An Italian national and a former Taiwanese flight attendant are embroiled in a custody dispute over their 8-year-old daughter, who was born out of wedlock in 2014. Initially, the Taiwanese Court had ruled that the child should spend her winter and summer breaks in Italy with her father and have weekly video calls with him. However, this was recently overturned by the Taiwanese Supreme Court, thus removing the obligation for the child to travel to Italy for reunion with her father.
The court’s initial order allowed the father to have custody of the daughter for 10 days during the winter break and 30 days during the summer break. However, the father is now distressed as he hasn’t been able to see his daughter for years. He can’t even ensure that a letter sent to his daughter arrives without interference.
The custody battle has been fraught with tension, leading to over ten lawsuits in both Italy and Taiwan. Initially, the daughter lived in Italy with her father, but was brought back to Taiwan by her mother without the father’s consent. In 2018, the Taiwanese Court ruled that the flight attendant should be the primary caregiver and that the father shouldn’t take the child abroad without her consent. Ironically, in January 2022, the court ruled that the father had obtained sole custody rights to his daughter – a significant victory for the Italian. Despite the ruling, the father still faces enormous obstacles in communicating with his daughter.
The letter, shared in distress by the Italian father with an unnamed friend, seems to serve as a love letter in case he cannot see his daughter again – according to the translation from ChatGPT:
The letter, written in Taiwanese, is as follows:
親愛的小祤倢，我最愛的Elena： 爸爸真的很想你很愛你。 還記得你跟爸爸說，寒假你想回義大利看看小馬、跟爸爸一起上騎馬的課程嗎？還記得你跟爸爸說，你想回來義大利跟爸爸一起做披薩，還要爸爸幫你買材料回來嗎？還記得你跟爸爸說，想要跟爸爸一起拜訪你在義大利的朋友、老師嗎？這些對爸爸來說都好珍貴，尤其是最後，爸爸問你寒假回義大利才短短的十天，除了這些你還要什麼？你甜甜的笑說：「我只要你的愛。」你知道嗎，當你講完這句話後，爸爸眼淚就一直掉下來，然後開始每天充滿期待的倒數你回來日子，在我們生分離5年多的日子裡，我每天都相信你會回來，我們可以有短暫的形影不離，我一直相信這是神給的奇蹟。 我跟媽媽為了你而打官司了5年，這5年間爸爸跟你面對面接觸只有見過1次面，但爸爸沒有一天放棄過，一直想找機會讓你能有再踏上你的故鄉—義大利—的機會，我好怕你忘記我，我怕我老了，歲月與白髮追上了我，我無法與你一起分享你的成長與我的生命歷程，你是台灣人，也是義大利人，義大利有美麗的風景、美味的食物，最重要的是，義大利有我們共同的回憶、足跡。 爸爸無意間在臉書(Facebook)上，發現你的鋼琴發表，你表現的太棒了，謝謝你這麼努力，爸爸為你而驕傲，雖然爸爸只能透過別人的分享才能看到妳的表演，但，只要能看到你，再一次好好抱抱你，牽著你的手去走我們曾經的踏過的石階，那怕是一分鐘也好，再讓爸爸好好的牽著我的小珍珠，我的心肝寶貝，我的女兒。 謝謝你補習班的老師公布了你的鋼琴表演，雖然我不認識他，但我還是要謝謝老師，因為這個影片，讓爸爸知道，我的小珍珠，現在已經長的這麼漂亮、這麼有才華。 爸爸希望，神守護你的善良、優雅與智慧，也希望神能守護我們永恆的親情。 藍大衛 Davide Ramponi 2023.06