Cuban father patient with US legal system wants his daughter back
Posted: 19 July 2007 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Here is the story from the AP:

Court order makes public custody dispute over Cuban girl
A judge has finally allowed the public to view a closed-door international custody dispute over a 4-year-old Cuban girl who ended up in foster care after her mother attempted suicide.

Previous hearings in the case had been held in secret for more than a year until Wednesday, when the judge obeyed an appeals court order for open hearings. But Circuit Judge Jeri B. Cohen issued a gag order for all participants outside the courtroom.

The child entered the U.S. legally in March 2005 with her mother and a sibling. The girl was removed from her mother’s care by the Florida Department of Children & Families about a year later, after an investigation into charges that the woman’s severe mental illness made her an unfit parent.

The girl is now in the care of a family acquaintance. Her Cuban father could win custody of his daughter by completing a series of tasks such as visitations, though DCF ultimately would like to see the foster family named her permanent guardians, said agency attorney Rebecca Kapotsa.

The girl’s father came to Miami from Guayos, Cuba, six weeks ago to press his case. His lawyer, immigration attorney Ira Kurzban, said the man was being treated unfairly. Since his arrival in Florida, the father has been allowed only short, supervised visits that are videotaped.

“No one has ever accused my client of abusing his child. No one has ever accused my client of being involved with drugs. No one has ever accused my client of in any way harming his child,” Kurzban said. “But he’s being treated in this process as if all those things were true.”

Cohen ordered that the girl’s father be allowed an unsupervised, daylong visit with his daughter next week in the home where he is staying.

END OF STORY

Sounds to me like the poor father is being VERY patient with the US justice system that is most likely working hard against him. Maybe this is not as clear as the Elian case but I hope the legal system does not play politics with this little girl.

Should the father be able to take his daughter back to Cuba with him?

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