LIBERTY, Mo.—More details are emerging about an international adoption fight with ties to the metro area, after a judge in Guatemala earlier this week ordered a Liberty couple to return a six-year-old girl adopted from the Central American nation.
According to the ruling, the girl was the victim of a child trafficking ring, and was stolen from her parents. The judge who made the ruling said that he doesn't believe the couple had any knowledge of the trafficking ring or any illegal activity, but they still have two months to return the child to her parents.
A human rights group is working with the child's biological mother to return the child as part of the effort around the world to stop child trafficking, a crime that experts say is worth billions of dollars each year.
The custody battle involving the metro started in a small town in Guatemala called San Miguel Petapa. According to a report on the website FindingFernanda.com, it's claimed that the little girl, whose original name is Anyeli Hernandez Rodriguez, was stolen from her family on November 3rd, 2006, and was taken out of the country where she was adopted by Tim Monahan and his wife, from Liberty.
When contacted by FOX 4, the Monahan's left a note on their home which read, "Please respect our privacy at this time."
Problems with child trafficking has caused the U.S. State Department to put a stop on all adoptions from Guatemala. According to the Guatemalan court, the Monahans can appeal the decision.