Metalwala Campaign Update: Father Wins Custody of Daughter, Only 1 Hurdle Remains
Solomon Metalwala's 2-year-old
disappeared while in the custody of his estranged wife Julia Biryukova
a month ago. Since then, everyone's focus has been on the search for
Sky, as it should be. We speculate that Sky has been stashed with a
relative in Ukraine, Biryukova's native country, but nobody really
knows. We hope that Sky is safe and that he will be reunited with his
father as soon as possible.
|Solomon Metalwala (right) and his attorney Clay Terry, Esq. (left) won custody of Solomon's daughter Maile at the Monday 12/5/11 hearing.
When Sky disappeared, Washington Department of Social and Health
Services seized Maile Metalwala, the 4-year-old daughter of Solomon
Metalwala, away from her unfit mother, Julia Biryukova, and put Maile
in foster care. It is a common but unjust practice for child welfare
agencies to put children in foster care instead of giving them to their
fathers. Moreover, the Washington court separated Maile from Solomon
based on spurious abuse allegations from a now thoroughly discredited
A week ago Fathers and Families launched our Campaign
to Reunite Solomon Metalwala with His Daughter Maile.
Our goal has been to push WA DSHS and King County Superior Court to
reunite Maile and Solomon as soon as possible. Many of our members and
supporters wrote and/or called the relevant authorities, and our
campaign has been covered by much of the Seattle media. DSHS issued a
statement in response to our campaign on Friday.
We are now pleased to report that, in part because Washington
Department of Social and Health Services is now supportive of Solomon's custody bid,
Solomon has won custody of Maile, and will likely be reunited with her soon.
From Seattle KING 5 News' Solomon
Metalwala one step away from regaining custody of Sky's sister
|F & F Executive Director Glenn Sacks tells KIRO TV in Seattle "We need to get this little girl out of the foster care system and back with the father she loves and needs."
King County Court Commissioner on Monday granted custody of Sky
Metalwala's 4-year-old sister to her father, Solomon Metalwala, pending
the removal of a protection order in another court.
decision was made at a hearing in Kent, where Solomon petitioned in
person for full custody of his daughter, Maile, citing Sky's
court advocate and an assistant state attorney arguing for DSHS agreed
with Metalwala. The commissioner granted Biryukova visitation rights,
under strict guidelines. Metalwala will gain custody once a restraining
order that previously kept him away from the children is vacated...
the custody, the wrong parent might have won, and I'm not sure based on
the record I've seen, we can't establish domestic violence in the
relationship. The mother has very profound mental health issues," said
Tony Masco, assistant state attorney.
attorney will ask a judge Monday or Tuesday to drop the existing
restraining order, clearing the way for Maile to be home for Christmas.
We commend DSHS for its position and salute Clay Terry, Esq.,
Solomon's attorney, for his determined work towards reuniting Maile
Terry told KIRO TV in Seattle on Friday that he "appreciates" Fathers and Families' efforts.
We thank the Seattle TV
stations KIRO and KING 5, KOMO News Radio,
and the numerous other Seattle media outlets who covered our campaign
for helping to highlight this important child custody issue. We also thank the Washington Domestic Violence Commission for their assistance.