04 Aug 2011

The Author

Author of the award-winning book Finding Fernanda. Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Redux Pictures photographer. Read more here.


8/4/11: DNA Test Matches Adopted Child “Karen Abigail” and Guatemalan Birth Mother Loyda Rodríguez

After skimming through some of the comments on the AP article about the “Karen Abigail” situation, I know that there’s been a lot of questions pertaining to whether or not a DNA test has been done between the child in question and Loyda Rodríguez. To the best of my knowledge, the adoptive family, the Monahans, have not been cooperative. On the Guatemalan side, however, a sample of DNA from Loyda Rodríguez has been compared to that on file with US testing facility LabCorp for “Karen Abigail,” who is now in Missouri.

The results? According to La Fundación de Antropología Forense Guatemala (FAFG), Loyda Rodríguez and”Karen Abigail” are a 99.6% match for maternity.

I took these photos during one of my reporting trips to Guatemala for “Finding Fernanda.”


  1. Erin.. Pardon me for asking- because I have not stayed up to date on this case.. Did they process her adoption as a relinquishment or an abandonment? Betsy told me to check out Susana’s blog about this but I couldn’t find it and quite frankly, her writing makes my eyes bleed.

  2. To the best of my knowledge, the child was first processed as a relinquishment, and what that didn’t work because of the DNA mismatch, she was brought to Judge Peralta in Escuintla to be declared “abandoned.”

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