Inside the Messy Fight to Adopt a 9/11 Victim's Child
Claire Gorayeb has been in long legal battle with girl's biological father
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2013 10:55 AM CDT
Names of victims are shown at the 9/11 Memorial in New York.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

(Newser) – When Catherine Gorayeb died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, the single mom left a 2-year-old behind. Her sister, Claire—three months pregnant herself—immediately moved from Boston to New York City to take care of Gorayeb's daughter, was quickly appointed her niece's legal guardian, and started the process of adopting her in 2004. But nearly a decade later, she's still fighting to adopt the girl, now 14. DNAinfo explains why: Edward Kranz, the banker whose fling with Catherine Gorayeb resulted in her pregnancy, showed a sudden interest in his daughter after learning in 2004 that her mother died in the Twin Towers—despite the fact that he had initially denied fathering the girl, then gave up his custody rights in January 2000 so that he wouldn't have to pay child support after a DNA test showed he was likely the father.

In addition to Kranz, a further complication involves a court-appointed guardian who has been scrutinizing how Claire Gorayeb used the nearly $2 million her niece was awarded from the 9/11 victims compensation fund: $900,000 was spent on an Upper West Side apartment (it's in both her and her niece's name). DNAinfo notes that less than two weeks after the girl was awarded the money, Kranz, who filed for bankruptcy that same year, resurfaced. He explains his long absence by saying he hadn't planned on reaching out to her til she turned five. Today, Kranz and Gorayeb will both be in Manhattan Surrogate's Court for a best interest hearing; Kranz says the adoption shouldn't go forward because Gorayeb hasn't allowed him to visit his child.

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
fandancy
May 15, 2013 10:19 PM CDT
It sounds like she pretty much got screwed when it comes to father and aunt.
$28919642
May 15, 2013 1:17 PM CDT
This mutt will suck the blood money out of her, & then dump the kid at the curb. He probably has an electronic funds transfer all set up, so he could get the kid, dump her 2 blocks from the courthouse, & then scramble for a jet out of the country, all in one smooth motion.
cognitivefilter
May 15, 2013 12:57 PM CDT
the only thing to criticize here is the father who gave up custody rights to avoid paying child support, now that he's got a (long) shot at the child's money, he wants to step back in. A good judge won't have to spend much time making the right decision in the kid's best interest.