Couple's Adoption May Have Involved a Kidnapping

by Cassandra R. Elias

In the News: Child Remains with Adoptive Family After Alleged Kidnapping

AdoptionWhat would you do if you found out that the child you adopted and loved with all your heart had been kidnapped years earlier and wasn't yours to adopt?

That is exactly what happened to Liberty, Missouri couple Timothy and Jennifer Monahan. They adopted their then four-year-old girl in 2008 from Guatemala.

According to court records, there was evidence that the child had been kidnapped from her birth mother by a child trafficking ring.

Following court proceedings, Guatemalan officials announced that the couple will not be forced by the U.S. to return the child to her biological mother because neither the U.S. nor Guatemala has signed the Hague Abduction (a treaty regarding international kidnapping) at the time of the kidnapping. They signed it in January 2008.

Last August, a judge in Guatemala ruled that there was no evidence that the adoptive parents had any involvement or knowledge of the trafficking ring. The Associated Press reports that the child, Anyeli Hernandez Rodriguez, born October 1, 2004, is the second child of Loyda, a housewife and her husband, Dayner, a bricklayer.

According to the AP, the little girl disappeared November 3, 2006, as Rodriguez was distracted while opening the door to their house in a working class suburb, San Miguel Petapa. The birth mother turned to see a woman take the girl, then two-years-old, away in a taxi.

The child spent more than a year at an adoption agency before being adopted by the Monahans.

Child trafficking issues have put a stop by the U.S. State Department on all adoptions from Guatemala.

How does this make you feel? Would it make you less likely to adopt internationally or to adopt at all? What about the kids here in the states that need to be adopted?