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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -
Mexican authorities will not let a Fresno mother bring her kids back to the United States, for now.
KMPH has been following the ongoing saga of seven Fresno boys in Mexico, thought to be victims of kidnapping and human trafficking.
The investigation is no longer focused on whether any crime has been committed; rather, this has become an investigation into whether the mother of the 7 kids is a fit parent.
Three are her own and four are adopted.
The Attorney General's Office in Mexico tells KMPH, this all started when Alejandra Martinez sent her kids to Mexico more than seven months ago.
At the time she felt she could no longer care for them.
Last week, two of the boys were found outside a Guadalajara convenience store.
At the time, Romeo and Damian Martinez told Mexican reporters "mean people" kidnapped them from their grandma's house – but things didn't add up.
Mexican officials removed a total of 7 kids from "grandma's home" and put them into protective custody as a criminal investigation into possible human trafficking began.
But now, the boys' mother has come forward, and is in Mexico trying to get her kids back.
The Jalisco Attorney General's Office says, in a sworn statement, Alejandra Martinez told them she sent the kids to Mexico to learn Spanish and "because of economic reasons, she couldn't afford to raise them in the U.S. any longer, and was hoping her situation would improve."
She adopted four kids, and already had three of her own.
She told Mexican authorities, she had a foster home in Fresno but then she started falling short on money and "things got complicated. She said she decided to make the 'humanitarian gesture' of adopting the kids instead of letting them stay in the foster care system."
Martinez adopted three of the boys nearly 10 years ago. A local adoption expert says, that adoption would not have gone through today.
"In the past the regulations were a little broader, now the state the regulations are you cannot have more than 6 children in your home, including your own children. So she would not be able to adopt that many children today," said Stephanie Grant, executive director of Infant of Prague Adoption agency in Fresno.
Grant says Martinez would have had to meet several requirements to go through with the adoption.
"Really for adoptive parents, they really have to jump through a lot of hoops," said Grant.
A social worker would have visited the home, making sure there is space, and observing whether she had the ability to care for the kids.
Martinez would also have to pass a psycho–social evaluation.
"Maybe 10 years ago, things were very different for her, and we don't have a crystal ball to look into the future to see how people are going to behave," said Grant.
For now, the boys are at a foster home in Mexico, while the U.S. Consulate looks into whether Martinez is capable of taking care of her kids.
The Jalisco Attorney General's Office tells KMPH, "It has not been found that she harmed the children. But the investigation will continue over the treatment of the kids in the home where they had been staying. Right now they are in a good environment, at the foster home."
If Martinez is found to be 'unfit' to care for the kids, it will be up to the U.S. government to decide where they will go next.
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