Archive for December, 2009

Why Jean Paul Lacombe should not be a poster child for the “protective parent” movement

I was recently made aware of the case of the missing child Jean Paul Lacombe. He was abducted by his father, Juan Lacombe Vega, which on paper sounds typical enough. However, his father got temporary custody by presenting the court with phony documents. And he had previously abducted his son to France after custody was turned over to his mother. That’s pretty brazen, but not totally out of the realm of possibility. When Jean Paul was turned over to his father, it was videotaped and he protested he didn’t want to go.

And now this case is being cited by the dubious “protective mother parent” movement as a case that somehow vindicates their theory that mothers who abduct only do so to save children from evil abusive fathers. Which is problematic in several ways. First, Vega didn’t win permanent custody in court; he got a temporary order which was rescinded the minute they found out he had used forged documents. Second, the only abductor in the case is Vega and he had a previous abduction under his belt. Third, there is no evidence I have seen that indicates the mother claimed abuse or that she was ever denied custody for reasons of “false abuse accusations.”

The case is a tragedy, and I wish for Jean Paul to be with his mother again as soon as possible. But if this case is supposed to somehow validate the mother-the-hero-abductor movement, it is doing so under shaky ground of their own theories.

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Father reunited with his abducted daughter

Father reunited with daughter after mother leaves country with her

SAN ANTONIO — A Christmas miracle for a father who has been searching for his daughter for nearly two years. Nine-year-old Camille Kaufman, taken by her mother in 2008 in Boerne, has been found. She is finally back home with her father in their new home in Houston.

The search for her was a very long, grueling and emotional one. It took Galen and investigators all the way down to the jungles of Costa Rica. After months of investigating, Galen and detectives found Camille and her mother, Lynanne Foster, hiding out with her boyfriend, Lance Brauer, and his family.

This link was provided in a previous post about Camille. Both this and some articles written before Camille was found indicate that her mother was behaving strangely before her abduction and was worried about such things as “chips implanted in children.” That is a typical psychotic delusion, and while psychosis is not always present in abductors, some could very well have that affliction. I suspected from the first write-up I did of the case there was more to it than I knew; most parents who have a joint custody agreement that allows for essentially equal time and has gone on for several years, as Camille’s mother and father had, do not suddenly abduct their children. (And of course a lot of the comments seem to imply Mom did it for a good reason, despite the fact that her mother’s complaints were about the United States and not her ex-husband.) Apparently her mother remains in Costa Rica; she will be arrested if she leaves the country. I do hope that she does that, and not merely out of a desire for punishment; children need both parents in their lives if they are fit.

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Article on the Matusiewicz case

The untold tale of family abductions: Three girls missing, an international hunt

Christine Belford agreed to let her ex-husband take their three daughters to Disney World for a two-week vacation. In August 2007, the Delaware mother kissed her little blond girls goodbye.

Those two weeks were unsettling for Belford, then 34. The couple went through a bitter divorce in 2006 which resulted in joint custody of the children. Belford said when the girls were with their dad, they were always difficult to reach.

Two days into the trip, Belford connected by cell phone with her oldest daughter, Laura, then 5. Already homesick, chubby-faced Laura cried as her father checked them into a hotel room.

“I want to come home,” Laura pleaded with her mother.

But Laura and her sisters wouldn’t return to their Delaware home for 19 months.

Of course, to anyone who follows this blog, tales like this are hardly untold: they’re dealt with on an almost daily basis. The fact her kids lost weight and didn’t get medical treatment is also something I am no longer shocked by. The article mentions he’s facing thirty years in prison, but he’s also facing charges of bank fraud in addition to international parental kidnapping. He has thankfully pleaded guilty. And the eldest daughter is still dealing with issues from being told her mother was dead, which I predicted. My hopes for this bringing the problem of family abduction to the greater public is still there, but my realism tells me there will probably never be such a case.

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