A notable actor/comedian’s impending divorce has also revealed a bizarre child custody case involving a seven-year-old South African girl the couple raised for several years. The girl has lived with the actor and his now-estranged wife since she was six months old. The core of the dispute in the child custody case stems from the fact that the couple did not legally adopt the girl. Officials in both the U.S. and South Africa are investigating the child’s legal status.
Details of the Child Custody Case
The couple filed for divorce nearly a year ago. They are also currently entangled in a child custody case involving their two biological daughters, ages 13 and 11. The couple allowed the girl, an infant at the time, to live with them since 2008. The couple reportedly raised the girl as she was their own child, even though evidence in the child custody case shows that they did not enact legal adoption procedures. The girl’s birth parents were reportedly unemployed when their daughter went to stay with the couple, but reports have yet to reveal if they gave the child up for adoption.
Child Custody Case and Immigration Status
The child custody case also called into question the girl’s immigration status. Sources within the actor’s camp informed the celebrity news web site TMZ that the actor’s wife brought up the idea to her then-husband of bringing the child into their home, but that he never signed any adoption papers. According to the actor’s wife’s attorney, “The child is in the country lawfully with the written consent of her birth parents” and that she is currently the child’s primary caregiver.
Child Custody Case in Legal Limbo
The curious circumstances of the girl’s status, both as a U.S. resident and as a member of the family, have brought extra attention to this child custody case. The actor’s representatives maintain that he does not have an adoptive child. the actor’s wife’s attorney told reporters that her adoption of the girl “is not yet finalized,” but that the adoption “is actively in process under the rigorous guidelines and safeguards of international adoption policy.”
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NOTE: This post is a news story and does not imply an endorsement of Arguello Law Firm by any concerned parties mentioned herein.