Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Update: Child Abduction Warning

The post detailing the horrific story of Somaya and her mother Peggy has been in the top ranked blogs on this page since it was written. It is a story that has gripped many people's hearts, not only because a mother was separated from her daughter, but because of the increasing number of women who face the same plight.

Many comments asked about updates on Peggy's situation; many other comments reflected women who were also fighting to regain custody of their child. From Peggy and Soraya's story a few valuable lessons should be learned.

1 - Ensure that you do as much research as possible when you are considering marrying someone of another culture - this goes for everyone. You don't want it to be too late before you realise that custom in Egypt for example, is that the Egyptian husband maintains custody of the child if the mother is a non-Muslim foreigner. It's one of the huge problems faced by many foreign women who's children is kidnapped, in the eyes of the legal system in Egypt the father is only reclaiming his natural rights to custody.

2 - Make sure that when you do have a child with your partner that all the legal paperwork is in place. Are you a foreigner? Did you have your child on Egyptian soil? Do you want your child to also bear the same nationality as you do? Contact a lawyer and make sure that everything is squared away before it's too late and all you can do is wonder "What if."

3 - Love is blind, but it doesn't mean your reason has to be. Sure, your Mohammed is different. Sure, you will live happily ever after. But there are enough stories out there to indicate that not all these 'love sagas' end happily, with many women feeling neglected and without options by the end of it. If your relationship does sour, and he's begging you to come back "just for one more visit," do so at your own discretion. You set the meeting place. You make sure that you have your affairs in order. And for goodness sake, do not go to the meeting alone.

With that being said, I do have some fantastic news to share as far as Peggy and Soraya's story goes. Mother and daughter have been reunited. For security concerns, Peggy is reluctant to share where she is now living and will have to watch her step for the coming few years until Soraya is at an appropriate age where she can make the decision for herself.

This is one story with a happy ending, and I for one am so glad to be able to provide this update for everyone.

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