After more than three decades, a 37-year-old man who has been living in Mexico will reunite with his mother in California for the first time since he was two years old. Initially, the man attempted to cross the U.S. border illegally earlier in October, but after he was detained by the Border Police, he remembered that he was actually born in Chicago and therefore was a U.S. citizen. Authorities confirmed his story when they located both his birth certificate and birth mother. This mother and son reunion is unique because both parents tell conflicting stories in this family saga. Estranged from his wife, the father took the son to Mexico to live with his grandparents. According to the father, he told his son that that his mother had left him at an orphanage because she no longer loved him. The father later returned to Chicago, spending little time with boy as he grew up.
However, the mother tells a different story. According to the mother, the father took the son in what appeared to be a routine visit, but when he wasn’t returned home, the father said he had taken the boy to Mexico for a month-long visit to his grandparents. As time grew on, she attempted to write to the grandparent’s house, but her letters were never acknowledged. The parents eventually divorced but no custody was established, so the police were unable to help her case.
After Border Patrol released him on Oct. 30th, the 37-year-old man was taken in by a San Diego church where he was later baptized. When police first detained him, they suspected he was a coyote who was leading six Eastern Europeans across the border, and they threatened him with jail time if he didn’t confess. Now, the man waits to be reunited with his mother despite the language barrier.
International child custody cases can be especially complicated to resolve. A family lawyer might be able to help clients establish custody and visitation with the child’s best interest in mind.
Source: CNN, “Long-lost son, 37, to finally see mother in San Diego after 35 years abroad“, Michael Martinez. Gonzalo Alvarado and Casey Wian, November 23, 2013