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 July 15, 2014 |

Baton Rouge individuals and couples who want to be parents but can’t have a child of their own turn to other options. Adding a member to a family through adoption doesn’t happen as quickly as some would-be parents would like. Legal complications add costs and stress and, after years for one couple, the stress is now over.

The couple’s adoption story began in 2007, after a Guatemalan immigrant was arrested for being in the U.S. illegally. The immigrant had a baby son who, because of the mother’s legal problems, ended up with the woman’s brother and later another sibling. The boy finally was placed with a couple who wanted to adopt him.

In 2008, the Guatemalan immigrant lost her parental rights after a court determined she did not support or contact her son, while the woman was incarcerated. The same year, the couple adopted the boy, but the biological mother appealed. The Carthage Press reported an appellate court and a state Supreme Court ordered the adoption process to start over, ruling the lower court did not handle the adoption properly.

The mother’s parental rights were restored, but only until 2012 when they were removed a second time for the same reason – parental abandonment. The boy’s adoption went through, with the backing of another appeals court last October. The state Supreme Court and, recently, the U.S. Supreme Courts refused to hear the case which, by default, confirmed the adoption and the immigrant’s loss of parental rights.

The boy, now 6, was adopted twice within his short lifetime by the same parents. The biological mother now has no other legal recourse. The case is fully resolved.

Few parents in Louisiana will have to spend seven years trying to convince a court they deserve to adopt. The story highlights the value of parental rights, automatic for most biological parents but acquired through legal means by adoptive ones.

Source: The Joplin Globe, “UPDATE: Adoptive mother of Supreme Court hearing: ‘Now we can relax’”, July 1, 2014

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