A Non-Commissioned officer stationed in South Korea is trying to get custody of “his” baby back home, after his wife gave the newborn away and claimed it had perished.
Army Military Police Sergeant Steven Garcia is currently fighting for custody of his child after his soon-to-be ex-wife, Marina Garcia, gave the baby to a family and told everyone that the baby had died during childbirth.
“When my sister called me about that, it was pretty emotional. We cried quite a bit together over the phone,” SGT Garcia said. “It was devastating.”
However, only a few days after the baby boy was born, an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper stopped a car for speeding on the interstate. Inside the vehicle were a couple -identified as Alex and Leslie Hernandez of Kenedy, Texas.
Also inside the vehicle was a newborn boy.
The trooper noticed that the Hernandez’ were nervous, and upon further questioning discovered that the couple “conspired with the birth mother, who was identified verbally as Marina Garcia, to forge the signature as the father to take possession of the infant child.”
The Hernandez family were old friends of Marina Garcia, who, according to Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre, had options to legally abandon the baby.
“The only thing on her mind was getting rid of this child,” said McIntyre. “This ‘problem’ in her life. What scares me is that if it hadn’t been the Hernandez’, if the couple hadn’t been willing to step forward, then what person off the Internet might have been next?”
When asked by News 4 Tucson reporters, Marina said her husband was not the father, though she didn’t actually know who the paternal father was.
Despite a DNA test showing that Garcia is not the father, the NCO wants the child. As it turns out, he was adopted at a young age and wants to “pay it forward” to this little boy.
“My adopted father completely changed my life,” he said. “Without him I would not be where I am today. And for the opportunity to do that for someone else, I believe it’s important. It could change the child’s life and give him a better future and I believe that’s the right thing to do.”
Marina Garcia pleaded guilty to the felony charge of attempted scheme to defraud by forging the birth certificate and will be sentenced next month.
The mother of the child is seven years older than her 24-year-old Army husband and does not want him to get custody of the baby.
When asked by reporters what he could say to his ex if he could speak to her, his answer was pretty simple.
“I would just ask her, ‘Why?’ Why she lied about everything,” he said. “I want to know what was going through her head, to be honest with you.”
The baby is currently in foster care, but Sergeant Garcia isn’t giving up- even if it costs him a small fortune, he wants the child he hopes to one day call “son.”
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