Support #EncarnacionRomero

In terms of displacement, dispossession, and disinheritance no story related to adoption upsets me more than that of Encarnacion Romero. A Guatemalan mother working in the United States; her family caring for her child while she worked; a state determining that she is a neglectful mother while behind bars; the gears of so-called justice turning her child over to adoptive parents more concerned with their gain than her loss.

What bothers me most I think is the idea that because of class-identification, we as adoption activists might throw Encarnacion under the bus. That because of his “All-American” credentials of, say, serving in the armed forces, Dusten Brown gets a pass, while Encarnacion must suffer the double sting of disempowerment by the state and also by those who might equally judge her for being foreign; for being seen as “illegal”; for not speaking the language; for not having a Facebook account.

She is currently appealing her case to the Supreme Court [link]:

Attorneys for Encarnacion Romero filed the request on Monday. The action represents the court of last resort, after the Missouri Supreme Court late last year refused to hear the woman’s appeal. That action unsuccessfully challenged a Missouri Court of Appeals ruling that terminated her parental rights.

I’m asking here for ideas, links, references, news stories, brainstorming, anything to drum up support for this case. Lawyers phone numbers, what kind of help do they want/need, media outlets, etc. What can we do? How might we help, online and offline? Please post as responses. Please reblog, FB, Tweet, etc. Please understand this is not any kind of accusation, I’ve not done any research online or elsewhere as to activism behind her. I do notice a deafening vacuum concerning her case as compared to that of Dusten Brown. I’m simply looking for an equivalence of effort that was shown for Baby Veronica. Because if we fail this woman, we fail ourselves, and have no right to call ourselves activists.

About Daniel Drennan ElAwar

Adoptee, rematriated.
This entry was posted in Adoption resistance and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Support #EncarnacionRomero

  1. eagoodlife says:

    Although I have nothing to offer in the way of useful information or support I am appalled that the State can interfere in family life to this degree.

  2. Court hears arguments in Guatemalan adoption case
    An appeals panel overturned the Jasper County decision, saying the lower court lacked authority to grant the adoption. The appellate court said state laws were intended “to prohibit the indiscriminate transfer of children, meaning that someone could not pass a child around like chattel.”
    http://www.news-leader.com/article/20130910/NEWS01/309100071/Court-hears-arguments-in-Guatemalan-adoption-case

  3. Long-running legal battle over adoption of child returns to appellate court
    The mother of the child, Encarnacion Romero, has remained in the United States to pursue appeals that started more than three years ago. The issue has received nationwide attention from groups that advocate on behalf of women and immigrants, including those who claim that the mother lost custody of the child because she is in the country illegally. Guatemala’s ambassador to the United States attended a hearing when the case was argued before the Missouri Supreme Court.
    http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x1253335479/Long-running-legal-battle-over-adoption-of-child-returns-to-appellate-court

  4. Missouri Judge Denies Guatemalan Mother Custody of Her Son
    A little boy separated from his Guatemalan mother after an immigration raid five years ago will grow up with a Carthage couple who has fought for years to keep him, a judge ruled Wednesday. In a ruling that surprised and disappointed some immigration advocates and attorneys, the Greene County judge said the boy, who will turn 6 in October, belongs with his adoptive parents, not his birth mother, Encarnacion Bail Romero.
    Kansas City Star; link down

  5. Amy Cubbage says:

    Hey Daniel– I’m admitted to the Supreme Court bar, which means I can sign and submit briefs. I am happy to draft a friend of the court brief for an adoptee rights or immigrant rights group who might be interested. I will call Encarnacion’s lawyer this morning to see if any groups have expressed interest and if not, I’ll start calling my contacts to see if I can fin a group. Time is of the essence though, so we will need to move quickly. If anyone knows of an interested group you can contact me at acubbage@mmlk.com.

    • Thank you Amy; this is brilliant. If you can report back, I’d love to hear from her lawyers where the case is going, and what might be done to help? Thanks again.

    • Amy Cubbage says:

      I can’t find the case on the SCOTUS docket, so the filing may not have been docketed yet. If docketed as of Monday’s date we will have until April 23 to file a friend of the court brief to urge the court to accept review. I have a message in to the local attorney for E.R. and will let you know what he says.

    • That’s great. Thanks!

  6. Felipe Montes Departs the United States for Mexico, With His Children
    With the support of the advocacy group Presente.org, Felipe Montes on Wednesday launched a last minute petition to remain in the United States. He said he wanted to stay in the United States with Marie Montes, who is pregnant. But federal immigration authorities refused to extend Montes’ humanitarian parole, which Immigration and Customs Enforcement granted in August to allow Montes to return the U.S. for his parental rights hearings.
    http://colorlines.com/
    [Thanks Rebecca]

  7. I am curious about the comparison you make to support for Dusten Brown and the seeming lack thereof for Encarnacion. My immediate thought is people are probably collectively feeling so bruised and traumatized by the tragedy that ensued after Dusten lost in the Supreme Court that we are projecting “why bother?” onto Encarnacion. Will Justice Roberts recuse himself as he should have done in Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl? Doubtful. Ergo, the deck is obviously stacked against natural families and adoptees in favor of baby snatchers. We know it, so – again – why bother?

    • I believe this story predates that of Dusten Brown. I am often taken aback by adoptees’ attitudes towards immigrants and others who are equally “trafficked”, or as we’ve been saying here, displaced. This leaves me with the difference being one of “class identification”. I’m not sure I understand the idea of losing one case and then we all stop activating?

  8. Sherry Treat says:

    Dusten Browns child was taken from him. He got no pass.

  9. Mary Edwards says:

    Try standing our ground for children the aflcio. Where is the father was he ever notified of the adoption or birth

  10. Mary Edwards says:

    u r looking for groups to file amicus briefs AFLCIO might do it Also standing our Ground for Children (the group that fought for Veronica) Not required to be native to use them They are on Facebook

    The AFL CIO is on twitter and really is going for immigrant rights see their feed U should let them know about this.

    https://twitter.com/AFLCIO

  11. Mary Edwards says:

    ru still there I want to help bring this boy home to his mother Do you have a FB page for him?

    • Excellent. I don’t have Facebook—if anyone can research a bit there to see if there is a page or not? We’re also waiting to hear back from her lawyers, this might be a question for them.

  12. Guest Mama says:

    As I understand it, the court in MO found her to be neglectful, not because she was in jail. She had abandoned the baby after birth by disappearing for 3 weeks from the hospital, had to be tracked down by social services. She was dishonest in her testimony, often giving conflicting stories in court. She had been arrested and deported once before; this was her second time in the U.S. system. She had been caught for some forged checks as well. She has 2 other daughters whom she abandoned in Guatemala to make this second attempt in the US. I don’t find any sympathy for her as someone who’s been wronged by the U.S. It makes a ‘good story’- poor illegal immigrant being stripped of parental rights by heartless U.S. govt. But that’s not the real story here. I’ll be curious to see whether this goes to SCOTUS at all.

    • Wow. What an incredibly filthy and disgusting thing to say. Here’s an analogy for you. A US battleship is torpedoing other ships at sea. Knowing that the other ships are going down, people swim to the huge American behemoth in the waters. Those on board make a great show of watching survivors attempt to scale its sides, and then further eke out an existence on deck having left everything behind. They then make themselves feel better by saying things like: “Why does everyone want to come here? We must be doing something right!”

      I don’t have the time or the energy to describe for you the faultiness of your logic when you judge someone already determined to be valueless as a human being from within the same system that makes such a determination. Have you ever done jury duty? Have you ever listened to someone’s testimony in Spanish get mangled into something else? I have. Because I understood Spanish, I (and another Hispanic woman) managed to convince a jury to acquit a man. What if we hadn’t been there?

      Suffice it to say I am willing to guess that you do not have any relatives caught up in this system as I do. When my sister-in-law obtained her citizenship here—which, by the way, means that she knows more about US history than most Americans—there were two points in the “ceremony” where my brother walked out. There was no need to bring up “our boys” fighting overseas for “her freedom”, and my brother walked out. When another American husband to a new citizen chastised him, he replied:

      “My wife grew up under the Pinochet dictatorship that was put in place after a coup funded by the CIA and sponsored by the Chicago School, Henry Kissinger, and Richard Nixon. This assassination toppled the democratically elected socialist government of Salvador Allende. There are family members and friends who are disappeared presumed dead, and she has come here to attempt to make a life for herself after years of living in US-sponsored fear. No one has the right to lecture her about democracy, or liberty, or freedom”.

      Your Calvinist attitude and lack of empathy that you try to hide behind facts simply shows up your racism and classism that makes a further mockery of American “democracy”. Spare me your judgment, and use this time to go research the history of Guatemala and US interference there. You should be ashamed of yourself. I pray to God you never have to experience what you so easily condemn others for living, completely outside of their control, choice, or agency.

  13. Guest Mama says:

    Are you screaming at me, Daniel? Because your battleship analogy doesn’t make sense in context of my post. I realize the plight of 1000s of undocumented immigrants losing their parental rights – simply as an unjust ‘part of the process’ of our broken immigration system. I just don’t think this woman’s case represents that bigger problem. You can scream at me if it makes you feel good about yourself and your blog, but I truly don’t think this case is the one that will change the system. Peace out!

    • Screaming at you? No. Screaming past you into the abyss, yes. You can decide that somehow “factually” this case doesn’t “represent the big picture” if that makes you feel better about yourself. Statistics, and all that. Meanwhile, the pressure keeps building.

  14. eagoodlife says:

    I find it so sad Encarnacion can be so judged by people who don’t know her, don’t know her circumstances and struggles but can use what they do ‘know’ to condemn her. Haven’t we all got a right to be treated with humanity and compassion? It seems our legal systems are often lacking, particularly when it comes to the rights of children unless they are potential targets for adoption. No doubt part-time single case activists achieve and do some good. Let’s hope they can expand their briefs into Big Girl and Boy Pants and learn to support those who really need it!

  15. Unknown says:

    The following link gives a lot of details surrounding this case. This was planned and it is incredibly obvious in the link below that is now considered case law. The Carthage R-9 School System was outraged by the deliberate pressure placed upon this woman by a Parents as Teachers employee who for over an hour repeatedly pressured her to give her child up for adoption. The employee even stated that the family she had in mind was a “complete family”, referring to Encarnacion being a single mother. The mother made every attempt to make arrangements and contact the child from the jail. An officer from the facility that she was being held at testified to her attempts! My questions would be the following: Why did local authorities do absolutely nothing when family members / friends of Encarnacion attempted to press kidnapping charges when the clergy couple that babysat the child for Encarnacion’s family refused to give the child back after so graciously offering to watch the child while planning the most cruel case of kidnap I have ever heard of. Local authorities were well aware that the child was missing. The Carthage R-9 school ex employee, the clergy, and the couple had a very vulnerable woman in a very desperate and vulnerable situation. All of this involves clergy, church members, and a small town that tried to sweep it all under the rug and make something horrible look like an act of kindness on behalf of a couple who very wells knows that what they did was wrong. I wonder how this adoptive mother would feel if her natural born child were to be stripped away from her all in the name of the Lord! What a huge injustice. I know that our society does not know the truth or the whole story. Friends please educate yourselves. This is not what the media portrays. They will tell you what they want you to hear. They give us the pretty version. The parents as teachers employee saw the baby for 11 months prior to the mother’s incarceration & knew everything about the mother and the child and never ever once hotlined or gave second thought to the accusations of neglect being brought against the mother. The employee never saw a reason to bring up the so called neglect until after she realized that Dr. Heningsen looked upon her and her supervisor in shock and disappointment after he realized what they had collaborated on. After the temporary adoption was granted to the Mosers the child went “missing” for an entire year which was coincidentally the time period that was needed for the adoption to be finalized. The court failed to provide the mother of the child with information in her own language. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle that when linked together point to the fact that this was planned and I am sure if the proper action were to be taken by local authorities this NEVER would have happened! We lack moral ethics in our local city & county government. It’s very corrupt with very strong opposition to illegal immigration. I am not condoning illegal immigration but what I am saying is that I can set that aside for a moment to look at what is really happening here. Also on a side note I know that many Hispanic people leave some of their family behind at times in order to make a better life not only for them but the children back at home as well. There are many many different things to take into consideration. Many culture differences. Regardless I can testify that many single women in Jasper County have custody of their children who are unfit, drug dealers, repeat offenders, unwilling to change yet the same court looked upon them with favor. Our system is destroying families and I encourage everyone to peacefully become involved in their local city governments.
    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/mo-court-of-appeals/1566340.html

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