Although I agree with the author's opinion about the Capobianco's need to let Veronica go, I have to take issue with that first paragraph. "when it seemed as if this entire ordeal was over with — that Veronica was finally going to be with a family that would love and care for her— it suddenly wasn't." Veronica is absolutely with a family that loves and cares for her and not just any family, her own.
The Capobiancos knew that the father never provided informed consent for adoption. Veronica is now almost four and has been home for 18 months. Veronica belongs with her father not because he is part Cherokee but because he is her father. The scary thing is that, if not for the fact that he does have First Nations ancestery, it's entirely possible that they might have been able to force the "adoption" through against his will. I'm glad First Nations people have this little bit of protection against predatory adoption but what about those fathers of European or (especially) African ancestry whose children have been stolen? Military families are an especially vulnerable target because it's hard to be in court when you are serving in Afghanistan. The lowest members of the legal profession know that and take full advantage of it. Hopefully this will lead to some increase awareness of the assault against fathers and families in this country and eventually some additional legal protection for all families. Maybe ICWA can be a model for the protections non Native American families need as well. God willing Veronica's right to remain with her family will be upheld 9-0 tomorrow. Anything else would be truly satanic.
This child has been living at home with her father, stepmother and sister in Oklahoma for fourteen months now and is almost three and a half years old. The Capobiancos fought Dusty Brown in the courts since the day he learned his daughter was with them. At that point she was four months old. She was 27 months old when she left their home and they argued that the move would have to be traumatic for her. They said that seperating her from all that was familiar would leave her devestated. Now she's thriving with her family in Oklahoma. She's been shown photographs of the Capobiancos but (not suprisingly) didn't recognize them. The Browns are not the only family Veronica has ever known but you can be sure that at three and a half they are the only ones she remembers. Now, the same Capobiancos who claimed to be so concerned about her mental health and the possibility of traumatizing her at two have done a complete 180 degree turn. Suddenly they believe that they can remove a child from her father, stepmother, siblings, grandparents, culture, community and state, move her more than a thousands miles away from them all, tell her Dusty is no longer her father and magically she will not be traumatized at all. Uprooting a child from everyone she knows is either traumatic or it's not. The Capobiancos cannot say "It was terrible to do at two but now that she's going on four... it's fine. The fact that they can consider doing this demonstrates that they are not thinking about Veronica. They are thinking about themselves. They need to leave this father alone to raise his daughter and someone needs to remind Sam Spencer that just because some couple decide they want to raise Sam's child against Sam's will, that does not make them adoptive parents. It makes them people who are fighting the natural father for the right to adopt his child. The Capobiancos wanted to but for the same reason they can't forcibly adopt Sam Spencer's children, they never adopted Veronica.
There are stories about ICWA being misused (biological parents- both provide INFORMED consent for a child to be placed with a particular adoptive family, but the tribe intervenes.) Here's an example http://aatowler.wordpress.com/about/ Veronica's story is entirely different. Veronica's father (who had asked her biological mother to marry him- she said "no") never agreed to any adoption. The scary thing is that if not for their First Nations heritage, this adoption might have been forced through dispite her father's wishes. It certainly wouldn't be the first time. Utah, for example readily supports adoption even in cases of deliberate fraud to deceive the father. If anything, Veronica's case is an example of what is right about ICWA just as Ashlyn's case is an example of where changes need to be made. The children of soldiers are increasingly targeted for adoption. Basically a refusal to go AWOL to hover over the child's expectant mother is being interperted as a failure to support their child and an excuse to force through an adoption. Here's another example of that. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55373764… I do feel sorry for the Capobiancos somewhat, but they should have acknowledged Veronica's right to be with her father and family when they first heard about the fraud (when she was four months old). Veronica has now been home a year and is over three years old. Anyone who thinks her return to Oklahoma last year was traumatic would have to admit that a year later the opposite journey would be even more so.
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