Soldier fights for custody over the baby his wife gave away at birth
Army Sgt. Steven Garcia is persistent in gaining custody of the baby, who is not his, after his soon-to-be former wife gave the infant away at birth.
Sergeant Garcia, who is deployed in South Korea, had an interview via Skype with News 4 Tucson and for the first time, he talked about the case battle involving him, his wife, and her baby.
The soldier admitted that he was upset the moment he found out he was not the biological father of the child. He was in denial.
After the birth on February 2, 2018, Sergeant Garcia’s wife, Marina Garcia, told his sister that the baby was a girl and had died at birth.
Sergeant Garcia was devastated when he heard the news and was emotional.
Although, it was later learned that Marina had lied about the child. The baby is alive and is a boy and not a girl.
On February 5th, an officer of the Arizona Department Public Safety stopped a car for speeding. The people inside the car was a couple in their 40’s, Alex and Leslie Hernandez. Together with them was a newborn baby boy.
The officer noticed that the couple looked very nervous and eventually admitted that they were not the parents.
It was found out that Marina talked the couple into forging the baby’s birth certificate stating that Alex was the father.
Marina was friends with the couple and had met when they lived in California.
The mother was found by News 4 Tucson investigators at a Sierra Vista apartment. She declined to answer the questions but confessed that Sergeant Garcia is not the biological father and that the real father is unidentified.
DNA tests showed that Sergeant Garcia is indeed not the real father. He went on to file for divorce from his wife who is seven years older than him.
Despite him not being the biological father, Sergeant Garcia said that he wants custody of the child.
Being an adopted son himself, he wants to take care of the baby and had gone into debt when he traveled to the U.S. just to visit the baby.
Marina was insistent during the interview with News 4 Tucson that Sergeant Garcia is not going to get custody of the baby.
She pleaded guilty to forging the birth certificate of her child. As for Alex and Leslie, they also pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit forgery. They have each been sentenced to four years of supervised probation.
At present, the baby is in foster care. Sergeant Garcia’s cousin set up a GoFundMe page to help with the soldier’s legal and travel fees.
Sergeant Garcia remains persistent in getting custody and said that he hopes that someday the baby will call him, “Dad.”