OUR REPORTING ON INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION

Corruption in international adoptions

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THE LIE WE LOVE: ORPHANS & INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION
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Anyelí Liseth Hernández Rodríguez, kidnapped November 3, 2006

Anyelí Liseth Hernández Rodríguez, kidnapped
November 3, 2006

Guatemalan Court Revokes
  Passport, Asks for Return
  of Adopted Child
  "Karen Abigail"

 By Erin Siegal, Fellow, Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University 

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 U.S. 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."

Read the rest of this article and Siegal's exclusive documentation at FindingFernanda.com.

Erin Siegal is an investigative journalist and author of the forthcoming book (Cathexis Press, October 2011) Finding Fernanda, a dramatic cross-border tale of two mothers—one in Guatemala, the other in the United States—that shines a light on pervasive corruption in international adoption.


NOTE: This page from the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism website offers documentation of and background about serious irregularities in international adoption. For the systemic analysis of corruption in international adoption, please read “The Lie We Love,” Foreign Policy magazine, Nov./Dec. 2008, and visit our webpages dedicated to international adoption. For ideas about fairer policy solutions, please read “The Baby Business,” Democracy Journal, Summer 2010.


© 2008-2014 Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 02454. All rights reserved.

Last page update: March 8, 2012