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Father fights for return of 2-year-old daughter in Syria

Last week we wrote about a father whose 5-year-old daughter was returned to him after his former wife abducted the child and hid in Germany for ten months. Even though the young girl was taken by her mother, the child custody agreement for the girl was violated and the mother now faces a felony charge. Another father faces a similar scenario where his 2-year-old daughter has been taken by her mother to Syria in violation of the parents' child custody order.

Over the last year the 51-year-old father from Florida has been in engaged in a child custody battle involving multiple U.S. states and countries. The last time the father saw his little girl was in June 2010 when he left his daughter in the care of her mother for a short stay while in Istanbul, Turkey. The father and daughter traveled to Turkey to visit the father's sister who is an expert in autism and child psychology. In the U.S. the 2-year-old had been diagnosed with a serious developmental condition called Global Development Delay and perhaps autism. The pair traveled to get a second opinion.

While in Turkey the 2-year-old girl was visited by her mother. The mother returned to her native country Syria in March 2010 after her U.S. tourist visa expired. The father and mother had agreed that the mother would stay in Turkey with their daughter until arrangements were made for a new visa to return to the United States. The father returned to the United States with the expectation the mother and his daughter would return in two weeks, but the two never returned.

Instead, the mother took the 2-year-old girl to Syria where they remain. The father worries about the girl's health and her development. He says his 2-year-old daughter needs therapy for her condition and fears she will not receive any because the mother and her family are in denial. The State Department is assisting with the return of the girl and the father has visited his daughter twice since the parental abduction. No progress has been made in the 2-year-old's return.

Source: FoxNews.com, "Exclusive: Florida man fights for return of ailing daughter taken to Syria by mom without his permission," Diane Macedo, 4/4/11

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