MO Court Could Make Decision on Adopted Guatemalan Boy before the Holidays

By December 9, 2010Child Custody

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Thursday, December 9, 2010

In an earlier posting, titled Guatemalan Ambassador Pleads for Illegal Immigrant’s Custody Rights in MO, we discussed the case of a young immigrant mother and her child who was adopted while she was in custody. The hearing has come to an end, and the Missouri Supreme Court is considering the outcome of the case, they could make a decision this month before the holidays.

The child custody case hit the news when the Guatemalan ambassador to the United States advocated for the young immigrant mother, but immigrant advocates say that her story is not that unusual. According to statistics, approximately 5.5 million children in the United States have one or more parent who is an illegal immigrant. In fact, in the 9 years between 1998 and 2007, 108,000 parents were deported who were forced to leave their children behind.

Part of the problem, advocates say, is that there is a lack of communication between the ICE division and the child welfare department. Many parents are unaware of custody hearings and family courts assume that the parent has abandoned the child when they fail to appear to a hearing they had no idea existed. A number of incarcerated, undocumented parents have no idea where their children are or who is taking care of them. Upon their release and deportation, those parents who are able to find their children cannot take them out of the country with them. They have trouble obtaining passports or visas for their child who is a US citizen through birth.

When the Guatemalan mother’s child was adopted, the case became even more complicated as the child began to see his adoptive parents as his true parents. The child speaks English, never learning Spanish, and has not seen his biological mother since he was seven months old. Any outcome of the case will cause heartbreak for someone as both the adoptive parents and the biological mother have professed their love and ability to care for the child.

Source: The World “Court considers fate of adopted Guatemalan boy” Sylvia Maria Gross 12/6/10