Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Baby Carlos" Adoption Trial Kicks off Next Week

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Carthage_cover.jpg

Some of you have been inquiring about the legal status of Carlos Jamison Moser, the five-year-old boy in Carthage, Missouri, who is the focus of a landmark adoption battle that's been waged over the past four years.

We chronicled the story behind Carlos' adoption case in our Oct. 20 feature, The Battle of Carthage. The case represents a rising trend of undocumented immigrants being separated from their children -- and sometimes losing custody of them -- when they are detained and deported.

The Carthage case, in particular, begs a broader question: should an American-born boy, raised by American, middle-class parents, remain with them? Or should he be reunited with his birth mother who, after the trial, is almost certain to be deported back to Guatemala? Immigration-policy experts nationwide believe the case's outcome will affect the estimated 5.5 million children in the U.S. who are living with at least one undocumented parent.

We originally reported that a two-day trial was to occur in December. But both parties agreed that a four-day trial would be more appropriate. According to Bail's lawyer, the trial will kick off on Feb. 28.

More background on the case, along with a recent clip from ABC's Nightline, after the jump.

Carlos Jamison was born on U.S. soil to a Guatemalan woman, Encarnación Bail, who entered the country illegally a year prior. In 2007, Bail was picked up and detained indefinitely by immigration authorities during a workplace raid, and Carlos, an infant at the time, was passed along by various parties, ending up in the care of Seth and Melinda Moser, a couple who lived just across town from Bail in Carthage.

The Mosers were awarded custody of the baby while Bail was transferred to a federal prison in West Virginia. A year later a circuit-court judge ruled that Bail -- during the time she was incarcerated -- essentially abandoned her child. The judge made the Mosers Carlos' official parents. When Bail returned from prison she appealed the decision.

The case scaled all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court, which last year restored Bail's parental rights, but ordered a new adoption hearing at the circuit court level so that the Mosers could have a renewed shot at pleading their case. The judges also barred Bail from seeing Carlos, her newly restored parental rights notwithstanding.

ABC's Nightline spotlighted the case earlier this month, with Brian Ross reporting. Just as they did with us, the Mosers declined to be interviewed; the segments featuring the Mosers came from interviews previously recorded by ABC's Southwest Missouri affiliate.

Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 16, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation