Missouri father fights to get daughter back from Costa Rica

A Missouri father has been fighting to get his 2-year-old daughter back since 2009 when the girl’s mother abducted the little girl and moved to Costa Rica. And even though both the Missouri courts and Costa Rican courts have ruled in favor of the father having child custody, the little girl is yet to be returned home.

The story highlights what must be every father’s worst nightmare: to have their child abducted and taken to another country, and then having to spend years trying to get her back home.

The case goes back to 2008 when the little girl was born. At the time, the girl’s mother was married to another man, and just seven months later decided to flee from the country. Immediately after arriving in Costa Rica, the woman started to claim that she was the physically and sexually abused by the girl’s father.

However, since those allegations were made, both the Missouri courts and the Costa Rican courts have found no basis for those claims and have ordered the girl back to live with her father in Missouri, but the mother is failing to comply and instead tried to appeal and now even is even attempting to receive refugee status for herself and her daughter.

At this point, the father’s request to have the girl returned home under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction has been approved. The Missouri courts have also issued a warrant for the woman’s arrested on international abduction charges. Lastly on Jan. 31 a Costa Rican judge even ordered that the girl be returned to her father.

While this case is surely heartbreaking for this Missouri father, his battle shows the struggle that parents go through when one parent abducts their child and moves out of the country. And while some other countries are signatories on the Hague Convention treaty, there can still be complications in getting a child back to the United States.

Source: KSPR 33, “Springfield Father Fires Back on CNN in Costa Rica Child Kidnapping Case,” Joe Daues, 23 Feb 2011

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