Advocates and parties respond to Missouri Supreme Court ruling

By January 28, 2011Child Custody

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Friday, January 28, 2011

In the prior posting, we announced the ruling that was made by the Missouri Supreme Court in the controversial child custody case that has gained media attention across the nation. The young child of an illegal immigrant was adopted while his mother was incarcerated and the court ordered a new trial, ruling that the state procedures were not properly followed in the termination of the biological mother’s parental rights.

After the court made its decision, media attention was spurred anew as advocates and parties responded to the ruling in the child custody case. While most agreed with the determination that procedural due process was not entirely followed, they disagreed on whether or not a new trial should be held.

Some advocates argue that a new trial would not accurately represent the situation as it was when the original termination was proposed. “I think there’s a real danger in beginning the procedures anew,” said the associate director of the Immigrant Child Advocacy project at the University of Chicago. “(A new trial) may skew in favor of the existing relationship between the putative adoptive parents as opposed to the constitutionally protected relationship between a parent and child.”

Counsel for the adoptive parents reported that although the decision was in favor of the biological mother, the new trial would still prove that the mother abandoned her child to support termination. “The main complaint, I guess, is there were a couple of reports that weren’t filed, and so we’ll get those reports and do it again,” he said. The mother will argue in opposition, that she did not abandon her child and was not given the necessary notification or legal representation during the first trial.

Source: The Associated Press, “Mo. court sides with immigrant in adoption appeal“, 1/25/11