August 3, 2013

Baby Veronica...another "Trail of Tears"?

                                                                             
 
 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.  Is. 5:20
 
Being an Oklahoman, born and raised; as well as adopted and reunited with my first family...Baby Veronica is weighing heavy on my heart.  There is yet another "Trail of Tears" being perpetuated against the innocent. 

I looked up the history of the original "Trail of Tears" and found some similarities.  Our Native American's land was removed from them due to greed. 

"In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act which evicted all Indians in the southeastern United States to what is now Oklahoma. At the time of this act, the Cherokee were an advanced nation having built towns and cities, having a written constitution and even printing their own newspapers in the Cherokee language.  The primary motivation was greed. The whites in Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Alabama desired the lands of the Cherokee. The United States military had the might to grant the whites their wish."
 
Veronica's "land" (her identity, family, and heritage) is being targeted in much the same way.   

Adoption's "stated" purpose is to care for children who need a home.

Veronica's father has been fighting for her since she was a baby.  If the potential adoptive parents and their attorneys truly had Veronica's "best interest" at heart, they could have done the right thing when they realized Veronica had a father and family who loved her and wanted to raise her.  A South Carolina court finally awarded custody to Veronica's father when she was two, and she has been living in Oklahoma with her family ever since.  The NICWA has released information regarding the details of this case here:  "Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl".

Fathers aren't aware (nor mothers) of the coercive tactics used in a billion dollar per year adoption industry whose goal it is to supply babies for those willing to pay.  Until it is too late. 

This case only proves that adoption in America is not about finding homes for children who need them. It is about supplying babies for people who want them

Even potential adoptive parents are speaking out.  Why would a humane society advocate for a child to be adopted, unless absolutely necessary? 

This case should open the conversation about ensuring ethical adoption law in America.  David Smolen, in his article, "The Baby Veronica Case and the Abuse of Adoption", writes: 

"Unfortunately, adoption all too often has become about the desire of adoptive parents to parent, rather than the needs of a child for a home. There is nothing wrong with wanting to parent a child, but everything wrong with taking someone else’s child to do so."

In order to ensure that adoption is reserved for children who would truly benefit, there are numerous changes that need to be made in adoption law. 

Maybe father's should have to appear before a Judge before their babies can be adopted, rather than being chased down by a "server", or their names published on a registry or publication they don't know exists. 

Mothers and fathers should both be given ample time to withdraw their signature in a voluntary relinquishment.  Wouldn't that be a reasonable way to ensure they are fully aware of their decision?   Instead, mothers are often pressured to sign away their rights in a hospital room, immediately after giving birth.

Should pregnant mothers, simply seeking help, be eyed as potential "birthmothers" when they enter the doors of a "crisis pregnancy center"? 

Is "counseling" provided by adoption "professionals" (in the business of procuring babies for paying customers) truly non-directive?

In his article, "Oklahoma Case: Adoption and the Buying and Selling of Children",  Robert Franklin, esq. writes:

"Face it, a lot of these mothers are strapped for money. The line between paying her legitimate living expenses and paying her for her child is not a bright one and is easily crossed."

At one point, the practice got so bad in Oklahoma a grand jury was convened to look into the baby market called adoption.
In 2006, a state grand jury reported adoption judges were so indifferent or grossly incompetent in overseeing expenses that birth mothers basically were allowed to sell children for cars, televisions and vacations.
In short, particularly where the adoptive couple is wealthy, there’s a pot of money there for the taking, and everyone in on the deal wants some.  Attorneys and adoption agencies are happy to facilitate the “transaction,” and adoptive parents have no reason to do anything but turn a blind eye.
It’s the buying and selling of children, particularly newborns, and it happens often in this country.
Needless to say, a father who wants to care for his child just gums up the works.  After all, if the adoption doesn’t get finalized, a lot of people don’t get paid.  So it’s in everyone’s interest, as they see it, to keep Dad out of the picture altogether."  

These practices are pure marketing (or even trickery).  Even "open adoption" is not legally enforceable.

Look at Australia and how they have reformed adoption practices.  They have even issued a national apology

Let's eliminate coercive "pre-birth" adoption plans altogether, and remove the marketing component from adoption.  This would better ensure children who truly need homes can find them. 

The money in adoption also creates an environment for conflict of interest (some ICPC officers are also adoption business owners).  How many in important decision-making positions are consumers of adoption?

Adoptees are not commodities or perpetual children, but adoption law treats us as such, with no identity rights, or access to our original birth certificates

If the Capobiancos and their attorneys have their way, not only will she lose her family, but (see "Three Destructive Mindsets of Adoptive Parents"), according to current adoption law, Veronica Brown's Original Birth Certificate will be permanently sealed.  She will be issued an "Amended Birth Certificate" listing Melanie and Matt as her biological parents. She will forever be forced to use this document as proof of her "birth". 

This is what adoptees in this country are forced to live with. It is illegal to see one's own birth certificate. We are treated as blank slates and given new identities


Veronica's human rights are being disregarded.  She deserves to be heard.

From an OK Supreme Court decision in 2005 regarding ICWA ~ 

"In any State court proceeding for adoption or termination of parental rights to an Indian child, . . . the Indian child's tribe shall have a right to intervene at any point in the proceeding."  It would be difficult indeed to enforce the right to intervene in the proceeding without receiving notice of it." 

Lord, we ask for your intervention and blessings upon Baby Veronica and her family.  We, as a country, have asked forgiveness for taking the land of our Native American brothers and sisters.  Please help us realize what unethical adoption laws are doing to separate and "seal" identities, families and histories. 

Please stop this "trail of tears"...

For the best overview of this case please click here:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/03/1243613/-Adoption-Series-part-2-Veronica-Brown

27 comments:

Lynn Grubb said...

You have done an excellent job of outlining the unethical way that adoption is practiced in this country.

Adoption law favors the adoptive parents as soon as a vulnerable mother signs the relinquishment. The law sees the PAPs as equal at that moment and the many times, unaware, father has no chance, especially if he is single, under-employed and has anything in his background that would make him look bad. He is expected to sign up for a Putative Father Registry that he and the rest of the world have never even heard of to ensure his right to NOTICE of an adoption. Just notice. If he actually knows about the adoption, he then has to hire lawyers to file a paternity case in Court and fight the better-situated financially adoptive parents. We all know who will usually win! "Those who die with the most toys wins" is not just a bumper sticker.

Domestic private adoption plays by its own set of rules and is a money-making business -- nothing more.

Until the laws are changed to give the parents more time,(and privacy in the hospital for God's sakes) and the children's biological family more legal preference, domestic private adoption will continue to be big business.

I would urge anyone who has a pregnant family member who believes stranger adoption to be the answer to consider transferring custody to a relative while the family thinks about what is best for this child. During the emotional upheaval, papers get signed and later regretted.

Sadly, until the laws change to better protect children (and stop allowing adoption attorneys to be in cahoots with adoption agencies) these cases will continue to happen.



*Peach* said...

Lynn,
Thanks so much for continuing this discussion and clarifying father's rights (or lack of) in adoption.

I feel honored to be linked up with Lost Daughters and with voices such as yours.

Heather Davis said...

I've thought of you countless times throughout this process. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and linking up with OWB.

Lorraine Dusky said...

You raise a huge number of issues involved in this discussion about Veronica Brown--and how adoption is perpetuated in this country. If more people spoke up, change would happen.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Hey at least we aren't having game shows where they give babies away.....

Jennifer said...

Well said.

Anon...

It's really not a funny joke. I wouldn't be surprised if such a reality show emerged--prospective adoptive couples competing for unborn children. A horror show, for sure, but we're not far off from it with some of the already existing reality adoption shows.

Anonymous said...

As a family that has been trying to adopt for a while now I appreciate your insight. I too believe baby Veronica should be returned to her father and have even asked why birth parents don't have legal rights after the adoption? We promise to be open and provide updates but they really only have our word and no legal grounds if we falter on our promise. While I agree that adoption can be a business it can also be a much needed alternative to the culture of death that is so prevalent with unplanned pregnancies. It is my prayer that our birth parents would have a complete peace in knowing their child will know them and love them. I want to come along side a birth family and parent their child if they can not, but I would also want to honor them. We have been fortunate enough to participate in classes that have taught us of the pain and loss adoption children can experience and their need to have openness in adoption. I hope we are fortunate enough to assist a birth family in need and give them peace. Do you believe there is such a thing as peace for birth family and child? curious on your thoughts

*Peach* said...

Research has shown that most women who give their babies up for adoption never considered abortion in the first place. The two have almost no correlation.

Until the money and marketing aspects are removed from adoption, and the sealing of records is reversed, I have little hope that adoption can be ethical and without coercion.

It prevents children who truly need homes from finding them.

What is ethical about waiting and hoping and marketing for a baby to become available, when there are older children who will never find a home because of this business?

The way you can assist a "birth" family is to help them remain together.

Adoption is truly a life-long issue. Peace is possible, in spite of adoption, but certainly not because of it.

Jan said...

Well said! Thank you.

Everyone, please see the new report about my recanting my recommendation in the Baby Veronica case: http://bit.ly/1bMyCuf

Jan Hunt

Theresa DeFazio-DaRosa said...

Our child is one of 9 children of a mother who has severe drug addiction. Most have remained with extended family, but our child went into the system, and is now being adopted by us. Even though it has been a little complicated at times, we have made sure that she knows her bio siblings, as they are regular visitors to our home. She has fought and laughed with them,and bathed and slept with them.She knows who she looks like and sometimes, acts like. She won't have to find them and try to forge a relationship with them when she grows up, because she has been growing up with them. I call her our little social experiment, because she has 2 families, and loves both, belongs to both, and needs both. Adoption isn't just about providing a home for a baby.Babies grow up grow up to be big people with questions and rights, and those questions have to be answered and those rights need to be respected and served. We hope we are serving hers well.

I hope both of Baby Veronica's families can find a way of serving her needs well. It is not just about parents' legal rights.By removing her again, it is going to cause even more trauma , and that trauma can have long lasting consequences. In my opinion, I think the adoptive parents should live very close by, and take on the role of close, loving relatives. A kid can't have too many people to love her.


Deb said...

@Jan...I've read and re-posted Suzette Brewer's piece on your recantation and I'm curious, did you simply recant to Ms. Brewer, which was then published in Indian Country Today -- or did you send a letter to Gov. Fallin, or to the courts, or to the attorneys involved in the case as well?

Given Mr. Brown's extradition has been stayed until he gets his "day in court," it would seem to me, urgent that all of the above are made aware, not only of the deception perpetrated by this "Guardian Ad Litem" (and I use the word "guardian" extremely loosely) -- but of the veiled threat you received anonymously by phone, suggesting you not talk to anyone about the letter you provided.

I just think it would be so very important to the case and your reputation as well. I truly hope you consider doing it.

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