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Soldier Fights for Custody of Baby He Didn't Father After Wife Sold Newborn on Facebook

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When Sergeant Steven Garcia, 24, left for his deployment to Seoul, South Korea, he had no idea that he would end up in a custody battle.

Like any parent would be, he was absolutely ecstatic when his wife, Marina, first told him that they were expecting.

Months later, however, he received the news that his child had died at birth.

Steven told KVOA News, “When my sister called me about that, it was pretty emotional. We cried quite a bit together over the phone. It was devastating.”

He had no reason not to believe his wife, but the disturbing truth soon would come out.

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Not only had Marina lied about the little boy’s death, but she had also sold the newborn to a couple she knew while she lived in California. She used Facebook Messenger to arrange the sale.

The truth didn’t stay hidden for long. Only three days after the infant was born, an Arizona state trooper pulled a car over for speeding on the interstate.



Alex and Leslie Hernandez of Kenedy, Texas, were inside of the car and were very nervous when the trooper began asking them questions. They eventually admitted that the baby in the car with them was not actually theirs.

They then told the story of how they gained possession of the baby and that Marina had forged the signature on the birth certificate so that it would look like Alex was the father.

Alex and Leslie Hernandez were both placed under probation for four years for forgery.

Marina pleaded guilty to a felony charge for forging the birth certificate and will receive her sentence in June 2018.

Unbelievably, what’s worse still is that Marina revealed the baby was not even Steven’s biological child, which was later confirmed by a paternity test.

“I was under the assumption the entire time that she was pregnant that I was the father,” he said. “When I found out I wasn’t, I was pretty upset. I was kind of in denial. I couldn’t believe what was going on.”

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Since then, Steven has filed for divorce and is trying to win custody of the child he once thought was his. A GoFundMe account has been set up by a family member to help cover the costs of Steven’s travel and legal expenses.

He’s so passionate about adopting the child because he too was adopted. “My adopted father completely changed my life. 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,” he said.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
Birthplace
Tennessee
Honors/Awards
Lifetime Member of the Girl Scouts
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
News, Crime, Lifestyle & Human Interest




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