Missouri Supreme court to consider Jasper County adoption fight

Date: 2010-09-23

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A case involving a Guatemalan woman whose child was adopted by a Carthage couple will be heard by the Missouri Supreme Court.

The focus of the challenge is a boy, now nearly 4 years old, who was adopted in 2008 after his biological mother, Encarnacion M. Bail Romero, was arrested in an immigration sweep at a Barry County poultry plant. Romero contends she never agreed to the adoption and is seeking custody.

Seth and Melinda Moser have had custody of the child since he was about 1 year old and maintain the adoption was legal. The State Court of Appeals reversed the adoption, finding that the Jasper County court lacked the authority to transfer custody of the child to the Mosers.

“From a procedural standpoint, this takes the case back to ground zero,” said Bill Fleischaker, of Joplin, who is one of the attorneys representing the natural mother.

“It’s as if the Court of Appeals opinion is put on hold. They can adopt, reject or adjust that; they’ll issue their own opinion,” he said.

A call to Joe Hensley, Joplin attorney representing the Mosers, was not immediately returned.

The high court will consider the case Nov. 9.

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