Law: Border Battle

A child is torn

In legal jargon she is called Baby Girl, Alien No. A21324657. The day after she was born to a Mexican mother in a Tijuana hospital, she was carried away by an American couple. Adopted, say the couple; kidnaped, says the mother. In the six years since then, a bitter, tangled legal battle has been fought over the custody of the bright and friendly child, piling up proceedings in seven U.S. courts alone and calling for Solomonic choices between two families, two nationalities, two cultures.

The mother is Angela Macias-Rosales, 34, who, with her common-law husband, runs a small restaurant...

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