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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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45 Responses

  1. Nahida
    Nahida November 16, 2010 at 1:29 pm |

    Do the adopted parents really believe the child was abandoned?! It’s outrageous that everyone is claiming to do what’s best for the child, when clearly there seems to be an astonishing degree of selfishness here.

  2. Shoshie
    Shoshie November 16, 2010 at 1:39 pm |

    Wow, this is sickening.

  3. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe November 16, 2010 at 2:01 pm |

    Goddamn, this is amazing. And appalling.

    Two things jumped out at me as I clicked through the links:

    1) The Supreme Court ruling Jill refers to, that ID theft can’t be charged unless the offender knew that the ID belonged to another person, was unanimous. How egregious does a law have to be for the current Court to be unanimous about anything?

    2) The adoptive father is no prize package himself. He apparently once stole a car and led police on a high-speed chase before crashing. I have a hard time believing that a person who pulled a stunt like that could adopt a child legitimately. Could this business with the minister arranging this “adoption” be an attempt to circumvent this situation? If it is, I think the adoptive parents should be made to answer a few questions themselves.

  4. Usually Lurking
    Usually Lurking November 16, 2010 at 2:02 pm |

    That is a horrible situation, in which there is not an apparent “good” result no matter what you do.

    Just FYI, though:

    Adding to the mess is the fact that the adoptive parents hired the attorney who acted on behalf of the birth mother during the court proceedings to terminate Romero’s parental rights.

    In all likelihood, this is S.O.P. and isn’t an ethical breach. My guess is that it was a “Guardian ad litem” which is abbreviated “GAL.” A GAL is specially trained attorney who carries specific legal obligations related to GAL work. They represent interests of minors (in cases like these) or of absent parties (it’s possible a GAL attempted to protect the interests of the birth mother, though I don’t know for sure.) Basically, they represent people who can’t represent themselves.

    But SOMEONE has to pay the GAL, and in cases like this it would be the party who brought the action, i.e. the potential adoptive parents. But although the GAL is paid for by a party, they are only ethically obligated to their charge: in this case, the baby.

    The presence of a GAL doesn’t imply any ethical funny business. If anything it implies a higher level of care.

  5. Austin Nedved
    Austin Nedved November 16, 2010 at 2:05 pm |

    She was jailed for two years for federal identity theft, because she used a fake name and Social Security number when applying for her job (those charges, notably, would not stick if they were filed today — the Supreme Court rejected the use of identity theft prosecutions in simple immigration cases like this one). […] Considering that Romero would not be jailed for the exact same act had she been arrested today instead of in 2007, it’s not so clear that it’s totally her fault she was in jail, either.

    You can be charged with perjury if you lie about your name or SSN on a job application. Legally, the problem with her conviction wasn’t that she went to jail but that she was charged with the wrong crime. If she were arrested today, she could be charged with perjury instead.

    And it’s not her fault that her parental rights were terminated, and that her son was taken away from her. It’s not the child’s fault that he was part of a predatory adoption, but that doesn’t mean that it’s in his best interests to stay with those adoptive parents.

    I don’t understand what you’re saying. What doesn’t indicate that it’s in the best interests of the child to stay with his adoptive parents? Of course the fact that what happened isn’t her fault or the child’s fault doesn’t indicate that it’s in the best interests of the child to stay with his adoptive parents. I must be missing something here.

    The undercurrent in all of this is the idea that the Mosers are de facto better parents than Romero because Romero is brown and “illegal.” And that’s an idea that plays pretty well in much of the United States. I hope Romero gets her son back, and that this case can be a lesson that predatory adoptions and aggressive anti-immigrant policies only serve to harm women, children and families.

    Why do you think it’s in the best interests of the child to be returned to his biological mother? Believe me, I feel just as bad for the biological mother as you do, and I agree that some amount of racism is at play here. What I fail to see is how the fact that her child was unfairly taken away from her indicates that it is in the best interests of the child to be returned to her.

    It seems to me that the best interests of the child would be served by allowing him to stay with the adults who raised him, rather than by placing him in the care of someone who is a stranger to him and does not speak his language.

  6. ACG
    ACG November 16, 2010 at 2:15 pm |

    I’m caught between the idea that removing a child from the only home he’s known has to be traumatic for him, and the idea that “finders, keepers!” is now an acceptable decider for child guardianship. It’s like you could pluck a baby from a pram on the street, raise him for three years, and then say, “You can’t take him away! This is the only home he’s ever known!”

  7. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla November 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm |

    Dude, this is so busted (emphasis mine):

    Austin Nedved: It seems to me that the best interests of the child would be served by allowing him to stay with the adults who raised him, rather than by placing him in the care of someone who is a stranger to him and does not speak his language. Austin Nedved

    The mother who raised him for six months; the mother who thought she was going to have someone care for her son temporarily until she got out of prison, only to have her parental rights terminated by white English-speakers? She’s a *stranger*?

    She’s the child’s *mother*. Carlitos was *stolen* from her. Your comment is supporting the very racist notion – that Carlitos is somehow better off living with the white European people who stole him, that he’s better off being raised in white European culture and completely cut off from his mother’s language and culture, than he is with his brown immigrant mother – that Jill’s article is pointing out.

    Do you have any idea how many American Indian, Canadian Native, and Australian aboriginal children were stolen in exactly this manner?

  8. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. November 16, 2010 at 2:54 pm |

    First of all, the “best interest of the child standard” is often code for whatever the family court judge wants to do. I’ve seen it used to place a child in a home with a bio parent where the bio parent’s boyfriend repeated raped the child with the bio parent’s knowledge. I’ve also seen it used to remove a child from a bio parent who was a *recovering* drug addict.

    None of the information available to a family court judge can give a person any insight into what is actually in the best interest of a child. Who will love this child the most as human being? Who will protect this child not just physically, but emotionally? Who will help this child grow to be a happy, secure, compassionate adult? None of those questions is even remotely answerable in home visits.

    The thing that gets me about these wanted child battles is that there is a simple compromise that isn’t available under our legal system. They need joint custody. This four year old believes that the Mosers are his parents. He has bonded with them and they’ve bonded with him. At the same time his mother loves him and bonded with him for the first 6 months. Why can’t they accept each other as people who love the same child? This all or nothing legal system is just fucking things worse than they have to be.

    Austin Nedved: You can be charged with perjury if you lie about your name or SSN on a job application.

    It would be almost impossible to make that stick if she doesn’t speak English. The application doesn’t make it perjury…the sworn signature makes it perjury…and if she wasn’t able to read the swearing statement I don’t even think that case could reasonably go to verdict.

    Austin Nedved: What doesn’t indicate that it’s in the best interests of the child to stay with his adoptive parents?

    They are selfish. They failed to put the needs of a six month old infant above their own wish to have child. They used a coercive and racist system to achieve their goals indicating that they lack either forethought or compassion. In all likelihood they used a legal technicality to steal a child. (I know how the people like the Mosers are counseled on this matter, they choose not to look deeply believing that if they get the adoption done, the bio parents will not have the resources to contest the adoption.)

  9. David
    David November 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm |

    After reading a bit more about the case following the link I have to say that it is definitely a case of injustice albeit an accidental one. I can’t really blame the mosers because ostensibly they were dealing directly with the sister of the biological mother and not the mother directly, and as such would have grounds to be ignorant of the exact specifics of the mother’s arrest. Likewise, the sister isn’t to blame for giving away the child because she was probably ignorant of U.S. adoption proceedings and law. Finally, the mother probably thought that the sister was caring for her son, so she is the least to blame in this entire case. I’m loathe, anyway, to even try to assign blame to people in cases like these because it’s easy (and wrong) to be an armchair judge when the details of the case are so important, and we, as bystanders are missing most of them.

    Honestly, I hope that the birth mother gets her child back. When it comes down to it, she only lost him to begin with because of a legal technicality and her and her sister’s ignorance of American law. But, obviously its a decision left up to the courts and the Mosers do have a somewhat valid point. Anyway, it’s looking hopeful for the birth mother because of the court’s decision to overturn the original adoption proceedings.

  10. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable November 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm |

    Austin Nedved: It seems to me that the best interests of the child would be served by allowing him to stay with the adults who raised him, rather than by placing him in the care of someone who is a stranger to him and does not speak his language. Austin Nedved

    What? Why? What if the adoptive parents are abusive? Speaking the same language as a kid and raising him when he shouldn’t have been in your care in the first place doesn’t give you a claim to him.

  11. David
    David November 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm |

    Oh and while we’re talking about race, do we know the ethnicity of the mosers? It might have been somewhere in the article but I missed it.

  12. annalouise
    annalouise November 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm |

    It’s always in the best interest of a kidnapping victim to be return to their real parents, instead of remaining with their kidnappers. And that’s what happened here. These people may be kind and loving, and they may even have been somewhat unaware of the true situation, but this child was kidnapped.

  13. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub November 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm |

    It seems to me that the best interests of the child would be served by allowing him to stay with the adults who raised him, rather than by placing him in the care of someone who is a stranger to him and does not speak his language.

    No. Any argument that even superficially justifies this sort of behavior–you know, kidnapping–is not in the best interests of this child or any child. If we allow for this, we’re basically saying it’s okay to kidnap children if the children have been with their kidnappers for most of their lives and don’t know their biological parents.

  14. Random Process
    Random Process November 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm |

    From visual cues, Seth Moser looks Anglo. Melinda Moser could be Hispanic, or not – hard to say.

    http://www.joplinglobe.com/archive/x2127018891

  15. Jadey
    Jadey November 16, 2010 at 4:42 pm |

    It’s important to remember that this is not just about the Mosers. It’s about the system that enables them to adopt a child under unethical (and possibly illegal) circumstances, and not have to defend themselves too hard or look in too deeply to the adoption process, because there’s a racist, classist, and anti-immigrant system full of people and processes ready to defend them whether they want it or not. They could be the sweetest couple in the world, they could be POC and immigrant-friendly, they could feel really bad about Encarnación Romero, but that does not erase the injustice of this situation, and unless they actually take positive steps to mitigate their own privilege and address the injustices and oppression levied against Romero, they are still complicit. And even should this couple take those steps, the system is still broken.

  16. Lisa
    Lisa November 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm |

    There are cases like these popping up in media all the time. About a year ago, I read another horrifying case and subsequently called the legal advocates who leaked the case to the media and they confirmed the facts: an undocumented woman – in the face of inadequate legal representatation, a cold judge, and a wealthy couple from northern california with political ties – lost her parental rights because she was deemed unfit with her “unstable” lifestyle of working, not being able to speak English, and having no spouse.

    I just got back from El Salvador and met so many people there who were deported. This – and their stories – has left me temporarily paralyzed with rage.

  17. Lance
    Lance November 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm |

    I think it’s worth asking what would have happened to Carlitos if the Mosers had been unable to adopt. The sister was unable to take care of him– understandable. Okay, then what? It’s highly unlikely is that the Mosers, or a family similarly situated, would have been willing to raise the child with the full knowledge that he would be taken away in two or so years. Would the child really be better off in the limbo of the foster system or an orphanage? What if her sentence was five years? Ten? Fifteen?

    It’s not really an answer to say that this particular woman shouldn’t have been in jail– even if that solves the dilemma in this case, it still leaves the problem of what to do in cases where the sole parent has committed a crime such that they legitimately should be behind bars for a period of time.

    By raising this point I don’t mean to suggest I have any good answers; I don’t. This is an extremely difficult sort of situation.

  18. David
    David November 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm |

    Jill:
    I have no idea what ethnicity the Mosers are and I don’t think it’s really appropriate to guess based on pictures, but from the context of the article it seems they are at least read as white, since their ethnicity isn’t mentioned at all (and that really only happens to white people in situations like this).  

    Yeah, but a lot of people, even the ones we’d consider conventional journalists do a bad job of including any or all of the relevant information when talking about race. I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if one of the mosers was hispanic or mixed race and people just failed to mention it because they didn’t look hispanic or asian, or whatever enough. Kudos to Random Process for digging up the actual pictures though.

  19. malinda
    malinda November 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm |

    A couple of facts from the Court of Appeals opinion:

    1. The sister did NOT give the child away to be adopted. She asked for babysitting help. WITHOUT TELLING HER, the week-day babysitters (the ministers) gave the child to the prospective adopters (they were friends of the family). AFTER THE FACT, the ministers sent the sister the following letter:

    To Whom It May Concern:
    I am writing this letter in regards to [Child]. Who will no longer be in our care or living in our house after 10-7-2007. The couple [Respondents are] pursuing adoption in the case of [Child]. The papers for them to get guardianship of [Child have] already been
    sent to the family courts of Jasper County by their lawyer. And there is nothing that we can do legally nor can you. The only person that has the chance to do anything is [Mother]. The proper papers have already been sent to [Mother] at the jail. If you wish to know more about this matter you need to be in contact with [Child’s Mother]. And we ask that you please no longer contact us in respect to this matter. Because it is out of our hands now.
    Sincerely,
    The Velazco Family

    Nice, huh?

    2. The mother had not been sent the proper papers.

    3. There was a guardian ad litem, but in fact there was an attorney representing the mother, paid for by the adoptive family. Yes, it is a pretty standard thing, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a profound conflict of interest and should not be standard operating procedure.

    And another point — when Americans adopt older children from abroad, there isn’t any hue and cry about the child not understanding English. It’s only when American kids might lose English that we have these idiotic arguments about “the only language he knows.” Sheesh.

  20. Vail
    Vail November 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm |

    This is horrible. I don’t understand how someone who was turned down for foster care could adopt… I know when we adopted we had to get fingerprinted and they checked to see if we had a criminal background. I would think that being denied foster care status would mean they would have been dumped by the adoption agency. This is why adoption agencies should be more regulated.

  21. malinda
    malinda November 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm |

    Lance: I think it’s worth asking what would have happened to Carlitos if the Mosers had been unable to adopt. The sister was unable to take care of him– understandable. Okay, then what? It’s highly unlikely is that the Mosers, or a family similarly situated, would have been willing to raise the child with the full knowledge that he would be taken away in two or so years. Would the child really be better off in the limbo of the foster system or an orphanage?

    According to the Court of Appeals opinion, mom had a Plan B — she asked that the child be sent to Guatemala where her sister and extended family would care for the child. The trial court ignored that, too.

    Whatever problems there might be with foster care, it is designed for temporary care, which is what was needed in this case. When there is only a TEMPORARY inability to care for a child, it can’t be grounds for terminating the parent-child relationship, can it? Would we do that for a woman with cancer, who needed temporary help while undergoing chemo? Would we do that to ANY OTHER prisoner, who isn’t an illegal alien? There are 1.3 million prisoners in the U.S., with 1.6 million children. We DON’T simply terminate their parental rights because they are in prison.

    Foster care is only “limbo” when there is the uncertainty of whether and when a parent with an issue like drug/alcohol abuse, poor parenting skills, poverty, etc., will comply with a parenting plan. When a parent is in prison, their release date is certain. We know precisely when they will be able to regain custody of the child. No limbo. Romero gets out of jail, gets her child from the foster parents, and is deported to Guatemala. The end. That’s how it is supposed to work, family remains together, not this tendency to increase the pool of adoptable kids by snatching them from deported parents. And we only snatch the infants, by the way — the older brown kids aren’t quite as adoptable.

  22. bfp
    bfp November 16, 2010 at 8:10 pm |

    another thing to consider–a non-citizen baby adopted by citizens in the US automatically becomes a citizen upon adoption. That baby is a US citizen now. Will his citizenship be revoked (and thus he is made “illegal”) if he is returned to his mother?

    is the line between legal and illegal really based on fair, easily understood and achieved requirements? What do we really mean when we tell people to “go to the back of the line and do it right!” when situations like this are not unusual?

  23. karak
    karak November 16, 2010 at 8:13 pm |

    You know, the child is young enough to learn a second language, and my guess is, at this point, his mother has acquired some English skills. I’m sure they can communicate.

    Stealing a child is not legal. It’s not acceptable. And, frankly, wanting to cut a child off completely from bio family and ethnic identity screams to me that you don’t give a shit about the “best interest of the child”. A real parent doesn’t hide a child from the bio family unless the bio family is abusive. End of story.

  24. David
    David November 16, 2010 at 8:17 pm |

    malinda:
    A couple of facts from the Court of Appeals opinion:
    1.The sister did NOT give the child away to be adopted.She asked for babysitting help.WITHOUT TELLING HER, the week-day babysitters (the ministers) gave the child to the prospective adopters (they were friends of the family). AFTER THE FACT, the ministers sent the sister the following letter:
    To Whom It May Concern:
    I am writing this letter in regards to [Child]. Who will no longer be in our care or living in our house after 10-7-2007. The couple [Respondents are] pursuing adoption in the case of [Child]. The papers for them to get guardianship of [Child have] already been
    sent to the family courts of Jasper County by their lawyer. And there is nothing that we can do legally nor can you. The only person that has the chance to do anything is [Mother]. The proper papers have already been sent to [Mother] at the jail. If you wish to know more about this matter you need to be in contact with [Child’s Mother]. And we ask that you please no longer contact us in respect to this matter. Because it is out of our hands now.
    Sincerely,
    The Velazco Family
    Nice, huh?
    2.The mother had not been sent the proper papers.
    3.There was a guardian ad litem, but in fact there was an attorney representing the mother, paid for by the adoptive family.Yes, it is a pretty standard thing, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a profound conflict of interest and should not be standard operating procedure.
    And another point — when Americans adopt older children from abroad, there isn’t any hue and cry about the child not understanding English.It’s only when American kids might lose English that we have these idiotic arguments about “the only language he knows.”Sheesh.  

    Well dang, the facts are a lot more damning than they appeared to be in the original article. Especially #1. Thanks for sharing.

  25. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable November 16, 2010 at 8:18 pm |

    bfp: That baby is a US citizen now. Will his citizenship be revoked (and thus he is made “illegal”) if he is returned to his mother?

    ANCHOR TODDLER!!!

    haha, jk. But I’m willing to bet Glen Beck uses this phrase soon.

  26. je
    je November 16, 2010 at 8:28 pm |

    bfp – that child was born in the US and was already a US citizen.

    malinda raises an important point here. this mother, like thousands of other parents without legal status across the country, had a PLAN for her minor children in the event that she be detained. that plan involved sending her child to his FAMILY in guatemala. mixed-status families bring their US citizen children back to their home countries all the time. there was no reason why Carlitos shouldn’t have been sent back to Guatemala before being placed into the hands of strangers without the mother’s permission.

    all of that said, i really place the bulk of the blame on the family court and the velazco family here. the mosers used their privilege to avoid looking deeper into the adoption issue, no doubt. but i believe it was the lawyers, the court and the family that handed the baby over (the weekday babysitters…not the sister’s family) who are all truly to blame here. “abandonment” is a legal term of art around which this entire case hinged. and it’s sickening that a lawyer would push for a finding of abandonment in this case. that puts the legal profession to shame.

  27. je
    je November 16, 2010 at 8:30 pm |

    also, wtf is all this about how the baby has been raised by this family. i get that the mosers are the only family the baby knows NOW, but four years versus a lifetime? can you imagine explaining to your kid at eighteen how he never got to know his birth mom because when she tried to come back for him fourteen years ago, you decided he wouldn’t ever be as attached to her as he was to you?

  28. Jay
    Jay November 16, 2010 at 8:33 pm |

    This is just unconscionable. Jill is right that the adoptive parents should have done their due diligence. I’ve written about my experience; doing the right thing hurts sometimes, but it’s still the right thing.

  29. bfp
    bfp November 16, 2010 at 8:41 pm |

    je:
    bfp – that child was born in the US and was already a US citizen.

    Thanks for clarifying, I didn’t know.

  30. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable November 16, 2010 at 8:44 pm |

    Sigh. I was hoping anchor toddler would catch on.

  31. Odin
    Odin November 16, 2010 at 9:16 pm |

    I fail to understand how it can possibly be in a child’s “best interest” to be raised by people who contrived to steal him from his biological mother. It’s one thing if they had been repeatedly lied to by an intermediary about the circumstances, but that’s not what it sounds like here, not at all.

  32. Julie
    Julie November 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm |

    Yeah, the whole argument is sickening. If someone kidnapped my kids tomorrow and kept them for three years, is in their best interest to stay with them? Of course not. This child needs to be back with his mother immediately. It is possible to do adoption ethically and I have zero sympathy for people who can’t be bothered to do so. I feel bad for both the child and his mother, but not anyone else. And the weekend baby-sitters make me want to throw up.

  33. Athenia
    Athenia November 16, 2010 at 9:42 pm |

    Other people in this thread have mentioned how it’s understandable that the sister didn’t want to take care of the kid. While I understand that her situation must have been difficult, I can’t for the life me understand how she could “give up” her sister’s kid.

  34. harlemjd
    harlemjd November 16, 2010 at 10:02 pm |

    bfp – not the main point (but a perfect example of how some adoptive parents focus on their need to have a child over what the child needs) but:

    adoption DOES NOT automatically confer citizenship!!!!!!! a child isn’t judged the way an adult applying for citizenship would be, but there actually are other steps beyond the adoption, and parents who ignore those steps (because they already have the kid with them and, hey, paperwork is a chore) make their kids deportable. If this kid hadn’t been born here, that would probably have been his situation, since this couple doesn’t seem to bother with legal niceties.

  35. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. November 16, 2010 at 10:43 pm |

    Well, that’s even more despicable than I first imagined. A good DA should be able to put together a kidnapping charge against someone along this chain.

  36. Baby Love Child
    Baby Love Child November 17, 2010 at 12:05 am |

    Blogged my response- Encarnación Romero and the stealing of undocumented immigrants’ kids

    Tied it back out to the bigger picture of parents in prison losing their kids as a result of the Adoption and Safe Families Act with it’s mandatory trigger dates on termination of parental rights and the federal incentives for child placements.

  37. Baby Love Child
    Baby Love Child November 17, 2010 at 2:49 am |

    Guardian ad litem’s CAN imply potential problems in that churches have been actively recruiting GALs from within their own membership to make these decisions.

    Thus despite their charge to act in the child’s genuine interests, at times they are working in the interests of church movement growth efforts.

  38. svivar9087
    svivar9087 November 17, 2010 at 7:44 pm |

    This is not an isolated story. Canvassing among the Hispanic community, I come across these type of stories. At first I had doubts, but within the past year and a half, these stories are becoming more frequent. I hope the author continues to follow this story.

  39. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan November 18, 2010 at 1:33 am |

    all of that said, i really place the bulk of the blame on the family court and the velazco family here.

    From what I’ve read on here, I agree. The Moser’s definitely participated in a veeery sketchy and terrible adoption, but I think it’s still valuable to keep that circumstance separate from an actual “kidnapping.” And I think the Velazco family did the latter.

  40. Ana
    Ana November 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm |

    The poor child is the only one being hurt over all this. As I am not privy to all the details, I will have to let the courts decide. If the child was stolen, then yes the child should go back to the mother. If it was a legal adoption, then the child should stay with the adoptive parents.

    I do not want to guess the intentions of the adoptive parents. They could have had the best interest at heart and only followed the legal advice they were given. OR they could have purposely circumvented the law and tried to legally steal the baby. I will pray for the baby as he is the one hurt.

  41. groggette
    groggette November 19, 2010 at 10:09 am |

    Ana: The poor child is the only one being hurt over all this.

    You’re kidding right?

  42. Vail
    Vail November 19, 2010 at 11:21 am |

    I would love to know the name of the adoption agency in all of this. I would hit the adoption forums and warn everyone to avoid them like the plague.

  43. Julia
    Julia November 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm |

    Ana: I do not want to guess the intentions of the adoptive parents. They could have had the best interest at heart and only followed the legal advice they were given. OR they could have purposely circumvented the law and tried to legally steal the baby. I will pray for the baby as he is the one hurt.  

    Ana~ No. Clearly the Mosers do not have the “best of intentions.” These “Christians”, the Mosers and Velazcos are involved in human trafficking and kidnapping!
    NOT THE “BEST INTEREST” of the child.
    Take a little look-see at the letter they sent Carlitos’ Aunt (his caregiver)!!

    malinda: A couple of facts from the Court of Appeals opinion:1.The sister did NOT give the child away to be adopted.She asked for babysitting help.WITHOUT TELLING HER, the week-day babysitters (the ministers) gave the child to the prospective adopters (they were friends of the family). AFTER THE FACT, the ministers sent the sister the following letter:To Whom It May Concern:
    I am writing this letter in regards to [Child]. Who will no longer be in our care or living in our house after 10-7-2007. The couple [Respondents are] pursuing adoption in the case of [Child]. The papers for them to get guardianship of [Child have] already been
    sent to the family courts of Jasper County by their lawyer. And there is nothing that we can do legally nor can you. The only person that has the chance to do anything is [Mother]. The proper papers have already been sent to [Mother] at the jail. If you wish to know more about this matter you need to be in contact with [Child’s Mother]. And we ask that you please no longer contact us in respect to this matter. Because it is out of our hands now.
    Sincerely,
    The Velazco Family Nice, huh?2.The mother had not been sent the proper papers.3.There was a guardian ad litem, but in fact there was an attorney representing the mother, paid for by the adoptive family.Yes, it is a pretty standard thing, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a profound conflict of interest and should not be standard operating procedure.And another point — when Americans adopt older children from abroad, there isn’t any hue and cry about the child not understanding English.It’s only when American kids might lose English that we have these idiotic arguments about “the only language he knows.”Sheesh.  

    are baby-nappers

    David:
    Well dang, the facts are a lot more damning than they appeared to be in the original article. Especially #1. Thanks for sharing.  

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