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"It is hard to fathom this Court allowing the enforcement of an adoption decree entered in direct contravention of the Oklahoma and U.S. Constitutions."
~ Justice Noma Gurich ~
Our entire nation watched a traumatized four year old girl be taken from her family. We not only watched it, our government escorted her. It was far from "peaceful" for her. It is state-sanctioned abuse. Without the excuse of "adoption", any other child would have been saved from such a kidnapping.
Adoption law turned her into a non-person. She has no more rights than a dog being led away from its breeder.
"Adoptive Couple VERSUS Baby Girl" should teach us that our adoption system in America is not only flawed, it is abusive. The adoption industry has brainwashed our entire nation to the point we let a child be kidnapped on national television.
Veronica is the face of adoption in our country now. And the atrocity it did to her is not just one-time collateral damage.
Coercion, fraud, conflict of interest, biased "counseling", and LOTS OF MONEY (disguised as "fees" and "expenses") continue to turn adoption into a "business" model that ignores human rights and best interests of children and their families. The adoption brokers that bought and sold Veronica are still in business. Even in "good" adoptions, money still exchanges hands and identities are stolen. Adoptees live their entire lives as someone else, with no access to their genealogy. They are non-persons.
It reminds me of one of the ridiculous comments I heard made during the Adoption Review Task Force meetings I attended at our state capitol. Mind you, the majority of this "task force", charged with making recommendations in adoption law, was comprised of those who earn their living off adoption. My colleague and I arrived a little early and introduced ourselves to two other ladies. When we mentioned that we were an adoptee and a first mother, we got the same familiar blank looks we are used to...most people are speechless to meet a real live adult adoptee or first mother. What took the cake, though, was the response of one of these ladies.
"Well, I don't have any PERSONAL experience with adoption...but I have a special puppy!" Like that was comparable? We looked at each other with disbelief when later during the meeting she was introduced as the presenter from the Department of Mental Health, invited to speak about "Trauma". Of course, she was clueless and it showed.
The sad part about this story ~ adult adoptees are used to this. It didn't surprise me at all...but it did sadden me, considering this is the mindset of those who are considered "professionals" in the field. Those who legislators were looking to for "recommendations" to address the 2006 OK Grand Jury Report regarding unethical behaviors of adoption brokers. More lip-service.
This is the typical societal attitude about adoption ~ children are blank slates, much like puppies. They can be tossed around and given new "papers" and new homes, new identities, and new lives without much thought...except for the expectation to be grateful that someone would "take them in." Sadly, dogs have more accurate pedigrees than most adoptees have accurate birth certificates.
Do a search for "adoption" on any newspaper's website and try to weed through the dog pound "adoption" articles listed right along articles regarding adoption of children...they are always lumped together ~ and, unfortunately, our society doesn't treat the adoption of children much more ethically . Adoption is the highest money-making unregulated industry in America.
When questioned about the Federal Adoption Incentive, and how this could be an influencing factor in the overall philosophy & policies governing how we "care" for Oklahoma's children, the presenter "did not know the numbers."
DHS (Oklahoma "Swift Adoptions") receives a $4,000 (or higher) "bonus" from the federal government (our tax dollars) for most finalized adoptions of kids in state care. That added up to $1.5 million last year alone. Tell me this doesn't influence the WAY in which state government operates ~ from parental termination of rights decisions, to preparation (or lack thereof) of potential adoptive parents, to which children we focus on "saving" (and how). That could be why our child welfare systems are in trouble. We are neglecting the children who need our help in order to focus on how to increase our federal matching dollars.
In 2008, Oklahoma had the 3rd highest adoption rate in the nation. Our ICPC Officer (who is contracted and paid by DHS to approve all inter-state adoptions) is also the owner of an adoption agency. The same attorneys involved with Veronica's adoption are still in business and babies such as Deserai and Jarred are still in legal limbo over the same unregulated and contested issues.
I'm only talking about all this because this is the state we live in. The state that failed Veronica. A state very invested ~ from top to bottom.
Money and adoption can never be ethically intertwined. Yet here we are. And there Veronica is in a strange home, with people who reportedly may have been unfit to adopt a child in "public" care, but who our court systems allowed to kidnap a child away from her own father...through money and unethical adoption brokers.
Any father who would fight in court for his daughter from the time she was four months old (when he was finally informed of the adoption "plan") is far from the "abandoner" he is being made to look in mainstream media. Even though Veronica was whisked out of state at birth, the adoption was never finalized and Dusten was awarded custody two years ago, because it had been unethical and contested from day one.
S.C. Judge Malphrus (the only court that actually held a trial) concluded that Dusten had been a "thwarted" father. See the ruling here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/169266799/2011-Malphrus-Ruling
"Even if ICWA does not apply I find that birth father's consent to the adoption was necessary and he has not consented to this adoption. I find that he was a 'thwarted father' as that term is defined in Abernathy vs. Baby Boy.
When parental rights and the best interest of the child are in conflict, the best interest of the child must prevail. In this case, I find no conflict in the two. The best interests of the child are protected by not terminating father's parental rights...a child is not property."
Veronica had been living happily with her natural family in Oklahoma for two years. Why should she have to pay for an unethical court and adoption system whose appeals process treated her more like a piece of property, rather than a human-being with rights to her own family?
Adoption agencies are notorious for using unethical practices against pesky fathers. It makes adoption too "risky" for their customers. Why would they work so hard to turn Dusten into a "criminal", except to deflect this atrocity off the real reason America allowed this child to be transferred like a piece of property...the largest unregulated industry in America. Someone has to pay in order to ensure society continues to buy in to a positive philosophy of adoption. Veronica is paying the cost.
We sit back and watch a child be subject to state-sanctioned abuse. Her best interests were completely ignored for the purpose of making sure the "establishment" of adoption is preserved. For whose best interest?
Here, Veronica, here Girl...come get your cookie.
For the best overview of this case click here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/03/1243613/-Adoption-Series-part-2-Veronica-Brown