Hope Creates a Family

In 2002, Hope* received a call from her cousin in Mexico, asking her to care for two small children, who were in the U.S., until her cousin could join them. The children were only one and three at the time and Hope, seeing no other options for the children, agreed.  However, Hope’s cousin never returned. She continued to care for them despite earning little more than $1,000 per month. In 2003, Hope obtained guardianship of the children so that she could better provide for their medical care and education.  As the years passed, she realized that the children’s birth mother was never going to be able or willing to care for the children.

*Client’s name changed to protect privacy.

In 2008, Hope began to contact attorneys about gaining permanent custody.  Unfortunately, she obtained inaccurate legal advice and improperly filed guardianship and adoption cases. The children’s lack of legal status in the U.S. complicated the situation.  Hope paid an adoption attorney, immigration attorney and a guardianship attorney, all of whom filed the wrong paperwork, and the adoption case was dismissed in 2009.

In 2010, with nowhere else to turn, Hope contacted Levitt & Quinn and received expert legal assistance.  The parental rights of the birth parents were terminated due to their abandonment.  Subsequently, and in coordination with the Immigration Center for Women and Children, Levitt & Quinn attorney Lucia Reyes finalized the adoption this month.  Because of Hope’s extremely low income she was not able to pay even our very low fees, but we were able to represent her in the long ordeal because her representation was funded by donations such as the one provided by Toyota Financial Services. (See Toyota story below.)

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