Recently the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that state laws were not followed when the parental and child custody rights of a Guatemalan mother were terminated by a lower court. The Guatemalan mother was arrested during an immigration raid and her young son was adopted by an American couple. The decision of the state Supreme Court did not automatically return the boy back to the mother. Instead the court ruled that a new trial should be heard regarding the mother’s parental rights.
The facts of the case began when the Guatemalan mother was obtained during an immigration raid at a poultry plant in Missouri. The mother was arrested for aggravated identity theft and served two years in prison for the charge. Before the arrest a local couple had helped the mother and her family care for the mother’s 1 year old child. After the mother was arrested the local couple contacted another couple about adopting the mother’s son. A lower court awarded custody of the child to the couple.
After the mother was released she began her fight to regain her custody and parental rights. The mother was not deported after serving her sentence so that she could challenge the adoption.
In court, the attorney representing the couple argued that the mother’s parental rights were properly terminated because she stopped providing for her son and did not try to maintain contact with him. The mother’s attorney argued that the mother did not have proper legal representation and that the mother did not abandon her child. A criminal defense attorney in Louisiana knows the ins and outs of these laws.