Guatemalan Ambassador Pleads for Illegal Immigrant’s Custody Rights in MO

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Monday, November 15, 2010

In a rare occurrence, the Guatemalan ambassador to the United States of America, Francisco Villagrán de León appeared on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 in the Missouri Supreme Court on behalf of an illegal immigrant mother whose child was adopted against her wishes while she was imprisoned. The Missouri Supreme Court must decide whether or not the court has the authority to allow the adoption of an illegal immigrant’s child during imprisonment.

Seven months after she gave birth to her baby son, the mother was taken into custody during a May 2007 immigration raid. The young mother’s family had asked the leader of their church to care for the child while the mother was away. The clergy leader found another couple who was interested in adopting the child.

In October of 2007, the solely Spanish speaking mother pled guilty to identity theft while legal documents written in English were being drafted that transferred the custody of the child to the adoptive parents. A court determined that the mother had abandoned her child when she was incarcerated and terminated her parental rights.

“She lost her parental rights without her knowledge and without her consent,” the Guatemalan ambassador told the court. “Children of undocumented immigrants should not be given an adoption without their consent.” While the mother fights for her parental rights, the adoptive parents who have been with the child for nearly three years argue that the adoption was and still is in the best interests of the child.

The court has not yet made a decision and the child remains in the custody of the adoptive parents.

Source: The Missourian “Missouri Supreme Court hears illegal immigrant child custody case” Alysha Love 11/9/10

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