Father claims return of newborn girl in Miami

A Cuban who affirms being the father of a newborn, whose mother died during childbirth in a Miami hospital last March 2, is claiming the custody of the baby that a cousin of the deceased in the U.S. city is also disputing, in a case that recalls that of Elián González.

The deceased mother, Yarisleidi Rodríguez, arrived in Florida last October 6 in the last months of her pregnancy, with the intention of giving birth to her baby in the United States, but she died during childbirth in Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, local sources reported.

The young Cuban woman never gave the hospital the name of the father, which is why, according to the medical center’s administration, it was obligated to accept her cousin, Nairobis Pacheco, as the person responsible for the temporary custody of the baby girl, according to a document obtained by the Univisión 23 channel.

The hospital alleges that a judge decided that the temporary custody of the newborn be granted to Pacheco.

But Yoelvis Gattorno, who lives in Cuba, affirms he is the father of the baby, which is hospitalized in intensive care, and is claiming her custody.

According to El Nuevo Herald, Gattorno explained to the Caracol 1260 station that the reason that his name doesn’t appear in any of the hospital’s documents is because his wife registered herself as a single mother for the birth to cost less.

“What that baby has is her father, which is me, who is here and is ready to give everything to be with that baby…. She (Pacheco) his forbidding me to have my daughter,” he said in a videoconference with Univisión 23.

The cousin, who is requesting the custody of the baby girl after the death of the mother, presented to Jackson Memorial Hospital a lawsuit for mal practice.

“She must have placed the lawsuit saying she is very affected by the loss of my wife and a few pesos is not what is going to give me back my wife, but rather they are distancing me from my daughter,” said Gattorno.

Now the father is seeking legal aid to get the baby’s custody and he says he is ready to do everything in his power to be with his daughter.

“I have a right to have that baby,” he affirms. “My wish is to be with that baby.”

Darren J. Rousso, Pacheco’s attorney, in a press release on Telemundo 51 commented that if it hadn’t been for his client’s procedures “the baby would have ended under the custody of the State instead of the care of a family member who loves her.”

Rousso said that a court will decide “what is most convenient for the girl and that is the only concern” of his client.

It is a painful situation that has some similarities to the case of the raft boy Elián González, who survived the shipwreck in 1999 of a vessel of illegal immigrants in which his mother, Elizabeth Brotons, died as well as another 10 persons when they were trying to reach the coasts of Florida.

Elián was rescued from the sea by U.S. fishermen and handed over in Miami to some relatives in a temporary custody.

The small shipwrecked boy returned to Cuba on June 28, 2000 after then U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno, ordered the so-called “Operation Reunion.”

Federal marshals from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service took Elián González out of the home of his relatives in Miami and that same day handed him over to his father, who a while later returned to Cuba with his son.

EFE / OnCuba



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