[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Update on Latest Custody Dispute

Friday, March 30, 2007

Update on Latest Custody Dispute

The Miami Herald gives us a few more details on the case involving the 4-year-old Miami girl, her mentally ill mother, and her father in Cuba who wants her back with him.

For example:
A year before a Miami woman at the center of an international child-custody dispute lost her two children to child-welfare investigators, she offered to give her daughter, then 2 years old, to a family friend in Texas ``as a gift.''

The mother, who immigrated to the United States in 2004, was living in Houston near a family friend from the small city of Cabaiguán in central Cuba. Faced with withering emotional problems, the woman asked the friend, Iraida González, to raise the toddler as her own daughter.

'She said, `I want to give her to you. You are a good person, a Christian,' '' González told The Miami Herald. ``She'll be better off with you.''

We also learn that the father is a fisherman and office worker in the town of Guayos.

Some more information on family relations:

The children's maternal grandmother in Cuba, Margarita Corrales, is torn: She says the girl's dad is an honest, hardworking man who has ''always been a good father.'' But the children are happy with their current family, she told The Miami Herald, and she would hate to see sister and brother split up.

''I put that in the hands of God. He knows more than me,'' Corrales said. ``I have faith that He will make the right decision.''

Corrales said she is grateful to the Gables family for caring for the kids. She said she talks to them regularly and has seen recent photos.


After an uncle in Miami declined to take the family in, González said, the mother arrived unannounced in Houston and began living with González and husband Francisco, both in their 60s.

The couple immediately fell in love with the two children: the bright, intelligent boy and the bubbly girl with reddish-blond hair and eyes that looked blue or green depending on what she wore.

The mother doted on the son but called the girl ''a bother,'' González said.

Sometimes, the son would call the González family's stonemasonry shop, crying that his mother had locked them all in the house, said worker Diana Rodas, who also taught the children Bible lessons at Agape Baptist Church.

González said the boy often spoke to his father in Cuba by phone. ''That boy adores his father,'' she said. She said the girl's father rarely called her.

So we know a bit more about the father, as well as the history of the relationship. However, we're still getting mixed signals as far as the father's ability to take care of his daughter. Based solely on what the Herald has reported, you can argue both sides of the father's fitness.

Stay tuned.



Blogger None E. Moose said...

Jeez, can't they give us more, like the little girl's initials, or the middle school she would attend if she were old enough? That way we can figure out who she is and then the press can start their field day, and the vigil can begin.

3:17 PM, March 30, 2007  

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