Thursday, January 27, 2011

Missouri Supreme Court Judges Ruled Lower Court Erred In Ending Bail Romero's Parental Rights

Carlos (Carlitos), Encarnacion Bail Romero's son in 2007.

Supreme court remanded case to lower court to correct error and illegal adoption of undocumented mother's child by U.S. couple.

By H. Nelson Goodson
January 27, 2011

Carthage, Missouri - On Tuesday, the Missouri State Supreme Court ruled that the lower court erred and illegally allowed a U.S. couple to adopt a child taken away from an undocumented woman from Guatemala. Encarnación Bail Romero, 35, had her 6-month-old child taken away and put into adoption after she was arrested during a raid at a poultry processing plant in 2007. She was working at George's Inc. when she was taken into custody along with 136 undocumented workers by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Romero was detained and charged for identity theft and returning to the U.S. after she had been deported. She served two years in prison.
The Missouri Supreme Court decided that "The trial court plainly erred by entering judgment on the adoption petition and terminating (the) mother's parental rights without complying with the investigation and reporting requirements... The trial court's judgment terminating (the) mother's parental rights, allowing the adoption to proceed without (the) mother's consent to the adoption, and granting of the adoption, although supported by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence on the record, is reversed. The cause is remanded for a new trial in which (the) adoptive parents and (the) mother will have the opportunity to present evidence on all claims in all counts of the petition that pertain to (the) mother," wrote Judge Patricia Breckenridge for the court's decision.
Judge Micheal Wolff who ruled with the seven judges to reverse the lower court adoption decision to end Romero's parental rights wrote, that there was no evidence Romero neglected her child before he was adopted. Wolff agreed that Romero's child should be returned to her immediately.
Carlos who is Romero's child or Jamison as named by the adoption parents Seth and Melinda Moser, continues to live with them. They had appealed the case in the state Supreme Court after Romero had won the case when a judge ruled in 2010 that the Mosers adoption of Carlos was invalid.
The judge ruled, that Jasper County Judge David C. Dally didn't have legal authority to end the parental rights of Romero and to give her son Carlos to the Mosers in 2008, Southern District Court of Appeals ruled.
In 2008, Jasper County Judge Dally ended Romero's parental rights for neglect and abandonment and failed to follow legal procedures in adoption proceedings. Romero never consented or allowed for her son to be put up for adoption by Jennifer and Oswaldo Velasco who were taking care of him at the time, while she was serving time for being in the country illegally. Romero had requested for Carlos to be put in a foster home until she would be released, but Judge Dally denied Romero's request and allowed the Mosers to illegally adopt Carlos.
ICE has stayed Romero's deportation until February 2012, so she can continue to fight for the return of her child, according to her Attorney Omar Riojas from Seattle.
Romero who lives in Carthage, Missouri hasn't seen her son Carlos, now 4-years-old since 2007. She has a 13-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter in Guatemala. Romero hopes to get time to visit her child within days for the first time.
She is confident that Carlos will be returned to her.
Other immigration cases where children were taken away from undocumented mothers. In Nebraska, Maria Luz Cute of Guatemala was awarded parential rights of her U.S. born daughter Angelica and son Daniel after they were taken away and put in a foster home, when she was arrested on April 2005 for lying to an officer. A neighbor called police when it was notice her daughter was sick and she wasn't taken for medical treatment. When police investigated, she told police she was the baby sitter for fear of being deported. She was arrested and later deported. In 2008 Cute lost her parential rights, but appealed. The Nebraska Supreme Court reversed the decision to take her children.
There are countless cases where state judges decide undocumented parents are unsuitable to care for their children due to there situations.
Parents enter the U.S. illegally to seek a better future for their families and children. It seems, state judges take advantage of the undocumented status and makes it easier for U.S. couples to adopt U.S. born children taken away from their undocumented parents.

Encarnacion Bail Romero July 21, 2010 appeals case at link:
Children removed from undocumented parents and put for adoption video and Maria Luz Cute news video at

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