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Reuniting with His Daughter Not as Easy as He Thought

May 8th, 2009 by Robert Franklin, Esq.

I posted a piece about Frank Gonis on April 22nd (See, “Canadian Man’s Daughter Found After Two Years.”)  He’s the Montreal man who was embroiled in a custody dispute with his ex-wife.  The Quebec court awarded custody to him and she took the girl and fled.  Two years later, the girl, now ten years old, escaped from her mother’s care in Vancouver, walked several miles to a train station and called the police.

So the father had custody by court order and the wife committed a crime by kidnapping the girl.  There’s a criminal warrant out for her in Quebec and authorities are working on getting British Columbia to enforce the warrant. 

Now here‘s the latest (CBC, 5/1/09).

The father traveled to British Columbia to get custody of his daughter who is in the care of child protective services.  He ran into a stone wall.  “‘We get there, [the mother] got a lawyer, and before we even get started, they say they’re going to try to tie it up for as long as they can,’ he told CBC.”  And sure enough, he was only able to speak briefly to her on the telephone.

And predictably, it looks like Parental Alienation Syndrome may be playing a part.

“He believes she’s been brainwashed, he said. ‘Clear and simple. Because even when she was small, she used to say, ‘Mommy says bad things about you; when I’m with mommy, I say bad things about you.’”

It’s a bout between the gatekeeping mother in one corner, and the fathers’ rights and the child’s best interests in the other.  Rounds one and two are over, and there’s the bell for round three…

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