Guatemalan Mother Asks the US Court For the Return of her Abducted Daughter

Category: Politics / May 18, 2012 10:35AM EDT

A Guatemalan woman who alleges her daughter was stolen from Guatemala and given up for adoption said on Tuesday (May 17) that she plans to ask a Missouri court for the return of her daughter.

The girl Anyeli Liseth Hernandez Rodriguez, now seven, left the country on December 9, 2008. She was born on October 1, 2004.

I am asking the United States to return my daughter. I'm claiming what is mine. I am her mother. They shouldn't be unjust. They should give her back to me. I am also asking the people that adopted her to return her to me and give me the opportunity to get close to her, because I am her mother and I have more of a right than they do, Anyeli's mother Loyda Rodriguez.

The girl disappeared on November 3, 2006 when she was two and a half years-old while she was playing on the patio of her home in Villa Hermosa, south of Guatemala City. She currently resides with a couple in Liberty, Missouri.

At the time of the disappearance, neither the United States nor Guatemala had signed the Hague Abduction Convention, which mandates that children abducted from their country be quickly returned to their nation of origin. The two countries did not formally ratify the convention until January 2008.

Loyda Rodriguez's attorney insists that since Anyeli was not taken to live in the United States until 2008 - after the convention was ratified - that the adoption is not valid.

Earlier this week, a Guatemalan official publicly said that the United States government has said it won't return the child.

In October of last year, a Guatemalan court sentenced two women accused of trafficking Anyeli and giving her up for adoption. Guatemala has the highest per-capita adoption rate in the world, a lucrative business for private lawyers who run the trade and are sometimes accused of forging papers or paying mothers to sell their children.