A Florida man is fighting to get custody of his ailing 2-year old ailing daughter who was taken to Syria without his consent. Fuat Kircaali, a 51-year old United States citizen, has spent more than a year in a nasty custody battle across various states and three different countries.
Kircaali lost custody of his daughter, in June of 2010, when he took her to Istanbul to consult with his sister, an expert in autism and and child psychology. When he was in Turkey, the child’s mother, Racha, visited with the child. Racha had returned to her native in Syria in 2010 after her U.S. tourist visa had expired. The parties were never married.
Kircaali then agreed to let the child stay with Racha while he flew back to the United States with the understanding that Racha would return the child to him at the U.S. Consulate in Instanbul two weeks later.
However, Racha never showed up for her appointment at the U.S. Consulate in Instanbul. Kircaali is concerned about the health of his duaghter who does not have adequate medical care. Kircaali cites that his daughter cannot speak and does not understand basic gestures. He believes that she requires intensive therapy during the first three years of her life, but Racha disagrees.
The problem is that Syria is not a part of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Syrian development is the last in a child custody battle that has gone on between the parents.
Both parents had previously been involved in custody litigation involving custody of the child in Illinois and Florida before Mother had gone back to Syria, while leaving the child with Kircaali. The problem is that with Syria not being part of the Hague Convention, the child may never be returned to the United States, despite being a citizen.
The article talks about how Kircaali might have been in a better position had he married Racha or obtained a formal court order granting him custody. However, the child is a United States citizen and Racha may have committed a federal crime in abducting the child and interfering with Kircaali’s relationship with his child.
Fox News, “Florida Man Fights for Return of Ailing Duaghter Sent to Syria by Mother,” Daniel Macedo, 4 April 2011.