|Adoptive father John Roberts|
The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in Brown's favor and Veronica, went to live with her father. In June, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Brown and for the adoptive parents, the little girl--now almost four--had been living with her father for the past 18 months. Since the Supreme Court held the ICWA gave Brown no right to oppose the adoption, the South Carolina court approved Capobianco's petition to adopt Veronica and ordered that Brown transfer custody to them. Brown has applied for a stay from the Supreme Court. The justice who has jurisdiction in that case? Roberts, who oversees emergency petitions for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes South Carolina.
Chief Justice John Roberts who sided with four other justices isn't a disinterested jurist when it comes to adoption. He is an adoptive father and his acquisition of two children known to be Irish--via adopting them from a South American country--has raised a lot of questions. Irish law allows only people living in Ireland to adopt Irish children. They cannot be adopted internationally, as would have been the case--if not for whisking the birth mothers to a third country not bothered by prohibitions against adoption for foreigners.
There's no public record of how or why these children got to South America, but the facts suggest it was to circumvent Irish law. When The New York Times began looking into his adoptions during his appointment hearings, there were charges of "violation of privacy", as Wikipedia noted--until recently when this data was scrubbed from his Wikipedia page. Now it simply says he has two adopted children. Roberts and his wife, a lawyer with We note here that he and his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, married in their forties, and tried to have children but were unable to and so turned to adoption, but after several failed adoption attempts, "got lucky," according to the New York Times. Mrs. Roberts comes from an Irish Catholic family, and a source close to the Roberts family, who requested anonymity in order to discuss judicial deliberations, told The Huffington Post that the justice's wife, Jane, exercises a "heavy influence" over her husband.
Although a South Carolina court finalized the adoption July 31, the case is not over, according to Indian Country. The case now moves to Oklahoma where Veronica lives with Brown. Brown can contest enforcement of the South Carolina order in the Oklahoma courts. The Native American Rights Fund has also filed a civil rights action in federal court on behalf of Veronica's right to due process to determine her best interest.
"'Dusten Brown never had a chance' said a source quoted by Indian Country. "'His biggest sin was that he got on the wrong side of the billion dollar adoption industry and he was winning....But it was stacked against him from the beginning....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.'"
We at FMF hope that the Capobianco's and the courts come to their senses and leave Veronica with her father. And we hope Congress takes action to fix the ICWA so that another Indian father does not lose his child to the rapacious adoption industry.--jane
To sign a petition for Dusten Brown and his daughter: We petition the Obama Administration to intervene in the adoption of Veronica Brown and to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Click on link.
John Roberts (Wikipedia)
Media Failures Lead to Flawed Understandings in Cherokee Adoption Case
John Roberts Supreme Court nomination
Indian Country: The Gloves Come Off: Civil Rights Suit Filed as Adoption of Veronica Finalized
Court Nominee's Life Is Rooted in Faith and Respect for Law
Supreme Court rules against Indian father, limits Indian Child Welfare Act
'Baby Veronica' adoption will go forward