Posts Tagged ‘Encarnacion Bail Romero’

The case of Encarnacion Bail Romero ends

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

The Supreme Court has refused to hear the case filed by Guatemalan national Encarnacion Bail Romero, regarding the adoption of her biological son by Seth and Melinda Moser, ending a custody battle that has raged for nearly seven years. Reports CBS News from Carthage, Missouri:

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a Carthage, Missouri adoption case.

This appears to be the end of a long case that began when an undocumented woman from Guatemala petitioned to regain her parental rights… The custody battle for Melinda Moser and her family is believed to be over according to attorneys in the case.

Moser is the adoptive mother of 7-year old Jamison Moser and for nearly seven years she’s fought to keep custody.

All the while, Jamison’s biological mother tried to use the courts to regain custody of her son.

A relieved Moser recalls the experiences. “Kind of like people probably that suffer with a terminal illness, you never know which day will be your last. “

Jamison’s biological mother,  Encarnacion Romero, had been arrested during an immigration raid and was later convicted of identity theft.

After leaving federal prison in 2009, Romero filed to overturn the adoption case and won.

The Mosers appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court, that reversed the lower court’s decision.

What’s to be said regarding news like this? As adoptive mother, I cried when I read the decision, identifying strongly with the struggle endured by Melinda and Seth Moser. But that doesn’t mean I can’t imagine the pain and loss felt by  Encarnacion Bail Romero. I do.

Nothing about adoption is simple. Especially this time.


Waiting families and Encarnacion Bail Romero

Friday, December 27th, 2013

As December 31 approaches, I remember the announcement by the government of Guatemala that every pending adoption case would be finalized by year’s end. Recently, I read First Christmas in Texas, a wonderful article about two families whose children have joined them in Texas from Guatemala after waiting 5+ years. With only a few days remaining in 2013, I hope other cases also will be resolved. The lack of resolution, the not knowing, seems to me to be a very specific kind of torture.

I’m also posting here a link to the latest update on the Encarnacion Bail Romero case, Missouri Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Challenge to Adoption Decision. The case revolves around an undocumented Guatemalan woman, her arrest and incarceration; and her son’s adoption at age one by a Missouri couple.  I wrote about the case here and here. The article contains information I had not read previously, and implies that Bail Romero may be deported. Unless the US Supreme Court decides to hear Bail Romero’s appeal, the case finally is ended.

On a personal note, this may be the last Christmas for our family that Santa isn’t in the house. The logistics will be easier, but I’ll miss the old guy.

Time marches on. My children are growing up. Still praying for the families who continue to wait. ~







Attorney in Missouri adoption case releases details of ruling

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

From an article by John Hacker in Southwest Missouri’s daily newspaper, The Carthage Press:

Joe Hensley, a Joplin attorney representing Seth and Melinda Moser, Carthage in an adoption case that has garnered nation-wide attention, made the unusual move last week of releasing Wednesday’s 62-page ruling by Greene County Circuit Judge David C. Jones terminating the parental rights of the biological mother, Encarnacion Maria Bail Romero, a Guatemalan native.

Hensley said he released the ruling to show that the judge’s ruling in the case, severing the parental rights of Romero to five-year-old Carlos Jamison Moser, was not simply because Romero was an illegal immigrant.

“The biological mother’s attorneys are saying the decision was because she was an illegal alien,” Hensley said. “The judge specifically said his finding was not because she was an illegal alien, but he also said she can’t use being an illegal alien as a shield.”

Joplin attorney Bill Fleischaker, one of four attorneys representing Romero at no cost, said he was surprised that Hensley had released the ruling, which was made in a family court hearing in Springfield, which was closed to the public.


In the first eight pages of his ruling, Judge Jones acknowledged the difficulty of the decision he faced and made his decision as to what he thought was in the best interests of the child.

“The Court is extremely sensitive to the fact that the issues before it and the decision it will issue will have a lifetime impact on the minor child, Ms. Romero and the Mosers,” the judge wrote. “For that reason, the court has attempted to give ample opportunity to each of the parties to develop their portion of the case.


The judge first decided that “Romero’s consent was not required for the adoption of the minor child by the Mosers since she both abandoned and neglected the minor child during the applicable periods preceeding the filing of the adoption petition and that such abandonment and neglect was established by clear, cogent and convincing evidence.”

The judge also decided the Mosers proved that grounds were present to terminate Romero’s parental rights and that the termination would be “in the best interests of the minor child.”

“Finally the court finds that the adoption of the minor child by the Mosers would be in his best interests under the applicable standard as well as by the higher standard of clear, cogent and convincing evidence,” Judge Jones wrote.

In the next 45 pages of the ruling, Judge Jones detailed the evidence on both sides. The details showed that Jones felt Romero and her relatives were lying in many of their claims about how Carlos was cared for in the first year of his life before he came to live with the Mosers.

“Suffice it to say that for the vast majority of the minor child’s life, the mother has expressed little interest or caring for him,” the judge wrote. “This is consistent with the way she has treated her other children. Although she has two young children in Guatemala, including one with severe psychological issues, she has made it clear that she has no desire to return to Guatemala to visit them, much less return there to permanently be a mother to them.”

Fleischaker, representing Romero, said the judge’s ruling was harsh and it ignored the mother’s fear of being sent to prison if she sought help and the cultural and language barriers of someone who could not read the papers sent to her about the proceedings…

“It’s difficult, you have to put yourself in the circumstances she was in. Unfortunately you have to have some understanding of what these families who are undocumented go through in terms of dealing with authorities, dealing with the Caucasians. They feel like the white Americans have all the power and all the control and they can do anything to them that they want to do.”

In California where I live, tens of thousands of Guatemalan men and women work to send money home to support the children and family they left behind. I wonder if Judge Jones has an opinion regarding their fitness as parents.


Missouri judge rules in favor of adoptive parents in Encarnacion Bail Romero case

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Regarding the case of Encarnacion Bail Romero, which I posted about here, here, and here. From the St. Louis, Missouri Post-Dispatch website,

A Greene County juvenile court has ruled in favor of a Missouri couple seeking to adopt a child of a Guatemalan woman after she had been arrested and detained for working in the country illegally.

The move culminates a lengthy international custody dispute over the child which put American immigration policies under scrutiny and drew outrage from a Guatemalan diplomat and others fighting for immigrant rights.

Judge David Jones ruled this morning in a closed Springfield courtroom that the 5-year-old boys’ birth mother, Encarnacion Romero, abandoned the child. The ruling, which terminated the birth mother’s parental rights, paves the way for Seth and Melinda Moser of Carthage to formally adopt the child.

The couple has raised the boy since he was an infant. Carlos Jamison Moser, who goes by the name Jamison, just completed preschool, said the family’s attorney Joe Hensley.

“The Mosers are very happy,” he said this afternoon. “This is something that’s been hanging over their heads for years. They’re ready to close that chapter of their lives and move on.”

Romero, who has been allowed to remain in the country awaiting the outcome of the dispute, was present in the courtroom today and left the courthouse in tears. Neither she or her attorney could be reached for comment.

Those working for immigration rights who had been watching the case closely said they were disappointed with the decision.

And from ABC News: (more…)


Missouri adoption case in the news

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

I’ve posted here and here about the Missouri case involving a boy who was placed for adoption when his Guatemalan mother was jailed during a raid on her place of employment. Last night, a segment on the case aired on ABC News with Diane Sawyer; yesterday, an article titled Adoption Battle over 5-Year-Old Boy Pits Missouri Couple Vs. Illegal Immigrant ran in Hispanically Speaking News.

The case will go to trial with a different judge on February 28, 2012.

This situation points to only one of the many complexities faced by people who enter this country without documentation. From Hispanically Speaking News:

Without any policies in place to regulate the care of U.S. citizen children while their parents are detained, immigrant parents are unable to attend court hearings, contact caseworkers, complete parenting classes or take any of the necessary steps to meet the strict timelines dictated by juvenile courts.

On one level or another, everyone involved in this case has suffered, and may well bear scars from it for years to come.