given that she has done nothing wrong.

I do think it is in the child's best interest to stay with the adoptive family and hopefully the biological mother will acknowledge this. However, if she insists on having her child back I think it is absolutely unacceptable to use the law to essentially sanction a kidnapping.

Oh god. Not Elian fucking Gonazalez again.

I could barely stomach that shit eating up the news last time and I cannot handle another round. If this makes the morning headlines I'm putting nothing but the weather channel on for the next 6 months.

fletch_talon:
Here's what we do.
We cut the child straight down the middle and give half to each family.
I think there was supposed to be another step to this plan but I'm sure I'll remember it... eventually.

Lol. This reminded me of an old SNL bit called Samurai Divorce Court. Anyway, I think the biological mother should be the one to decide. The birth mother has the rights here, but forcing the child back may or may not be the best thing for her. At least give the mother the option.

I feel for the child's mother. This is her little girl - her hopes, her dreams and her child. She has been fighting tooth and nail to find her for years and now there is a chance all she will get is: "sorry. New family now. You can't have her".

There isn't a right answer to this. I think the best solution would be to allow both families to be involved in her life - but that is hard considering one is from Guatemala and one is from the States.

Dirty Hipsters:
Leave her in Missouri. I mean honestly, how many people here think she would really be better off living in Guatemala than she would be living in the US?

That doesn't make sense.

Sixcess:
If this was reversed - a US born child kidnapped and now being raised in Guatemala the US State Department would be sending in the FBI, or the Marines.

That this is even being debated is double standards and nothing else.

this thing right here.

letting the child decide? are you friggin nuts, guys?
a child should decide whether she want to go to someone who is now a stranger to her or stay with their 1st world country 'parents' that shower her with presents.
never considered she is that much affected by this to make a genuine decision. at the age of six.

the child belongs to her real mother.

the only scenario i can think of that benefits somewhat both parties is that the mother sees her child and decides that the child has more possibilities (take this with caution) there.
so she makes a deal with the other 'parents' to raise her in the united states but she should remain contact with her real parents and visit them in guatemala maybe once a year.

but thats a sunshine, happiness and cream end scenario.

its going to be elián gonzález all the way again.

Nouw:

i am going to lean out the window here and guess

Exterminatus

image

Vern5:
Let the kid decide who she wants to live with. I'm sure she'll decide to live with her adoptive parents depending upon how nice they are. I don't really understand why this is a tough decision. Sure, I guess separating a mother from her child is a little cruel but this decision is not all about the mother.

The kid is 7, she is too young to make such a call

rhizhim:
Snipped for Teh Emprah!

Close but no dice :p.

=/
Shitty situation.
If the mother gets her child back, she basically takes her into a completely alien world and situation, while taking away her means of communication, her friends, and her caretakers, and likely a good portion of the opportunities she would have had, and lives with a woman she doesn't remember. On the other hand, I see the argument that the mother would want her back because it IS her child.
Note that this is all based completely on the "right" thing to do. Legally, she should have to go back to her biological parents. Honestly though, if I was in this position, I would do everything I could to move to the US and attempt to have a joint-parentage type situation. Full disclaimer, I have no idea how difficult it would/would not be to move to the US.

Sixcess:

dyre:
Definitely a double standard, but that doesn't necessarily mean giving the kid back is right or wrong. It could be wrong (with the US just being bullies) or it could be right (with the US pursuing the right thing when it benefits a US citizen, but refusing to do so when it benefits a foreigner).

By what possible definition is that 'right'?

I danced around using the R word in my first post, because once it comes up in these kind of discussions it never ends well, but I feel this debate is fuelled by an assumption that the child is better off because she's now in a prosperous 1st world nation rather than a 3rd world nation full of 'foreigners', and that is racism.

probably more wealthism imo,
be funny if it turned out the mother was obscenely rich, while the adopters destitute XD

regarding the topic, I'd base it on who's had her for longest, in this case being the adopters.
Most people don't remember their pre 3 years, but your 4 - 10 years can really define who you are.

Morally it would be best to give her back to her biological mother because she had the child taken away from her without her consent and it seems only right that she should get her back even if the adoptive parents raised her for longer, however, if you choose based on what's best for the child's it would be best to let the adoptive parents keep her because they live in a far richer and more stable country.

So, the question really is this:

What is best for the child or what is morally right.

I think I'd personally have to pick what's best for the child here.

Who has raised the child longer? If natural mother, then to her, if adopted parents, then them.

As some people seem to think the child is "owned" it comes down to who has put more into said child.

Though there should be a choice a bit later, say around 14-15 to let the child decide to stay or go back to the one that loses the child.

Then again, lets consider this from the childs point of view, some person they dont know or care for comes and steals them from their loving parents who is all they have ever known to live somewhere strange, new, speaking a language they havent learned and having no friends.

I would have been fucking pissed the hell off. So its really a lose lose for the biological mother, you know your kid lives elsewhere, and was adopted by someone else, or take the kid back and have that kid hate your guts.

Both familes need to work together to be with there daughter, there adoptive mother and father love her no less than her real mother.

You CAN NOT! take her away from her current parents but you can NOT keep her away from her real mother..

I feel for everyone involved :(

Vern5:
Let the kid decide who she wants to live with. I'm sure she'll decide to live with her adoptive parents depending upon how nice they are. I don't really understand why this is a tough decision. Sure, I guess separating a mother from her child is a little cruel but this decision is not all about the mother.

Not possible, a child can't decide what is best for them - any seven year old would say the person who gave them Ice Cream is a nicer person than the one that didn't. They don't possess the capacity to make this kind of choice.

This has to be sorted out by the law - my opinion: stay with adoptive parents, financial stipend for mother with option to visit.

SillyBear:
I feel for the child's mother. This is her little girl - her hopes, her dreams and her child. She has been fighting tooth and nail to find her for years and now there is a chance all she will get is: "sorry. New family now. You can't have her".

There isn't a right answer to this. I think the best solution would be to allow both families to be involved in her life - but that is hard considering one is from Guatemala and one is from the States.

Dirty Hipsters:
Leave her in Missouri. I mean honestly, how many people here think she would really be better off living in Guatemala than she would be living in the US?

That doesn't make sense.

It does really, whilst it is getting better Guatemala still isn't a the most stable of countries and crime is still extremely high; not the best country to raise a child, she'd have a much better life in America.

Ask the girl.

And yeah, we probably all know who the girl's going to pick, and that doesn't exactly leave a happy ending, but it should be up to the girl.

For all intents and purposes, the girl has lived in America as an American with her American family her whole life. You can't ship her back to Guatemala to live with a woman she doesn't know.

dumbseizure:

I asked again earlier, but I will ask again now.

Why does she HAVE to end up back with the biological mother? How will being with a woman she does not effectively know be more beneficial for her mental health than being with a family she has known for the last 5 years?

If it does not benefit the child in the slightest and instead causes mental stress and other issues, what then?

This, pretty much:

manic_depressive13:

I believe the idea is that the biological mother is 'owed' something considering she was the one who carried the daughter around for nine months, went through the pain of childbirth and cared for the baby for two years. Someone then stole the child and presumably made a profit by selling her without any consent from the mother. To have the courts rule that she cannot have the child back seems extremely unfair given that she has done nothing wrong.

I do think it is in the child's best interest to stay with the adoptive family and hopefully the biological mother will acknowledge this. However, if she insists on having her child back I think it is absolutely unacceptable to use the law to essentially sanction a kidnapping.

I can't believe how some people are completely ignoring the rights of the poor birth mother. From the story, it would seem she has done absolutely nothing wrong, to deny her her own child, who she's spent 5 years searching for, is morally abhorrent.

HOWEVER, the child obviously needs to be taken into account too, which makes it a million times more complicated.

In an ideal situation the mother would do what's best for her child and give up... but if she really wants it back then... I dunno. I'd still probably leave her with the people that raised her, in the environment she was raised in. If she was a few years younger, or a few more years older... but seven... I'm just not comfortable with tearing her away.

Eamar:

I can't believe how some people are completely ignoring the rights of the poor birth mother. From the story, it would seem she has done absolutely nothing wrong, to deny her her own child, who she's spent 5 years searching for, is morally abhorrent.

HOWEVER, the child obviously needs to be taken into account too, which makes it a million times more complicated.

'Morally abhorrent' is attaching the theory of property ownership to a child and then valuing that above their mental health and safety.

No one's accusing the mother of anything; you have a shit situation in which the crux of the problem rests with what is best for the child.

You'd hope that there'd be a way to get the mother living in the States to make visitation practical, and from there they can build something again, but if not, then what's important is the girl.

Risingblade:
Seriously these adoptive parents have no right to keep the child from her real parents. The whole adoption thing wasn't actually official anyway.

So the parents aren't allowed to love her like their own daughter because the paperwork was a fake? Sound logic.

Eamar:

dumbseizure:

I asked again earlier, but I will ask again now.

Why does she HAVE to end up back with the biological mother? How will being with a woman she does not effectively know be more beneficial for her mental health than being with a family she has known for the last 5 years?

If it does not benefit the child in the slightest and instead causes mental stress and other issues, what then?

This, pretty much:

manic_depressive13:

I believe the idea is that the biological mother is 'owed' something considering she was the one who carried the daughter around for nine months, went through the pain of childbirth and cared for the baby for two years. Someone then stole the child and presumably made a profit by selling her without any consent from the mother. To have the courts rule that she cannot have the child back seems extremely unfair given that she has done nothing wrong.

I do think it is in the child's best interest to stay with the adoptive family and hopefully the biological mother will acknowledge this. However, if she insists on having her child back I think it is absolutely unacceptable to use the law to essentially sanction a kidnapping.

I can't believe how some people are completely ignoring the rights of the poor birth mother. From the story, it would seem she has done absolutely nothing wrong, to deny her her own child, who she's spent 5 years searching for, is morally abhorrent.

HOWEVER, the child obviously needs to be taken into account too, which makes it a million times more complicated.

Poor birth mother?

What about the rights of the child? If this goes through, she is effectively being taken away from the only family she has known, to go and live with a stranger, no matter what the original relationship would have been.

Would you have any idea how that would effect a child? Cause I can take a guess and say it would not be a positive reaction.

Everyone in this circumstance is clearly a victim and of course sympathy extends to all parties. However if the child is genuinely happy with her adoptive parents and wouldn't want to leave them (something that should be assessed and concluded by a neutral third party), the Mother should consider the child's happiness and wellbeing above her own. She should take solace in the fact that despite upsetting her personally she did what was best for the child and if theres some-way she can have contact with the child the adoptive family should try their best to allow it to happen.

The situation can't have a happy resolution but at the very least the child is made top priority, which in my mind is the only way this can be handled

Ickorus:

It does really, whilst it is getting better Guatemala still isn't a the most stable of countries and crime is still extremely high; not the best country to raise a child, she'd have a much better life in America.

What sort of life you have isn't solely dependant on what sort of country you live in. Nor is there a direct link between happiness and what country you live in.

Just because the parents who adopted her live in the USA doesn't necessarily mean she will have a better life there than in Guatemala. It is also a horrible argument to use because it is essentially saying "These people can have her because they are American. Sorry, you don't get to have your child anymore".

A lot of people are saying that she should go back to her biological mother, because she has more right to raise the child because she's biologically related.
Which is basically like saying the people who raised her for five years have no right to continue doing so.
Just playing devil's advocate here, folks.
What I said there could also be interpreted as saying the mother has no right to raise her child. Which I sort of am.
But think about it. We don't know if she's fit to raise this child. She has no idea what her daughter is like.
The daughter probably knows nothing about living in Guatemala, will probably have different religious beliefs etc and has a different cultural background now which her biological mother probably knows very little about (just like how the adoptive parents know very little about Guatemalan culture).

Leave the creature with her adoptive parents. She doesn't know her birth mother. She doesn't remember her birth mother. To plunge a child into a new culture in the the cqare of a stranger, removing her from any family and friends she has ever known cannot be considered 'The moral choice.'

It isn't that tough a question to be honest. The girl has grown up with her adoptive parents and taking her away now would do more harm than good. I'm no expert but I think if a child is placed with a new family for more than 2 years then the amount of bonding means that seperating the child from their new family becomes very destructive in 100% of cases. The adoptive parents should tell the child either now or in the future, but when they do it is up to them.

It sucks for the biological mum but at the end of the day she knows that her daughter is alive, well cared for and will one day see her again.

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