|
|
|
The Carthage Press
  • Adoption case ends at U.S. Supreme Court

  • A widely publicized adoption case involving a Carthage couple and a Guatemalan mother living in Carthage illegally has ended after more than six years at the U.S. Supreme Court.
    • email print
      Comment
  • A widely publicized adoption case involving a Carthage couple and a Guatemalan mother living in Carthage illegally has ended after more than six years at the U.S. Supreme Court.
    Attorney Joe Hensley, who represented Seth and Melinda Moser, said the Justices in Washington declined to hear an appeal from Encarnacion Maria Bail Romero in which she claimed her parental rights were improperly terminated.
    "It's done, the Justices won't accept the case," Hensley said. "This was the court of last resort and they declined to hear the case."
    The decision means Carlos Jamison Moser, now 7, will remain with his adoptive parents and Romero's parental rights have been permanently terminated, Hensley said.
    The decision not to hear the case was largely overshadowed by rulings from the Supreme Court about Hobby Lobby and the Affordable Care Act, but Hensley said the decision was huge for the Mosers.
    The decision affirms a ruling by the Southern District Missouri Court of Appeals last October in which the three judges voted unanimously to uphold the termination of Romero's parental rights to her son and found in favor of the Mosers.
    Hensley said the 81-page ruling was the second longest in the history of the court.
    The child started living with the Mosers in October 2007, and they adopted the boy after a Jasper County court judge terminated Romero's parental rights in 2008. That judge ruled that the mother had not tried to maintain contact or provide for the child while in prison.
    Romero's lawyers contended at the time the adoption process was flawed and that Romero was not given sufficient legal representation before losing custody of her son, who is a U.S. citizen.
    An appeals panel overturned the Jasper County decision, saying the lower court lacked authority to grant the adoption. The appellate court said state laws were intended "to prohibit the indiscriminate transfer of children, meaning that someone could not pass a child around like chattel."
    The state Supreme Court then ruled in January 2011 that state adoption laws were not followed and ordered a new trial regarding Bail Romero's parental rights.
    Then, in 2012, a Jasper County court again severed Bail Romero's parental rights and allowed the Mosers to adopt the child for a second time.
    The judges on the state appeals court concurred with that ruling. This time the Missouri Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court both declined to hear the case.

        calendar