Since turning 18 in 1998, she has continued to remain under court-approved guardianship of her parents, who were given legal authority to make final decisions regarding her health and welfare, even as she lived in a group home.
While Elisa has maintained that she wants to carry out her pregnancy, she knows she will be unable to care for the child. The Bauers support her decision, are following all the prenatal protocol for high-risk pregnancies, and have already lined up six qualified couples who are eager to adopt Elisa?s child once he or she is born.
However, when Washoe County Social Services became aware of Elisa?s pregnancy, the department issued an informal report requesting that the Court set a status hearing to address the potential health effects Elisa?s pregnancy could have on her and her unborn child, and possibly override the mutual decision made between Elisa and her parents to have her baby.
Jason Guinsasso, the attorney for the Bauers, says that the court has no jurisdiction to intervene in any health-related decisions regarding Elisa ? pregnancy included ? because Elisa?s parents are the legal guardians. He adds that Washoe County Social Services Department must submit a formal petition based on substantial grounds to usurp guardianship before the County Court can get involved.
?There are no statutes that give this Court or Washoe County the authority to compel Elisa to have an abortion. Such decisions are left to the sound discretion of the duly appointed guardian(s)? To date, Washoe County has utterly failed to provide clear and convincing evidence that Mr. and Mrs. Bauer?s decision to support Elisa?s efforts to carry her child to term is unlawful or that they are not acting in a manner consistent with the best interests of Elisa?s health and welfare.?