The young child of an immigrant woman who was separated from her child by the government in an immigration raid was put up for adoption, and her challenge to this termination of her parental rights (basically, government theft of her child for reasons that are not her fault) was rejected, in a horrible decision. All the more so because the Missouri Supreme Court strongly indicated that the first ruling was improper and even the second ruling came at a hearing where no interpreter was available as required by law. This smacks of racism and xenophobia by the Missouri judge to me.
"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.
More generally, I think the tendency to prefer permanency and avoid trauma to young children (who will forget this in a few years) relative to the parental rights of natural parents who haven't relinquished their children voluntarily or been found to have engaged in serious child abuse or culpable child neglect is too strong. On the other hand, actual child abuse is probably tolerated somewhat too strongly tolerated.
Temporary incarceration pending immigration proceedings is not comparable to the long term criminal incarceration that might arguably justify termination of parental rights.