A family court judge in Florida ruled that a baby girl would be placed in the legal custody of her biological father. The judge also ruled the the father could leave the country with the infant, returning to his native Cuba. The child’s mother died during childbirth, and the infant must be cleared medically before she can travel.
A cousin of the mother, with whom she had been living prior to the birth, had temporary custody of the infant. The cousin was keeping the baby until a judge made a custody decision. The cousin told the court that the mother of the baby did not want her children to grow up in Cuba. The woman already had a 15-year-old daughter. The judge ruled that the older child would be permitted to travel to Cuba to visit her new sister.
The cousin told reporters that she took custody of the child so that the baby would not be placed in foster care. Until paternity was determined, the child would not have been placed with who has now been determined to be her father. The case has similarities to the long-ago case of Elian Gonzalez, the child found in the waters of the Florida coast in 1999.
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