The case of Anyeli Liseth Hernandez Rodriguez highlights the egregious abuses that take place when the high demand for adoptable children leads to human trafficking. The Guatemalan girl, kidnapped from her home at the age of 2, was adopted in 2008 by an unwitting US couple.
Anyeli's mother, Loyda Rodriguez, is passionately pursuing the return of her young daughter. Her case suffered a major setback this week: the US State Department, unable to enforce Hague Convention articles on child abductions, will not act to return Anyeli to Guatemala. A human rights group representing Rodriguez is now pursuing a civil suit alleging immigration fraud.
It's an impossibly heartbreaking case for all involved: the biological mother desperate for her child's return, the adoptive parents caught up in the ethical dilemma of a lifetime, and for Anyeli herself (or Karen, as she was renamed in Missouri), who has suffered trauma enough no matter the case's outcome. It's a nightmare made possible by criminals looking to cash in on the multi-million-dollar international adoption business -- and Anyeli is certainly not the first or last girl kidnapped for profit.
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