You Decided: Supreme Court Cases Here and Now
This year has been full of crazy court cases filling headlines. Here is one that caught our attention; “Supreme Court Hears Appeal In Native American Adoption Case”.
Being adopted my self, this title caught me close to home. Involved in this case is a father of a daughter who is two years old for which he had repeatedly renounced responsibility or connection both legally and casually and the adoptive parents who have been torn from their only child. This court case is especial tricky because of the federal law invoked by the biological father, Dusten Brown.
The law, Indian Child Welfare Act, basically gives priority to Natives in choosing the placement of abandoned, orphaned, and abducted children belonging to Native American tribes. Originally made to protect Native American children who were being abducted at random, this law was key back in 1978 when so many children would go missing and later turn up in other areas with foster or adoptive parents of white decent.
So today we are going to look at this case from all angles and then allow you to speak your mind on the matter. Here goes!
The Daughter: Veronica
This young girls who is all of two years, has been living with her adoptive parents whom were selected by the biological mother. In an open adoption, she has been exposed to the presence of her biological mother but has only known her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, as ‘Mommy & Daddy’.
The Biological Mother: Unnamed
Young in years, this unidentified woman with two children already of her own felt like she would be unable to properly support the child because of her current difficulty to support her family at the time. With some difficulty, she decided on an open adoption after contacting the biological father who repeatedly said that he would lay no claims to the child and was not interested in legally or socially being apart of Veronica’s life. The mother than took the time to carefully select a couple from South Carolina who agreed and went through all the legal channels to make the adoption legal.
The Adoptive Parents
Matt and Melanie Capobianco, have know Veronica all her life. They were present at the little girls birth and have a warm relationship with the toddler’s mother. Having taken care of the youngster since birth, they have proven that they are a stable and loving environment as the little girls was always in perfect health. Sad and seemingly hopeless they struggle as they watch their daughter be taken away from them and handed over to a single man who is a stranger to the girl and is not completely consistent in employment, housing, and goals in life.
The Biological Father
Dusten Brown, is 2% Cherokee. Proven to have, only recently, established himself as part of the Cherokee tribe located in Oklahoma he laid claim to the law protecting Natives when not practicing or observing native traditions. But when he got the final set of legal papers handing over his parental rights, Dusten was about to be deployed for a year tour with the military in Iraq. So while gone he was unable to press his case for parental custody of the daughter he realized he loved. Upon return, Mr. Brown filed an appeal of the adoption with the courts claiming his ethnicity and won.
There are many people involved in this case who all love the child but see the situation from different angles each. Also we have strong emotions that are at play with each person related to the child, be it through blood or a strong relationship, wants to be apart of her life. One thing to keep in mind as you pick and discuss what you think should be done is that many higher powers are picking sides. The Obama administration, Native tribes across America, and courts around the country have all stated their backing of the biological father who they state deserves the right to take responsibility and nurture his daughter in the ways of his tribes people. Yet other like many child protection agencies, cytologists child services and adoptive parents across the globe are declaring that the need for the child to be among people whom already know and understand her as well as she trust them too.
So here is the million dollar question….Who should have custody of the child? Why should only one have the right to be in a child’s life? One parent couldn’t take care of her and the other one longs to. But another set of care givers have already taken the honor and privilage of being Veronica’s “Mom and Dad”. What is the best thing for the child? What is the best thing for the parents? Comment and let us know.
Posted on May 2, 2013, in News, Top Stories and tagged Adoption, Dusten Brown, father, Indian Child Welfare Act, Melanie Capobianco, Native, Native Americans in the United States, Oklahoma, Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, South Carolina, United States, Veronica. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.