This is the continuation of the post, Adoption of Guatemalan Boy’s Future could be Decided by Christmas. The series discusses a specifically heartbreaking child custody story of a little adopted boy. What makes situations like these especially difficult is that the child is usually adopted by very loving parents.
In this specific case, the 4-year-old boy was adopted by one couple who has raised him since he was 7-months old. They have spent time loving him and caring for him as if he was their own. Family members describe him as a happy, typical 4-year-old boy who speaks English and has no memory of his life before. While he is happy and loved, on the other side of the story is the mother who was arrested and had no idea where her son was. She has just one photograph of the boy she raised for 7 months and loves immensely.
Michelle Brané, an immigrant advocate with the Women’s Refugee Commission, said that she has talked to hundreds of undocumented mothers who have no idea where their children are or who is taking care of them. Many children, like the young mother’s boy, are adopted without their knowledge. A lack of communication between government agencies, Brané says, is a large part of the problem. She is currently advocating for a bill presently in Congress that would help facilitate better communication between the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and child welfare agencies.
Another part of the problem arises after the parent has been released from authorities. A large number of the undocumented residents deported from the United States have children that are actually citizens because they were born in the U.S. Obtaining the proper travel documents like a passport or visa can be a difficult process causing the fear and the high possibility that the parents will be forced to leave the country without their children.
Source: The World “Court Considers fate of adopted Guatemalan boy” Sylvia Maria Gross 12/6/10