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Thread: Mom finds missing children using Facebook

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    Mom finds missing children using Facebook

    SAN BERNARDINO, California (AP) A Southern California mother whose two children were reported missing 15 years ago has tracked them down in Florida using Facebook.
    The children's father, Faustino Utrera, took off with them in 1995 when they were ages 2 and 3, said Deputy District Attorney Kurt Rowley. The mother had found her daughter's Facebook profile after searching for her name on the social networking site in March, Rowley said.
    An official said Saturday that the now 17-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy have been placed in the custody of the state of Florida.


    Mom finds missing children using Facebook - USATODAY.com
    The article indicates that when found, the daughter indicated that she did not want to re-establish a relationship with her mother. This brings up an interesting dilemma. The father's actions are certainly criminal and in most, if not all cases, regardless of the custody situation, custody would be given to the mother. However, these children have lived for 15 years in the scenario that they have, creating lives where they live. So, should they remain where they are, or should they go and live with their mother, who has legal custody? To me, I think a compromise would be in order. To not disrupt the lives of the children, they should remain where they are, for now. Of course, not with their father, but with some court appointed legal guardian. The mother should be given visitation, and the family should be given counseling with someone familiar with family re-unification. From there, it should be determined how to proceed.

    What do you all think and what do you all think should happen?
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    Re: Mom finds missing children using Facebook

    Tough call. It's a tough situation all around.

    I think you've got the right of it. The mother should have visitation and the children should live with a legal guardian while their father serves his sentence. There should probably be some leniency for the father, but custodial interference is still a crime and he still needs to serve his sentence.

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    Re: Mom finds missing children using Facebook

    16 and 17? Those kids are plenty old enough to decide for themselves whether to go or stay, and who they want to live with.

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    Re: Mom finds missing children using Facebook

    Two months ago, my daughter found me on Facebook after not seeing her for fourteen years. She's 16 now. Later today I actually get to see her and my wife and I are getting back together because we're still in love with each other. I, actually, got to talk to my daughter for the first time last night for several hours on the phone, but we had been corresponding over the past two months via Facebook and Yahoo Instant Messenger. At the end of the phone conversation my daughter told me that she loved me. It's taken a lot of patience, love, and understanding for both my daughter and I to get to this point.

    By rushing or forcing things, there's a good chance that the child will not want a relationship with the parent. It sucks, but it does happen and is entirely the choice of the child. Over time, though, the child will naturally wonder what happened for there to be such a long separation and will ask the parent questions. Be honest, but don't bash the other parent and definitely don't get the child into the position of being in the middle if the two parents cannot see eye to eye. A parent that is honest, without bashing, will earn their child's trust and the parent-child relationship will be able to blossom naturally. If a third party mediator is needed then so be it. The goal is reintegration of the parent with the child. A child that trusts the newly found parent will express interest in visiting then eventually staying with the parent that has custody. That's been my personal experience so take it for what it's worth.

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    Re: Mom finds missing children using Facebook

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Patriot View Post
    Two months ago, my daughter found me on Facebook after not seeing her for fourteen years. She's 16 now. Later today I actually get to see her and my wife and I are getting back together because we're still in love with each other. I, actually, got to talk to my daughter for the first time last night for several hours on the phone, but we had been corresponding over the past two months via Facebook and Yahoo Instant Messenger. At the end of the phone conversation my daughter told me that she loved me. It's taken a lot of patience, love, and understanding for both my daughter and I to get to this point.

    By rushing or forcing things, there's a good chance that the child will not want a relationship with the parent. It sucks, but it does happen and is entirely the choice of the child. Over time, though, the child will naturally wonder what happened for there to be such a long separation and will ask the parent questions. Be honest, but don't bash the other parent and definitely don't get the child into the position of being in the middle if the two parents cannot see eye to eye. A parent that is honest, without bashing, will earn their child's trust and the parent-child relationship will be able to blossom naturally. If a third party mediator is needed then so be it. The goal is reintegration of the parent with the child. A child that trusts the newly found parent will express interest in visiting then eventually staying with the parent that has custody. That's been my personal experience so take it for what it's worth.
    This is pretty much on target in what has been my experience in dealing with a few situations like this. Patience is key, and not involving the child in inner-parental issues in any way are key points, as is giving the child a lot of control over decision making.

    And congratulations on your ongoing re-unification. I hope it continues to procede in the positive way that it seems to be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    This is what I hate about politics the most, it turns people in snobbish egotistical self righteous dicks who allow their political beliefs, partisan attitudes, and 'us vs. them' mentality, to force them to deny reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Navy Pride View Post
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    See with you around Captain we don't even have to make arguments, as you already know everything .
    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalThought View Post
    Had you been born elsewhere or at a different time you may very well have chosen a different belief system.
    Quote Originally Posted by ernst barkmann View Post
    It a person has faith they dont need to convince another of it, and when a non believer is not interested in listening to the word of the lord, " you shake the dust from your sandels and move on"

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    Re: Mom finds missing children using Facebook

    Quote Originally Posted by Panache View Post
    16 and 17? Those kids are plenty old enough to decide for themselves whether to go or stay, and who they want to live with.
    Yeah. They're adults as far as I'm concerned. The only reason they couldn't stay with their father is that custodial interference is a crime; if he caught a suspended sentence-- say, under the condition that he not interfere with her visitation-- then I see little reason why they couldn't continue to live with him.

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    Re: Mom finds missing children using Facebook

    The father needs to do some time no doubt but if the kids dont want to be with their mother they should find a guardian to stay with while the dad serves time.
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    Re: Mom finds missing children using Facebook

    Quote Originally Posted by Korimyr the Rat View Post
    Tough call. It's a tough situation all around.

    I think you've got the right of it. The mother should have visitation and the children should live with a legal guardian while their father serves his sentence. There should probably be some leniency for the father, but custodial interference is still a crime and he still needs to serve his sentence.
    Why should there be leniency for the father?
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    Re: Mom finds missing children using Facebook

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Patriot View Post
    Two months ago, my daughter found me on Facebook after not seeing her for fourteen years. She's 16 now. Later today I actually get to see her and my wife and I are getting back together because we're still in love with each other. I, actually, got to talk to my daughter for the first time last night for several hours on the phone, but we had been corresponding over the past two months via Facebook and Yahoo Instant Messenger. At the end of the phone conversation my daughter told me that she loved me. It's taken a lot of patience, love, and understanding for both my daughter and I to get to this point.

    By rushing or forcing things, there's a good chance that the child will not want a relationship with the parent. It sucks, but it does happen and is entirely the choice of the child. Over time, though, the child will naturally wonder what happened for there to be such a long separation and will ask the parent questions. Be honest, but don't bash the other parent and definitely don't get the child into the position of being in the middle if the two parents cannot see eye to eye. A parent that is honest, without bashing, will earn their child's trust and the parent-child relationship will be able to blossom naturally. If a third party mediator is needed then so be it. The goal is reintegration of the parent with the child. A child that trusts the newly found parent will express interest in visiting then eventually staying with the parent that has custody. That's been my personal experience so take it for what it's worth.

    That is amazing and I wish you the best!! This other situation is difficult and will upheave the children's lives to some degree. What the father did was criminal and he deserves to pay for that. Also, what did he tell those children about their mother? Right now, I think decisions need to be made that are in the best interests of the children. If it were me, I'd move to Florida so that the kids' lives would be disrupted as little as possible. I agree, though. Patience is key.....
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    Re: Mom finds missing children using Facebook

    Many fictional books have been written on this subject.
    Recent bestsellers like Cavedweller by Dorothy Allison, and Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard, come to mind.
    In those stories, the kidnapped children are significantly younger than these children when returned to their mothers.
    Even so, massive adjustment problems ensue.

    One can only assume this scenario was common in the days before women had any real custodial rights, and in countries where they still don't.

    Personally, I don't think the State is going to be able to force 16 and 17-year-old individuals to do anything they don't want to do. A stranger does not become "family" because the law says so.

    Teenagers tend to lack the ability to empathize emotionally, especially with adults.
    When they're older, perhaps they'll understand that their mother was wronged and feel sorry for her, and seek out some kind of relationship with her.
    I think attempting to force a relationship, at this point, could only be detrimental.
    The teenagers no doubt feel that they are the victims here.
    She- this stranger- is the one who has created this massive upheaval in their lives; she's come into their lives uninvited, and turned them upside down. Their father is going to prison because of her, and they're probably going into foster care or some institution.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they hate her and wish she were dead.
    Last edited by 1069; 06-06-10 at 12:40 PM.

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