An oral surgeon who waged a bitter court battle over the right to visit his daughter said Tuesday that he has not stopped fighting to have the child -- now living in New Zealand with her mother -- returned to the United States.
“I just feel it’s better for her that I don’t engage in a full-blown court battle,” Dr. Eric Foretich said of his 7-year-old daughter, Hilary. “Let the immigration officials in New Zealand decide.”
“The case is proceeding in the family court,” Foretich’s New Zealand attorney, Rodney Hansen, told the New Zealand Press Assn.
The press association earlier quoted Foretich as saying he was giving up his battle and was resigning himself to Hilary living in New Zealand with her mother, Elizabeth Morgan.
Morgan, a plastic surgeon, hid Hilary in New Zealand to evade a Washington judge’s 1987 order allowing Foretich to visit her. Morgan was imprisoned for 25 months for defying the order. She has accused her former husband of sexually abusing Hilary, a charge he denies.
Foretich went to New Zealand in February to see Hilary for the first time in three years after learning that the child was living in Christchurch with her maternal grandparents.
Foretich maintains that the girl should be returned to the United States. Morgan has sought permanent residence in New Zealand to stay with her daughter.