' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: 'Baby Veronica' adoption will go forward
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

'Baby Veronica' adoption will go forward

Dusten Brown and his daughter, Veronica. The Washington Post
Getty Images 
For Later Posts: 

Dusten Brown continues to fight for his daughter; the Capobiancos dig in deeper

Adoptive father John Roberts: Not impartial in the Baby Veronica case



Baby Veronica, now nearly four, will be taken from her natural father and returned to the couple who want to adopt her, Matt and Melinda Copabionco of South Carolina, following a 3-2 decision today by the South Carolina Supreme Court. Her natural mother, according to her attorney, is "over the moon."

This comes only weeks after a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that held that Dusten Brown, and his daughter, Veronica—both citizens of the Cherokee Nation—were essentially not protected under the Indian Child Welfare Act. After that ruling, Brown  attempted to adopt his own daughter in Oklahoma, where he has been living with her for the last 18
months, since the high court didn’t recognize his rights as a parent. Oklahoma declined to hear the petition, claiming that South Carolina retained exclusive jurisdiction of the case, since that was where the potential adoptive parents resided.

'WITHOUT REGARD' TO THE CHILD'S BEST INTEREST
The South Carolina court agreed Wednesday to terminate Brown’s parental rights, ruling against him and Cherokee Nation. The ruling means that Matt and Melanie Copabianco, the white couple that sought to adopt Veronica, will now regain custody and finalize the adoption. In a dissenting opinion, two of the justices, Costa M. Pleicones and Donald W. Beatty, pointed out that although the child was placed with the Copabiancos, she went to her adoptive father while still a baby. They protested that the majority’s order of immediate transfer of Baby Veronica to the Capobiancos had been done “without regard to whether such an abrupt transfer would be in the child’s best interest.” Given “all that has happened in her short life,” those two justices said, the family court should be allowed to take the time to sort out what might be best for the little girl.

Brown has five days to petition for a rehearing, though his legal avenues are unclear. I cannot understand the morality of a couple who would pursue an adoption that takes a child from a father who wishes to raise her. He has proven many times over his desire to be a good father to his own daughter. But fathers have a hard time getting respect in the court of public opinion today when so many couples wish to adopt. I cannot understand people who are so grasping for a child that they would prevent her from growing up with her own people. They are the guilty ones here.

Lorraine
I am just sad. At four, you begin to collect memories. The news--just a sentence--came on the evening news tonight and what we hoped would not happen--that a child would not get to grow up with her natural father--became a reality.

If ever there was a clear example of how adoption-oriented our culture has become, this is it. While Brown's legal maneuvering to retain the right to raise his daughter came into question, people on the side of the couple who wish to raise her were virulent in their attacks on Brown. Just a few days ago, I got into a verbal tussel with none other than Troy Dunn, who posted a comment on his Facebook page, hoping that the prospective adopters win this case and get "their" daughter back. Since Dunn has made a career out of reuniting families separated apart by adoption, I was stunned and said so on his "official" page. He reacted angrily, and called Brown a "deadbeat dad." It is true that Brown did not attempt to raise his daughter when he thought her mother was going to, but stepped up to the plate immediately when he learned that the girl would be given up for adoption. Brown has since married, and has been raising her daughter for the last year and half while fighting to retain legal custody of her. Dusten Brown is in no way a "deadbeat dad."

The other day, the mother of the girl, Christy Maldonado, published an opinion piece under her name in The Washington Post urging that the girl be taken from her father, recounting that he was not involved during her pregnancy, and that their relationship had deteriorated by the time the girl was born. We get that. But since then he has shown himself to be a father who cares, and wants to raise his own daughter. Yes, he did sign a paper, in a parking lot, but he says he did not know what it was, and the next day began the process of trying to undue that and reclaim his daughter. He deserves the opportunity and right to raise his daughter; his daughter deserves the right to grow up among her own kin. The Copabiancos might have law on their side, but they do not have righteousness and decency.

Adoption is supposed to be for children who need parents; not couples who want children no matter how they get them. Matt and Melanie Copabianco have shown themselves to be void of any moral authority and human decency. Their only concern is that they have a child. I am sure they have convinced themselves that they are the best parents for the girl, but that does not make them right.

THE DECISION DEMEANS PARENTHOOD--SCALIA
All this seems incredibly personal to me because my own daughter, whom I relinquished for adoption, fought the father of her first daughter, when he wanted to raise her.  The year was 1986. He was a black man fighting the white power structure of Wisconsin. I repeatedly urged my daughter to let the father raise the girl, with his mother, as I heard he was hoping to do, but my daughter was adamant; their daughter would be adopted. In an effort to shut me up, she told me the father was a heavy drug user, but I did not believe her. As much as I hate writing this, she did not tell the truth when it was convenient to not tell the truth and until I had proof that he was a serious addict, I had no reason to believe her on this.  She told me more lies about how the girl was adopted, how she met the adoptive parents, how she shook their hands. None of it was true, as I learned when I found the young woman a few years ago.

The father of my granddaughter lost. And today, Dusten Brown is also losing. So is his daughter, Veronica. When a birth/first mother does not want to raise her child, and the father does, he should have that right, and the child should have the right to be with her own people. This decision is wrong on its face, is wrong ethically, and belongs in the Dred Scott heap of decisions that are remembered as wrong.

It is worth repeating here the words of Justice Antonin Scalia, who sided with the minority decision of the Supreme Court and support Dusten Brown in his quest to keep his child:
"The Court's opinion, it seems to me, needlessly demeans the rights of parenthood. It has been the constant practice of the common law to respect the entitlement of those who bring a child into the world to raise that child. We do not inquire whether leaving a child with his parents is 'in the best interest of the child.' It sometimes is not; he would be better of raised by someone else. But parents have their rights, no less than children do. This father wants to raise his daughter, and the statute amply protects his right to so do. There is no reason in law or policy to dilute that protection."
That pretty much sums it up. Today is a sad day for parents and children.--lorraine

SOURCES
Baby Veronica To Be Adopted by White Couple
Baby Veronica belongs with her adoptive parents  By Christy Maldonado
'Baby Veronica's' father, grandparents file to adopt 3-year-old girl

From FMF
Supreme Court rules against Indian father, limits Indian Child Welfare Act
A father's right to raise his own daughter hinges on 'Indian' act
Returning a child to her father is the right decision
Can the media get adoption right?
Adoptive father John Roberts: Not impartial in the Baby Veronica case
Facebook:  
Troy the Locator (Official) 
(Look under the comments by others on the right-hand side. It's back a few days ago.)
 


58 comments :

  1. Sad is such an understatement. i cannot even begin to imagine the devastation of this father and child! She has been made into a human ping pong ball!

    "I cannot understand the morality of a couple who would pursue an adoption that takes a child from a father who wishes to raise her. He has proven many times over his desire to be a good father to his own daughter. But fathers have a hard time getting respect in the court of public opinion today when so many couples wish to adopt. I cannot understand people who are so grasping for a child that they would prevent her from growing up with her own people. They are the guilty ones here."

    You are also right on target about the pro-adoption climate that has reached FEVER pitch. In many Christian churches you are no longer a good christian unless you adopt! THE INDUSTRY had brainwashed an entire nation into a pro-adoption culture that does NOT save orphans, but CREATES orphans and destroys families FOR PROFIT!!! I am utterly disgusted. days like this make me think my 40 years of efforts were worthless..

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  2. So incredibly sad. The one sensible thing the Deboers said during their fight for baby Jessica was that once the baby was removed from their home, they would stop fighting, and let her go. I can't believe this little girl is expected, once again to change homes. Shame on the Capabiancos.

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  3. This is devastating on SO many levels! One day, I can only hope this comes back to haunt the "adoptive" parents and the birthmother. My heart truly aches for that little girl.

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  4. The outcome of this story is truly frightening. I am sick over it. It just shows how adoption happy our culture is and how much we have diminished the importance of bio-bonds. It is going to set a dangerous precedence. More prospective adoptive parents are going to be encouraged to sue when they are battling a father. The media is partly to blame for always referring to the Copabiancos as the adoptive parents when they, in fact, had not legally adopted Veronica. Also, how was the father such a deadbeat? My understanding was that he was engaged to the n-mother and asked to move the wedding up after she became pregnant.

    My heart breaks for Veronica. She is going to be so scared. She probably doesn't even remember her PAPs. How on earth are they ever going to justify this to her? It's not as if they can tell her that they loved her so much they wanted to give her a home. She already had a loving home with her own father. It's a sick society we live in. And a very sad day.

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  5. Mirah: You are right that the pro-adoption mentality that has crept through the land makes me feel as if we are been blown over by high winds pushing adoption. I am quite discouraged. I never imagined that society would be so pro-adoption.

    Last night I was channel surfing. One channel had Couples Therapy with Catelynn and Tyler (weren't they supposed to get married this July? If anyone has the answer, please let us know)and I'm Having Their Baby was on another. I watched a young woman plead with her boyfriend to keep their baby, but he said, I would resent her, I would not feel anything towards her...but I will support you in whatever you want to do. Like, who is he kidding?

    I couldn't watch anymore.

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  6. oVER AT TROY DUNN'S FB PAGE THEY ARE CELEBRATING THIS DECISION. My heart breaks. At least one adoptee is saying there that he is conflicted about this:

    Dan Taylor
    Conflicted on this. Adoption is a permanent solution for an often temporary situation. As an adoptee, my heart is with the biological father and adoptive parents both. I think we all need to be sensitive and avoid making grandiose judgements about who should have custody of this child unless we were sitting in the courtroom. You are better than this , Troy!

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  7. Can we do a letter writing campaign? Surely we all know plenty of moms and adoptees..

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  8. Now that I have calmed down and am less emotional (this case really affected me), I am actually surprised that Veronica was returned to her natural father at all. He did sign the relinquishment papers, even if it was in a parking lot and he said he didn't understand what he was signing. This doesn't hold water in terms of the law. An adult is responsible for reading whatever he is signing, and if he doesn't understand something to ask questions. Having this take place in a parking lot was a lawyer trick. Some lawyers will do whatever they can to get a favorable outcome for their client.

    Mr. Brown only had a case at all because of the ICWA. What this case brings up is the question...Can I father relinquish his parental rights under the terms that the mother must raise the child and is not allowed to give the child up for adoption?

    Knowing firsthand the pain of being adopted, I hate to see any child being raised in an adoptive home when she has a loving natural parent who can and wants to take care of her. But I am, unfortunately, not really surprised at the outcome.

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  9. Who would we write to?

    I think the best thing is to write to your local newspaper and make noise on the Internet.

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  10. I would like to be a fly on the wall when Veronica starts crying and screaming "Where is my Daddy"?

    The girl they get back will not be the girl they returned to her father initially. Veronica will know differently now.

    The Copabiancos make me sick. I hope the child runs away and goes back to her father when she is old enough.

    Reminds me of the Aubrey Fulton case ... that was another whacked out SC couple ... snatching the child literally out of the arms of the paternal biological family. The bio-grandparents had taken out a second mortgage to cover the legal costs of trying to keep Aubrey with them ... and the adoptorapters still took her. Yikes! Explain that to the resultant teen struggling with her identity.

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  11. I just wish all the grown ups involved, especially that horrible PR person Jessica Munday who encouraged people to call her dad a sperm donor and throw bricks through people's windows, would act like grown ups and let everyone be in Veronica's life. This all got way out of hand with both sides shutting each other out. This little girl has a lot of people who love her. I know it is naive to wish they could all rise above on her behalf. I remember on the Dr. Phil Show the Capobianco's said they were willing to do that. I hope they meant it.

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  12. Actually , Robin, yes. A father needs to know the reason why the termination of his parental rights is being sought. Never can they be terminated by a text message. The person who clearly TPR'd was the mother, yet her opinion was given center stage. Funny how tha worked.

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  13. I had a difficult time sleeping last night. Just thinking about this case made me ill. The very fact that the Cap. "parents" would remove Veronica from a loving home with her very own biological father raises a huge red flag in my mind - one that suggests that they may have serious mental health issues. If they follow through on their legal right to Veronica, as they do not have either a moral or ethical right, I suspect their decision will haunt them down the road. In their hearts, they will know that they have stolen a child!

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  14. New ADD to post:

    The other day, the mother of the girl, Christy Maldonado, published an opinion piece under her name in The Washington Post urging that the girl be taken from her father, recounting that he was not involved during her pregnancy, and that their relationship had deteriorated by the time the girl was born. We get that. But since then he has shown himself to be a father who cares, and wants to raise his own daughter. Yes, he did sign a paper, in a parking lot, but he says he did not know what it was, and the next day began the process of trying to undue that and reclaim his daughter. He deserves the opportunity and right to raise his daughter; his daughter deserves the right to grow up among her own kin. The Copabiancos might have law on their side, but they do not have righteousness and decency.

    Adoption is supposed to be for children who need parents; not couples who want children no matter how they get them. Matt and Melanie Copabianco have shown themselves to be void of any moral authority and human decency. Their only concern is that they have a child. I am sure they have convinced themselves that they are the best parents for the girl, but that does not make them right.

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  15. This is a heartbreaking and wrong decision. How awful for both father and daughter.

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  16. I am simply devastated for this little girl. If I were her father, I would get in my car with her and make a run for the border.

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  17. Legal matters are decided based on laws and facts, not emotion. I agree with everything you wrote in bold and I do feel that the fact that Mr. Brown realized his error within 24 hours should have been a compelling factor in this case. But it makes a mockery of our legal system to base it on the "I didn't know what I was signing" defense.

    I worry about how this will affect little Veronica and how it will affect her relationship with her APs in the long run. At the very least, she will most likely being highly conflicted about them.

    Imo, the Copabiancos are the villains here. They seem like totally self-centered people who don't understand or don't even care about how negatively adoption can affect a child. With over a hundred thousand children who truly need homes they could have given this up and adopted a child who desperately needs a loving home, not a child who already has one. I don't know how they will ever explain this to Veronica.

    I apologize for hogging your comment section, but this case has thrown me for a loop.

    Oh, and Catelynn and Tyler did call off their July wedding.

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  18. Yes, he signed the paper, but this was not about accepting an insurance settlement when your car has been totaled by a drunk driver on a cell phone (as our car was), and then changing your mind. This is about the life of a child, and her father. Big difference. The court has treated her like a ping pong ball, and the adopters (the Copabiancos) do not care: they just want a child and feel entitled to one.

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  19. I don't think the fact that he signed the paper was a real factor. The state is basing this all on the fact that he for whatever reason did not support the mother during her pregnancy. The paper he signed was never filed in court, was it?
    I think the really scary thing is that the mother told him to go away and hid from him in the hospital and he loses his rights because of it. What was he supposed to do? Stalk her? Leave groceries at her door?
    Also unfortunately, the text messages also came back and bit him.
    The reality is that neither the father or the mother acted appropriately prior to V's birth. Lots of secrets and lies. It is just too bad that now little V has to suffer.

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  20. Tragic wouldn't be the wrong word for this.

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  21. Lorraine and others: Have you seen this case? http://www.turnto10.com/story/22809004/man-fights-for-custody-of-3-month-old-girl and here's the fb page https://www.facebook.com/groups/BringingHopeHome/

    The young father and his mother are trying desperately to raise money just to HIRE a lawyer...they need help. There is a page for donations...http://www.gofundme.com/2mus9w

    Noah NEVER signed papers, never even knew of the pregnancy. The adoption agency won't even let this father SEE his own child! How is this possible?!

    Just thought some of us could help prevent another father from losing his daughter and a child from losing their family for absolutely NO REASON. I am disgusted that this is happening over and over.

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  22. I left a comment in support of the father on a Yahoo forum and received about 18 replies which were overwhelmingly in support of the APs. One person said I was a complete idiot for even thinking that that Veronica belongs with her dad. Signing the paper and not being able to change his mind is absurd. Veronica's status as human seems to be reduced to that of property in this situation.

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  23. Wow. After reading Gail's comment I went looking for an outside place to comment and found this at Huff Po. It seems that people are so hyped up for adoption that the fact that she is now being taken from her real father counts for nothing.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/07/17/adoptive_couple_vs_baby_girl_south_carolina_court_sends_baby_veronica_back.html

    Do leave a comment there. I have a feeling mine will be ripped apart by the pro-adoption all the time, any time crowd.

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  24. The young girl was removed from the home where her parents were raising her since birth. It is time she return home to be with her parents. She will thrive, there.

    Maybe the birth father can have visitation rights and see the girl one weekend a month.

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  25. Anonymous

    The Copabianocs are not her parents.

    Her father should have paid more attention, all true, but he was basically tricked into signing away his daughter, and they Capobianocos and their shifty lawyer know that. She should be allowed to grow up with a real parent who wants her. The agency involved here is largely to blame for this mess. What agency?

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  26. Look at the hell the Capobiancos are putting the Browns and Veronica through. Would loving people do that to others?

    One commenter from TX, when commenting on the Terry Achane case wrote (in reference to the Frei's), "did you birth her? Then she is not 'yours'." This is very true in all cases, and all biological parents have God-Given "Rights" and "Responsibilities".

    If there were nothing to biological ties, then there would be no reason to expect that any "birth-family" would have any interest in the one given away, nor would there be any reason for an adoptee or bio-parent to search. However, reality is not like that, is it? As a reunited adoptee with a large extended family, I have gotten requests from extended family all over the country "wanting to meet me". Why would Great Aunt Suzy in Wyoming want to meet her 'long-lost' great-niece if she didn't have an interest due to genetics/biology/FAMILY?

    How would the Capobiancos feel if someone was trying to take their child from them through legal machinations? They would be horribly outraged, and rightly so. So, why do they do this to someone else?

    People who are willing to rip a child from a loving, biological parent's arms, and those who have no capacity to see others' viewpoints and follow the Golden Rule, should NEVER qualify as "adoptive parents". The Capobiancos are an insult to human dignity, and all that is Right and True.

    I think it might be time for Dusten Brown to educate himself on real Law vs. Colorable Law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_(law)) and declare his independence as a sovereign man and stand up for his Real Rights under Our Creator. Maybe Roage could help him understand what his Real Rights are (www.roage.com on Divine Law).

    Additionally, the connections, motivations, and intentions of the Capobiancos are worthy of further investigation. I am not convinced all is honorable or safe for "V" there.

    Could be time to help Dusten and Veronica go "underground".

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  27. As a natural mother, in 1980 I had 30 days to rescind my decision to place my daughter for adoption. Surely this father should have had that as well? Bottom line, as so well stated in previous comments is: adoption should be about finding parents for children who need them, not finding children for parents who want them.

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  28. To Anonymous July 19, 2013 at 3:52 AM...

    REALLY?! The 'C's are NOT her parents, adoptive or otherwise at this point and time. Most likely, Veronica has no memory of them, but has plenty of memories and a strong, true connection to her FATHER at this very moment. I cannot believe ANYONE, no matter how they feel about adoption, would think this move is in Veronica's "best interests." The Copabianco's are selfish beyond the definition, and you know what they say about karma. This WILL come back to haunt them, in some form or fashion.

    She is "thriving" where she is...evidenced by the pictures with her FATHER. Legal kidnapping, that is what this is.

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  29. Unfortunately, if Dad is still in the military, going "underground" isn't a viable option.

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  30. Anonymous,
    The Capobianco's were never her parents, at least not biologically and not legally - adoption was never finalized. They tried to complete the adoption, but her father fought to keep his parental rights from the SECOND he learned that she would be adopted. Thus V's adoption was always pending.

    Her father will ALWAYS be related to her - 5 yrs from now, 20 yrs from now, on her deathbed. They will always share genes, mannerisms, and will always be a some sort of mirror to each other. The Capobianco's will NEVER be genetically related to her.

    SHAME on the Capobianco's from taking her father away from her, denying her the opportunity to grow and understand herself alongside one of her biggest mirrors. Adoptions like this should NEVER happen. She's happy and she's with people who will always share so much with her. And they love her so much.

    My heart breaks for her and what she'll be forced to endure in her near future.

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  31. @Anon 11:15 a.m.

    Yes, this will come back to haunt the C's ... probably in the form of an angry, depressed, suicidal, "cutting" 14-year-old named Veronica. But there are always dangerous psychiatric drugs and the Diamond Ranch Academy for those 'rebellious' teens, right?

    All the money and material "advantages" in the world can't replace what is God-Given and priceless.

    And so far, you can't buy your way out of your DNA either (you might be able to clone it, but not swap it out once you are living it). When Dusten Brown says "She will always be my daughter" he is right. C's need to listen ... but, all they can seem to hear is the thunder of their self-serving agenda.

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  32. Lots of fertile people bashing on HufPO. We're sperm donors , breeders "anyone can make a baby." Adoptive parents on the other hand "have to" jump thru countless hoops. Poor things.

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  33. I woke up at 2:45 am last night thinking of Veronica and couldn't get back to sleep. I'm sick of legalized kidnapping masquerading as 'benevolent' adoption. This case has been so triggering. It got me thinking...what if I had been born at a time when there wasn't such a stigma against unwed motherhood and my father was able to use legal maneuvering to prevent my mother from raising me? How horrific. It should never be possible when one parent wants to relinquish to be able to deny the other parent who wants to raise the child, his right to do so.

    And I wish people would quit calling the Copabiancos Veronica's adoptive parents. They are not her adoptive parents. They are her prospective or potential adoptive parents.

    I just hope and pray that Mr. Brown takes advantage of the rehearing or any other legal options he may have. I think we need to stage a protest.

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  34. Those who agree that Dusten Brown and his daughter ought to stay together--please take a look at the Slate or Huff Po boards and post your thoughts. Adoptees especially need to be heard from.

    The Long, Complicated "Baby Veronica" Saga Comes to an Unsatisfying End
    and

    South Carolina Supreme Court Rules 'Baby Girl' Veronica Should Be Returned To Adoptive Parents

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  35. https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/07/19/inseparable-sisters-adoption-order-exacts-toll-baby-veronicas-family-150500

    Veronica has a sister who will also suffer!This has to stop!

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  36. I agree with the minority of the SC Supreme court but not Scalia. The ICWA isn't about general parental rights but the ability to override state adoption laws based on a sometimes limited tie to an Indian tribe. More importantly the father surrendered his parental rights and in most states, once surrendered they are not returned without at least a best interests hearing. Saying you didn't understand the surrender documents is standard practice if for parent who later challenge the adoption.

    The best interests of Veronica should have been considered and I can't see why it wouldn't be in the best interests of the child to stay with the father. That said, I don't think the APs are evil for wanting Veronica back. They clearly love her and being adoptive parents have trained themselves to ignore biology.

    It's true that they aren't her legal parents until finalization but they were presumably her legal guardians. Finalization would appear to be a formality at this point.

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  37. Anon 9:58, I disagree. The PAP's don't "clearly" love her. They do NOT know what love is. They are NOT considering her well-being, her happiness, so they cannot claim to "love" her. They were her pending, uncontested legal guardians for the 1st 4 months of her life. They contested her return to her father for the next 2 years. They have not been her legal guardian for the last 18-19 months. They have had no role in her life for the last 18-19 months except to try to take her away from what is rightfully hers - her family, relatives, her history and her future with her people, her father who will ALWAYS be her father, with whom she shares unique and permanent bonds.

    The PAP's have NOT behaved lovingly towards this little girl? Sadly, V will come to know this. The courts and the PAP's could have done so much differently to protect her.

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  38. kym, in most states, waiting 4 months to try assert paternity and contest an adoption would result in the PAPs keeping the child. If it had not been for the ICWA, the Veronica would probably never have left the Copabiancos.

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  39. Kym, the SC court's decision appears to restore legal guardianship to the PAPs. The birthfather surrendered his parental rights (apparently to avoid paying child support) which leaves the birth mother as the child's sole legal parent. She will not consent to the adoption of Veronica by the birth father and will only consent to the PAPs adopting her.

    That makes it difficult for a court to justify a best interests hearing since the birthfather appears to have no legal right to his child.

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  40. Anon 1:45, have you read anything on this case ? Your comment is straight out of Mad Magazine.

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  41. This is an very good post on which I commented previously. It's thought-provoking and got me thinking about who is to blame and it seemed to me we, and the press and the public, are collectively missing a giant elephant in the room.

    I started to write a comment here about it but it started to become a VERY long comment and would up being an entire blog post on the subject of who bears the blame for what happened in this tragic case to the poor child:

    I invite you to read my unique and controversial take on who's to blame and share your thoughts as comments:

    http://familypreservation.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-baby-veronica-fiasco-blame-game.html

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  42. There is a group on facebook, "standing our ground for Veronica Brown"...they have links to email legislatures as well as phone numbers. There is also a petition to sign. Please check it out.

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  43. Thanks for this comprehensive, sad post. I am writing as an adoptive parent of a boy who was taken from an abusive family and placed in foster care. I also write as a foster parent who helped reunify a little girl with her mother. These experiences helped shift my vision from an adoptive path focused on securing for myself a long-desired child to one of recognizing the importance, to a child, of an upbringing integrated with biological identity. I feel that adoption should occur only when all avenues for placement within a child’s biological family are exhausted. Much as I adore my son, I felt a profound loss on his behalf when no safe “forever” home was found among members of his first family.

    I have experienced emotions similar to those I imagine the Capobiancos feel. When my former foster daughter, Nina, was placed with us, her mother was given near impossible odds to overcome her mental health and addiction-related issues. Everybody working on her case felt certain that Nina would end up being adopted by us. Nina came to us as an 8 month old baby who had suffered much neglect. She bonded with me deeply and I grew to love her as my own, long-awaited baby. I convinced myself that only I was capable of giving her a happy, safe, protected life full of love and I worried greatly about her well-being in the care of her mother. I fantasized about running away with her. I was utterly grief-stricken when, at the age of 22 months, she went back to her mother Rayna.

    Five years have passed since her reunification and, thanks to Rayna allowing us frequent contact with Nina, I see first hand what a gift she has in being raised by her biological family. I realize that self-convincing arguments about providing a better life as Nina’s adoptive mother were born out of my selfish desire to keep her for my very own. I would appeal to the Capobiancos that they might consider whether their passionate devotion to what they are sure serves Veronica’s best interests, living with them, might similarly be motivated by a desperate desire to keep her within their reach. Letting her go is a hard thing to do, but the right thing to do.

    The Capobiancos have pledged to do everything within their power to maintain contact with both of Veronica’s biological parents: an open adoption all around. They apparently have worked with professionals to come up with a detailed “transition” plan. Had we adopted Nina, we would have done the same. In fact, we transitioned Nina back to her mother in consultation with a child psychologist, to minimize her trauma. The difference between us and the Capobiancos is our view of how the child’s interests are best met: they see their open adoption plan as the best way to surround Veronica by all who love her, while we view that arrangement as a consolation prize at best and a convenient excuse to justify holding on to someone else’s baby.

    Visiting your roots, your lineage is NOT the same as being raised in it. I see that with Nina, even though had we been raising her as adoptive parents she would have lived very close to her biological family and she could have seen them every day. Dusten Brown has shown that he loves Veronica, can clothe her, feed her, protect her and provide her with her lineage and heritage. There is no bigger prize for Veronica and I had hoped the Capobiancos would see that she deserved this, regardless of courts granting them the legal edge.

    In the end, saddened as I am, I at least have to acknowledge our incapacity to fully predict the future of these young children. I simply hope that, someday into the future, Nina agrees that what her family and ours together are doing for her is indeed what was in her best interests. I simply hope that, someday into the future, Veronica arrives at that same conclusion in regard to hers.

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  44. It ain't over 'till it's over.

    http://www.ncai.org/news/articles/2013/07/22/national-native-organizations-announce-pursuit-of-civil-rights-lawsuit-for-baby-veronica

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  45. From Wikipedia re Roberts adoptions:

    Adoption records

    While investigating Roberts' life, the New York Times was accused of attempting to unseal records detailing the 2000 adoption by Roberts and his wife of two infants born in Ireland[6] via a Latin American country.[7] The Times denied any attempts to unseal legal records and stated that "[o]ur reporters made initial inquiries about the adoptions" and "[t]hey did so with great care, understanding the sensitivity of the issue."

    The Times was condemned by the National Council for Adoption, "NCFA denounces, in the strongest possible terms, the shocking decision of the New York Times to investigate the adoption records of Justice John Roberts' two young children. The adoption community is outraged that, for obviously political reasons, the Times has targeted the very private circumstances, motivations, and processes by which the Roberts became parents."[8]

    The reasons for the adoption happening in the unnamed Latin American country remain unclear, though it was noted that the Irish 1991 Adoption Act only allows adoption of children born in Ireland by people resident in Ireland.[9]

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  46. Shouldn't Brown have had to provide "informed consent"? It sounds like he signed a document which the Capobiancos are trying to pass off as "consent" but if he did it thinking the child was with her mother then it obviously wasn't informed consent. This judgement says that whatever you can do to trick a parent into signing relinquishment papers is fine.... fraud, trickery, lying. It breaks my heart to think of these people getting their hands on this beautiful little girl when it's so obvious how little they care for her welfare.

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  47. Anon asked whether Dusten Brown should have had to provide "informed consent." Sadly, the answer is "no." State laws do not require consent by either parent to be informed. The laws may allow a short period to revoke consent but after that, they allow revocation only for fraud or coercion.

    This is unlike many others areas of the law where consent--for surgery, marriage, purchase of a vacuum cleaner, use of a name, many others-- must be informed.

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  48. For those who can stand to read this "transition plan" for Veronica to be handed over to the Capobiancos, it is heartbreaking. The counsellors have suggested Dusten Brown throw a celebratory goodbye party, and the rest of the content in there makes me sick too. Here it is:

    http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/griffin/NEWSon6/PDF/1307/veronica_transition_plan.pdf

    PLEASE sign the petition below if you are supportive of Veronica staying with her father Dusten Brown. I imagine many followers of this blog are sympathetic to their cause, and they need so many more signatures to stand up to the prospective adoptive parents' heavy-hitting PR campaign:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/intervene-adoption-veronica-brown-and-uphold-indian-child-welfare-act/0zZtRttY

    Thank You!

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  49. I am excerpting from an article whose full link is below the excerpt. Now we know why this case was taken up by the US Supreme Court in the first place. While Baby Veronica's biological mother is not a direct party to the suit, her lawyer filed a brief as "amici" in support of the prospective adoptive couple. Turns out her lawyer, Lori Alvino McGill, and her husband both have very close ties with Chief Justice Roberts. Now here's the excerpt:

    "Sources in Washington have pointed out that Alvino McGill's role in Adoptive Couple is more than that of a spokesperson for Christy Maldonado. As it turns out, Chief Justice Roberts and former solicitor general Ted Olson, both of whom sided with the Capobiancos, attended Ms. Alvino McGill's 2006 wedding to Matthew McGill who, coincidentally, was a clerk for John Roberts in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Therefore, given the cozy nature and small world influence in the Capitol's legal circles, observers say it was no surprise when Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl was granted petition of certiorari in January.

    “Dusten Brown never had a chance,” said the source. “His biggest sin was that he got on the wrong side of the billion dollar U.S. adoption industry and he was winning. [The Supreme Court] knew this when they took cert on this case, otherwise, why would they bother with a custody dispute that should have been nipped in the bud four years ago? And the sad part is that he's rehabilitated himself in every way in this case. He's gone to every length to keep his child, he's done everything asked of him. But it is a system that was stacked against him from the beginning. This is Worcester v. Georgia all over again.”

    After the South Carolina court's ruling finalizing the adoption of his daughter, Dusten Brown made a direct plea to the Capobiancos.

    “To Matt and Melanie Capobianco I want to say this: Please, for Veronica's sake, just stop. Stop, and ask yourself if you really believe this is best for her.”"

    Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/08/01/gloves-come-civil-rights-suit-filed-adoption-veronica-finalized-150676

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  50. Unfucking real!

    This needs more attention.

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  51. I am sick with worry about Veronica - see the link below:

    http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20130805/PC16/130809668/1177/judge-orders-veronica-x2019-s-prompt-transfer-asks-for-prosecutors-x2019-help-after-father-misses-visit

    I can only imagine the desperation Dusten Brown feels..how can someone want to take another's biological child away from them SO MUCH?!!! I am frightened that his desperation will lead to a terrible outcome for both him and his daughter. If he ends up in prison on kidnapping charges, never to see his daughter again.....oh, the heartbreak.

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  52. Indian families who cannot raise their children have other relatives raise them. This is tradition and called kinship adoption. The Indian Child Welfare Act addresses this. If a parent cannot raise their child, then another family member will adopt the child, or someone in the tribe, or someone in another tribe.
    It is time that what has been legally enshrined as ICWA is honored, practiced and taken seriously, for a better future for children who deserve better, who need better and who must have connection with their people in order to be fully functioning, fully participating members of their tribe when their time comes. Anything less is racist, destructive and should be unthinkable.
    Children are only children a short time. Veronica is reported to be strong-willed, even as a little girl. What will she have to say about this in five years or ten years? What will she remember? Will her adoptive parents (like my own) expect her to be grateful and accept and understand how they chose her -- yet in truth they took her away from a father who wanted her. Veronica will learn the truth eventually. It is an ugly truth, cruel in the extreme and one which she will not be able to escape. Experience tells us that it will not end well for the adoptive parents and there will in the end be no winners, only a great deal of loss and trauma.
    For many adoptive parents, they still do not get it: you do not OWN us, nor will you ever own us, make us your own or become our ‘real’ parents.
    Speaking with a retired tribal court judge in South Dakota, Lorraine Rousseau handled at least a thousand Indian Child Welfare Act cases. She fought to have tribal children raised by their relatives if parents were unfit or unable. She admitted most states and judges do not fully understand or abide by ICWA - even today. “That is the problem we are facing with Baby Veronica, and the fact that her parents were unmarried when Veronica was born,” she told me.
    ICWA is a federal law though some news outlets referred to it as “obscure.”

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi Trace, I want to take this opportunity to talk about a well-known joke:

    What is the difference between a female lawyer and a pitbull?

    Answer: Female lawyers wear lipstick.

    I am a female lawyer too, and I do sometimes wear lipstick, but I want to talk about Lori Alvino McGill, the ultimate pitbull. If you read her comments, which are all over the place at this point, she fixates on the legal win. There absolutely is no consideration given to the gift of living in a loving family, your biological family, who can provide the most intimate sense of who you are and why you are you.

    Even if we simply stick to the law, i.e., ICWA, which is a big focus of this case, the US Supreme Court only held that ICWA did not apply to the father as a parent. It was a very narrow ruling. ICWA still applies to the extent that Veronica is a Cherokee citizen, to the extent that the Cherokee tribe can intervene, and to the extent that her Cherokee family members have a stake in wanting to nuture her.

    I have a lot of problems with the law here, but I'll mention only a couple. First, I am curious how this case came to the attention of the US Supreme Court. I really wonder if Lori and Matt McGill's close ties with Chief Justice Roberts had something to do with it. Next, why did the South Carolina Supreme Court not order a best interest analysis for Veronica? How can you pretend a living, breathing human being has not grown in the past 19 months, has not changed, has not developed a strong bond with her father, her heritage? How can you, the law, not even consider that?!!

    Lastly, Lori Alvino McGill, there is the law, and there is the nurturing of a human life that cannot adequately be protected by the law, no matter how brilliant an attorney you are. Veronica needs to have the gift of her father who wants to raise her (her mother, your client, obviously doesn't) and the intimacy of growing up with her biological connections. How sad to deprive Veronica of this gift because you and your client, Christy Maldonado, want to punish the father.

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  54. Nikki haley should be ashame of her self trying too break up a child from her biological father-I will record all shows and articles of this bullshit and save it so when ( VERONICA)grows up she can see what they put her loving father through,so she'll know he wanted too keep and love her.....

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  55. After studying this more I no longer support the way the ICWA law is currently written...I support the ICWA's original intention but not the way it is being mis used.

    If anyone has been following the Baby Veronica case then they should already have some understanding about the issue.

    We need to spread word about why this law needs to be amended then after we get the word out to enough people....we can start petitions on Sept 1st 2013 to try and get the required 100,000 signatures that is required for the Obama administration to address the issue. Last time the petitions received 20,000 signatures.



    We should also be aware that under the ORIGINAL Cherokee constitution people who are not married would be unable to use Cherokee rights aka the ICWA law.


    Constitution of the Cherokee Nation
    'September 6, 1839'
    Sec. 5
    The descendants of Cherokee men by free women, whose parents may have been living together as "MAN AND WIFE" according to the customs and laws of this Nation, shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of this Nation.
    Done in convention at Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, this sixth day of September, 1839, George Lowrey, President of the National Convention.


    Another thing we should be aware of is "ICWA sets federal requirements that apply to state child custody proceedings involving an Indian child who is a member of or eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe." Keyword here is "ELIGIBLE".....since the Cherokee nation "Of Oklahoma" has no blood requirement....it means ANYONE (member or not) who has at least 1 ancestor on the flawed "Dawes" rolls can have their parental rights taken by the Cherokee nation "of Oklahoma". the child, both parents, all grand parents could have never ever been a enrolled member of the tribe or ever lived anywhere near the tribe could still be subject to this even if they never knew a thing about their ancestors. Your grandparents could of been born in Alaska...you and your parents lived whole life in Alaska....never heard of the Dawes rolls before....then you have a child and the Cherokee nation "of Oklahoma" could litterally step in and remove your parental rights and have your child brought to Oklahoma. This was NEVER the intention of the ICWA law yet people are misusing it for this purpose.


    Now the Cherokee nation of Oklahoma is a "newly" formed tribe, it is only about 36 years old (formed in 1976 by Ross Swimmer). It is NOT the ORIGINAL Cherokee Nation. However they use a roll that was created in the late 1800's as their "ELIGIBLE FOR ENROLLMENT". What this means is your family and ancestors could have NEVER EVER been associated with this tribe yet this tribe can take your parental rights.

    To get a better understanding about how dangerous this law can be....tribes themself get to decide their "ELIGIBLE FOR ENROLLMENT", As we know the Cherokee nation of Oklahoma has used that right when they took out Indian blood amount requirement. There is over 554 Federally recognized tribes in America, if just 1 of those tribes was to say...ok we are going to change our "ELIGIBLE FOR ENROLLMENT" so that any American citizen can join....then every American citizen could have their kids governed by that tribe under the ICWA's current status.

    In the Baby Veronica case, the girl's tan skin does NOT come from native american blood...it comes from her Latino mother. The girl is only 1/265th indian and the rest of her is white and latino yet the Cherokee nation of Oklahoma is trying to say the 264th white and latino blood does not matter.

    Why is there no amber alert or kidnapping charges etc on this case so far?

    Anyone else did this and there would be amber alerts everywhere.

    There is a video on Youtube called "Anonymous ICWA" which is a 1 hr long video that explaines fully why this law needs to be amended and shows what the media is not showing.

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  56. http://www.adoptionbirthmothers.com/veronica-rose-brown-court-documents-dead-beat-dad-truth/

    ReplyDelete



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