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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Woman Who Returned Adopted Son Ordered To Pay $150K In Child Support

A Tennessee woman who returned her son to Russia after legally adopting him is responsible for paying $150,000 in child support ruled a Tennessee judge. 

Artyem Saveliev was adopted from a Russian orphanage by Torry Hansen. Hansen said the boy became very violent and threatened to stab her mother to death, along with many other threats. Her parents put the then 7-year-old boy on a flight back to Russia alone with her consent in 2010.  

Although criminal charges were never filed, the agency she used sued her for child support. Advocates for international adoption said the case holds large implications for international adoptions and sparked outrage across the globe.The child was reportedly placed in a psychiatric hospital after he returned.

If you are in need of legal counsel concerning adoptions or any other area of family law, you need a highly-qualified Missouri attorney by your side. Call now for your free and immediate consultation.

Mother Detained In Immigration Raid Stripped Of Parental Rights

In a ruling last week, the Carthage, Missouri couple will retain custody of a young boy separated from his mother five years ago in an immigration raid.

The Greene County judge ruled against the Guatemalan mother Wednesday, determining the boy, who will be six this fall, should stay with Melinda and Seth Moser who officially adopted the boy in 2008. 

The complicated case began when Bail Romero was arrested during an immigration raid in Barry County, Mo. at a poultry plant where she worked. Her son, who she had named Carlos, was six months old. As she remained in jail, the boy was cared for by relatives, then others. After five months, the Mosers began caring for the boy in their house. They filed for adoption. 

This case has garnered international attention. Attorneys for the woman said she was originally handed notice of the adoption in English while incarcerated and did not have legal counsel for at least two months after the Mosers began to pursue the adoption. 

Although the initial adoption was granted, an appeals panel overturned the trail court decision, saying that court lacked the authority to grant such an adoption. Then the Missouri State Supreme Court heard the case in January 2011 and ordered a new trial. 

The boy, who goes by the name Jamison, is both a United States and Guatemalan citizen, but only speaks English. Romero’s attorneys said they were reviewing the ruling and deciding whether to file an appeal.

If you need to deal with a legal matter in family courts, you need a qualified St. Louis attorney by your side. Call today for a free, initial consultation.

Custody Battle Leads To Lawmakers Considering Adoption Rights Bill

A six-year custody battle in the Missouri Supreme Court has led lawmakers to consider a bill making it legal for a baby born to unmarried parents to be given up for adoption without the consent of the father. 

If the bill is passed into law. the proposed law would make an unmarried father's consent unnecessary if he has not been actively involved in the prenatal care and natal care of the child.  

A father would have to show a "consistent and substantial relationship" with the infant, unless actively stopped by the mother, in order to have a claim. 

This could include helping provide financial support for prenatal needs to the baby's mother; helping pay for medical expenses associated with child birth; making regular visitation and contact with the child; and assisting in the child's education and medical needs.

The bill was in response to a 2007 Missouri Supreme Court decision involving a child given up for adoption. In Missouri, a father is required to declare paternity within 15 days of a child's birth, but the father, Craig Lentz, hadn't because he was awaiting the results of a paternity test.

In the meantime, the child was placed in a Texas couple's house with the intent for the couple to adopt the child. Lentz sought an intervention in the adoption proceedings.He eventually regained custody of the child in 2011. 

Opponents of the bill argue that such a bill would take away a father's parental rights. Advocates, however, said the bill will help streamline adoptions for both for adoptive parents and for children. 

If you are facing any type of custody battle or adoption proceedings, you need a Missouri family attorney who will fight on your behalf and help guide you through the process. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

New Bill To Allow Some Foster Families Access To Affordable Health Care Plan

Governor Jay Nixon signed a bill providing an affordable insurance option to some foster parents in Missouri.

House bill 1576 allows specialized state-licensed foster parents to purchase the State Employee Insurance Plan.  This allows foster parents without affordable health care options  who care for special needs kids to buy a the same policies state employees.

Nixon signed the bill June 25 and it is expected to take effect August 28.

He cited the extra training many of the parents complete as well as obtaining special licenses in order to care for foster kids. 

"For these foster parents, caring for these children is literally a full-time job," said Nixon. "That's why we want them to have the opportunity to purchase the same health care plan as state employees."

If you need any counsel dealing with adoption issues, it is important to speak with a qualified Missouri family lawyer who understands the issues and can help you navigate the legal system. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Contact Us

Jeffrey A. Heater
Attorney at Law

5205 Hampton Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63109

Phone: (314) 541-7421

Fax: (314) 932-7672

jeff@heaterlaw.com

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