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Kidnapped child readjusting to life with his family

Miguel was an infant when he was allegedly kidnapped by his babysitter. This past March authorities found him in East Texas and eight years after his disappearance, he was reunited with his biological parents in Houston. For now, Miguel is in foster care. His parents are working with therapists and psychologists to reacclimatize the boy to his real family, with the goal of obtaining permanent custody. Miguel has never known his mom and dad; the only family he knew was the babysitter who allegedly snatched him in 2004, and her mother.

It's not a question of whether Miguel's real parents are fit to raise him. The family court and the boy's court-appointed attorney say the therapy and foster care are intended to ease the shock of suddenly learning that the woman he called "mommy" since infancy isn't his real mother. Miguel's attorney says the child was told about his real family about a month ago. Since then, Miguel and his parents have been meeting at therapy sessions, getting to know each other. The attorney describes the youngster as "cautious" about embracing his birth parents but otherwise, "It's going well but it's going to take time."

Child Protective Services says the ultimate goal is reuniting Miguel with his real parents. But for five months after being found, the boy was kept away from his mom and dad on the advice of a therapist. The therapist cited the unusual circumstances of the case for delaying the reunion. By the end of this month Miguel's four siblings will be introduced to him, also in the presence of mental health professionals.

Eight year old Miguel had a lot of catching-up to do. Officials say when he was found, he had never been to school, could not read or write, and functioned at a pre-kindergarten level. After tutoring, Miguel is now in the second grade and doing well. The boy will remain with his foster family until at least January, when the next court hearing will be held.

Source: The Associated Press, "Miguel Morin, Texas boy kidnapped eight years ago now seeing parents," Juan Lozano, Sep. 12, 2012

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