"Why should the rights of the tribe trump the rights of the adoptive parents?Yesterday I was reflective, and feeling sad about the fact that a father had to give up his child to adoption because a couple found an illegal way to get a child out of Oklahoma. Today, after reading Susan Estrich's column, I just feel outrage.
"What gives the tribe ownership of a child whose father has given up his parental rights and whose mother has decided that adoption is in her best interests?
"Why should the rights of the tribe force a woman to raise a child she may not be capable of raising — in which case, no one in the tribe could complain — rather than allowing the child to be placed with a loving family?
"Children are not chattels.
"The adoptive parents were in the delivery room when their daughter was born. The real father — the adoptive father — cut the umbilical cord.
"Of course it's heart wrenching. But the reason this is so painful is because this child never should have been taken from her adoptive parents. She was ripped away — not from the tribe, but from the only parents she ever knew.If this is what is allowed under the Indian Child Welfare Act, which was passed in 1978, then it is time that law was changed."
This is the comment I left there (but I can't find it):
"Susan Estrich's column is another typical column from the adoption-land where all babies would be given up because there is an infertile childless couple who wants a baby. Her column is filled with half-truths and outright incorrect statements. Dusten Brown thought he was giving the mother of the child custody while he was in Iraq; not that he would be free from child support which would never be the case. The Capobiancos knew right from the getgo there was a problem with the possible adoption but pushed ahead anyway. This is a clear case of child-buying; and yes, there is a problem with Justice Roberts getting two Irish children who may have been born in a South American country--because Irish law forbids their children being adopted out of country; instead it appears that he flew the pregnant women to another country so they could be born there.
seeking fines, attorneys' fees and expenses totaling approximately a half million dollars. Costs outlined in the contempt action include fines of up to $32,000 a day, in addition to the Capobiancos' living expenses while in Oklahoma.
Another thing that has been sticking in my craw from Estrich's column: "The adoptive parents were in the delivery room when their daughter was born. The real father — the adoptive father — cut the umbilical cord."
That sends shivers down my spine for the fact that the adoptive parent literally cuts the cord is so coercing emotionally that only the strongest are likely ever to be able to push back from that symbol of lose of a child. In this case, we do not have a woman who seemingly had any compunction or sorrow over giving up her child; other reports have informed us that Christy Maldonado's two other children are being raised by their father's mother, their paternal grandmother. But that this is what open adoption has become--the adoptive parents there during the labor and birth, watching as handmaidens straight from science fiction produce a viable, living product for others. This is one of the most sickening and terrible aspects of open adoption today. This act alone can only benefit the adoptive parents and has been designed to make the mother feel guilty if she does not give her baby to these nice people who are otherwise childless. In this case, it also appears that filthy lucre was involved, as the Capobiancos were reported to have helped her out financially and she suddenly appeared with a new SUV.
THE SYMBOLIC GESTURE OF CUTTING THE CORD
Back to Estrich's column. The next sentence implies that because Matt Capobianco cut the cord, he became the "real father," a father whose genes Veronica will never carry, whom she will never look like or act like. He became the "real" father despite the fact that the adoption itself was not carried out, strictly speaking, legally--even before we get to the Indian Child Welfare Act. South Carolina law that states unequivocally that a child must be “present within this State at the time the petition for adoption is filed, irrespective of place of birth.” The original adoption was filed in South Carolina on Sept. 18, 2009, three days after Veronica was born. Yet she was still in Oklahoma with the Capobiancos, and remained there “about seven days," according to the records. One source also notes that the adoption process didn’t follow other legal norms, in that Veronica was removed from Oklahoma without her father’s consent or knowledge. But none of that mattered, and Veronica has gone to her different life not with her family of origin.
a felony charge of custodial interference for not giving up Veronica in early August, after a South Carolina court took legal custody away from him, after the Supreme Court decision gutting the ICWA. Gov. Fallin may be trying to protect Brown--to little, too late--but the Charleston County, S.C., sheriff suggested that the criminal case would continue, and Brown could face up to five years in prison if convicted.
All suggestions that the Capobiancos were able to work out some agreement allowing Brown time to see his daughter appear to be false. When Brown tried to negotiate visitation with some summer vacation time and other days, the Capobiancos apparently agreed, and then reneged. There was one offer of 10 hours a month in South Carolina, with supervision, but that included no enforcement by any court officer. Let us not forget that South Carolina is a thousand miles away from Oklahoma. Given all this, it is ever more clear that the Capobiancos look upon the girl as their "possession" and want her to grow up not knowing her true family or father. As Suzette Brewer of Indian Country noted: "In South Carolina, Veronica will be the only child on both sides of her adoptive parents' families. The Capobiancos, both of whom are in their mid-40s, have no other extended family nearby, save for a stepmother who was divorced from Melanie's father before he passed away."
Meanwhile, the number of "likes" on their Save Veronica Rose page continues to rise, and yes, we do see pictures of the very cute little girl smiling. I just can't imagine how she is going to sort this out in the long run, or how the ping-pong the courts have played with her will affect her emotionally. How is she ever going to trust that someone stays in her life? Beats me.
IN ADOPTION, MONEY TALKS. ALWAYS HAS, ALWAYS WILL.
A father wants to raise his daughter, his daughter is obviously doing fine being raised by him, but a grasping couple are allowed to get away with this illegal adoption--illegal because even proper procedure was not followed in the very first instance. Some people have questioned why the girl's biological mother, Christy Maldonado, would not let Brown raise their daughter. I think the answer lies in the fact that the Capobiancos were allowed to "help her out" financially, which is a euphemism for buying a baby. As I said yesterday, this comes as close to a legal baby-selling as I have ever seen.
What is heartless is that column's like Estrich's have no compassion at all for the individual who will be raised with genetic strangers, with whom the likelihood of sharing traits and sensibilities is no greater than chance. I'm not making that up; social scientists who look at these things have concluded thus. Writes Carol Tavris: "...when children resemble their parents and grandparents temperamentally, it is because they share certain genes with these relatives, not experiences."
Because the Capobiancos "won," a little girl loses.--lorraine
PS: My comment disappeared but left up is one calling Brown an "epic douche." Go figure.
COLUMN UPDATED ON 9/26/13
Someone else posted my comment without my name.
OFFENSIVE ESTRICH COLUMN
Capobiancos Sue Dusten Brown for Nearly Half a Million in Fees
Cherokee Nation Mourns as Veronica Is Returned to Adoptive Family
FROM FMF Reflections on Veronica Brown and being raised in a family different from your own
Why passions run hot in the Veronica Brown story
Dusten Brown continues to fight for his daughter; the Capobiancos dig in deeper
Adoptive father John Roberts: Not impartial in the Baby Veronica case