The state supreme court uses strong language to say a Jasper County judge botched an adoption case involving an illegal immigrant whose son was adopted while she was in prison, calling the case “a travesty in its egregious procedural errors,” and a “manifest injustice.” It has revoked the termination of parental rights for Encarnacion Marie Bail Romero, a Guatemalan citizen who did prison time after being arrested at a southwest Missouri poultry plant.
While she was gone, thinking her brother and sister were caring for Carlos, her son, another couple was allowed to adopt him without going through the legal process required by state law. She has been staying with Guatemalan officials since getting out of prison. She speaks through an interpreter because she knows only a little English.
The lawyer for the adoptive parents, Richard Schnake, says there might be some middle ground but Romero’s status as an illegal immigrant hurts those possibilities. .
While Schnake argues the adoption was in the best interests of the child. The mother’s lawyer, Chris Huck, says the child’s best interests might weigh in Romero’s favor.
The supreme court has revoked the termination of her rights and the adoption and has told the circuit judge to hold a proper hearing to determine if she abandoned her son, making him eligible for adoption.
The boy is now more than four years old. He has lived with his adoptive parents for more than three of those years.