The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an illegal alien who had lost her child after she was jailed following an immigration raid. The effect of the ruling is that the Missouri Supreme Court is holding that state adoption laws apply to illegal immigrants. The mother, Encarnacion Bail Romero was arrested in an immigration sweep of a poultry plant and eventually sentenced to two years in Federal Prison for Aggravated Identity Theft. Another couple was helping Romero's family take care of her son after his arrest. The couple was contacted by another couple about adopting the child. Their adoption was granted on the basis that Romero had abandoned her child. Romero has been contesting the adoption since her release from prison in 2009. The child was born in the United States and is a citizen. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that state adoption laws were not followed in this case when the mother's parental rights were terminated. The Court ordered a trial regarding Romero's parental rights.
The case had generated a great deal of international interest. The Guatemalan consulate and the ACLU had filed written briefs on the case and Guatemala's ambassador to the United States had watched the original arguments in November. The court recognized that immigrants have the same parental rights as anyone else.
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