Shame Shame Shame

Can you imagine waving good bye to your son as he gets on the school bus for his first day of school and never seeing him again? A parent's worst fear--losing a child.

Well, that is what happened to Encarnacion Bail Romero, an illegal Guatemalan immigrant, when a lower Missouri court ruled in favor of the Mosers, the adoptive family. Then the Missouri Supreme Court, calling the decision a "travesty of justice," ordered a review of the case by a second judge and the second judge once again ruled for the Mosers. The court apparently ruled that the biological mother had no rights to even see her child.

And that is what happened to a South Carolina adoptive couple, the Capobiancos, who have lost the latest round in a legal fight to raise the two-year-old girl they have been parenting since shortly after her birth. The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that she should live with her biological father, a Cherokee Indian.

In both cases the children were placed at an early age, but in the Missouri case, Bail's son was removed from her and considered abandoned when she was incarcerated. Why the US didn't deport both mother and son back to Guatemala appears to be a mystery.

The Capobiancos, in the South Carolina case, took the baby home eight days after her birth in 2009. It appears that both Christina Maldonado and Dusten Brown, the child's birthparents, consented to the adoption. Dusten later changed his mind and in early 2010 the Cherokee Nation sued on his behalf to stop the adoption.

It appears that all of the adults in these cases were and are of sane mind. It appears that all of the adults in these cases love the children that they are fighting over. Why is it then that these adults can't figure out a way to allow the children to have stable lives, connected to all of the adults that care for them? It happens in amicable divorces and it happens in fully open adoptions. As it stands now there are two families-- Bail Romero's, a birthmother, and the Capobiancos, adoptive parents-- who will probably never see their children again. Do you think the children will forget them or stop loving them -- I don't believe this for a second!

So what is the solution?

I would refer you to a book called Hospitious Adoption written by my friend James L. Gritter. Jim was the child welfare director at Catholic Human Services in Traverse City, Michigan for more than 30 years.

Patricia Martinez Dorner MA, LPC, LMFT writes of the book, "Hospitious Adoption brings the adoption journey into the familiar world of relationships and the ingredients that allow them to blossom. Setting a valuable standard, it offers guidelines for a healthier journey for all involved. Written with clarity and thoughtful candor, it truly joins all participants as valued, blended family members."

Life is too short and our children's lives too valuable not to stop and take the time to make an effort to unite these families so that these children can grow up whole and healthy, valuing and loving both their adoptive and their biological families.

Dawn Smith-Pliner is Founder and Director, Friends in Adoption

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