In a controversial case that involved the rights of illegal immigrants and their young children, a Guatemalan mother lost her effort today to get back the five-year old son who was taken away from her after her arrest on immigration charges and put up for adoption in Missouri despite her objections.
A Missouri judge ruled the boy should stay with the Missouri couple, Melinda and Seth Moser, who took him into their home five years ago while his mother was in federal custody, where she attempted in vain to oppose the adoption proceedings.
“Nobody could help me because I don’t speak English,” said Encarnacion Bail Romero in an interview with ABC News.
The child, born as Carlos but renamed Jamison by the Mosers, has been with his adoptive parents in Carthage, Missouri since the age of 11 months.
The judge said the biological mother had no rights to even see her child, according to the mother’s lawyer.
Asked if the Mosers would allow Bail Romero to see the child, the Mosers’ attorney, Joseph Hensley, said the couple was “not willing to comment on that at this time.”
‘We’re extremely happy about the decision,” said Hensley, who also noted that the decision “really puts the biological mom in a difficult decision in terms of staying in this country.”
The ruling today reaffirmed the original decision by another Missouri judge who terminated the parental rights of Bail Romero, stating that “illegally smuggling herself into the country is not a lifestyle that can provide any stability for the child.”
The Missouri Supreme Court called the initial decision a “travesty of justice” and ordered a review of the case by a second judge.
Appearing outside the courtroom with tears in her eyes, the biological mother declined to comment.
Her lawyer, Curtis Woods, said he would appeal the decision of the judge who he said ruled Encarnacion Bail Romero’s parental rights had been terminated because she had abandoned him while she was incarcerated.
“I am very disappointed in the decision,” said Woods.
The judge handed down the decision in a courtroom closed to all but the parties involved and their lawyers. There was no translator provided by the court today for the Guatemalan woman, who speaks only a little English.
The ruling allows the formal adoption proceedings by the Mosers to proceed.
The Mosers left the court without speaking to reporters, but they had previously argued in court that they could best provide for the boy and that they were the only parents that he knew.
“I could not love him more, had he come out of me physically,” Melinda Moser said in an earlier interview.
The biological mother was arrested in 2007 on an immigration raid at a chicken processing plant in Missouri and has not seen her son since.