Thursday, August 8, 2013

Speed-up of “Baby Veronica” transfer

http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/08/speed-up-of-baby-veronica-transfer/

A family court judge in South Carolina, citing evidence that the father of the little girl now known as “Baby Veronica” is not obeying a court ruling on the child’s adoption by others, has ordered an immediate transfer to those new “lawful parents.”  The judge cancelled a “transition plan” that would have had the transfer occurring over about a week’s time, to ease the transition.  (A copy of the new order is now circulating widely on various websites; a copy taken from one of those sites is reproduced here.)
“Baby Veronica,” who will be four years old next month, was at the center of a Supreme Court ruling in late June, finding that the child’s birth father could not claim parental rights to the child under a federal Indian law.   The father, Dusten Brown of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is a member of the Cherokee Nation and was claiming rights as an Indian parent.  South Carolina courts have awarded full legal custody of the little girl to a non-Indian couple who live near Charleston, Matthew and Melanie Capobianco.

At the end of last month, the Capobiancos won the right to adopt the child.  But they also agreed that, to avoid the shock of an abrupt removal of her from the father with whom she has been living for more than eighteen months, they would go along with a more measured transfer that would unfold in Oklahoma.  But Family Court Judge Daniel E. Martin, Jr., citing a sworn statement by a social worker named to carry out the transition plan, said that Brown did not show up at the appointed time and place last Sunday to begin the transition.
That, the judge concluded, violated his order requiring the transition plan, and thus that plan has now been scuttled, with the Capobiancos entitled “immediately” to take the child into their custody.   The judge ordered the father to produce the child and turn her over to the Capobiancos, saying that the child “is being unlawfully withheld from her lawful parents.”
The judge sent copies of his ruling to various federal and state officials, asking them to take prompt action to locate “Baby Veronica” and turn her over to the Capobiancos.  The judge also asked courts in Oklahoma to help produce the child.
Recommended Citation: Lyle Denniston, Speed-up of “Baby Veronica” transfer, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 6, 2013, 3:31 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/08/speed-up-of-baby-veronica-transfer/ 


NOTE: Dusten is on guard duty right now - not home.... which the courts do not honor with this ruling.  Be brave, little Veronica. This fight is not over...Trace

1 comment:

  1. "the child “is being unlawfully withheld from her lawful parents.”

    The child is already with her parent and exactly where she should stay.

    ReplyDelete

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Mila @yoonsblur: What can non-adopted people do to help adoptees feel respected in our spaces? Remember that they are guests. Remember that they are visitors. Remember that they will NEVER know what it's like to live an adopted life. Remember that they are visiting our home, our land, our territory. And hence, they need to act and behave accordingly. I like to use the analogy of a heart transplant patient. A heart transplant patient is the only one who knows what it is like to undergo transplantation. They are the only ones who know how it feels to be a transplant patient. The doctors, nurses, family members, etc. do not know what it is like to live life as a transplant patient and none of them would insist that they know what it feels like. They can help take care of the patient, they may even have valuable knowledge that may be applicable, but they still have no clue what it's like to live life as a transplant patient. Even the doctors and nurses can only help if they listen to the patient. Assumptions are dangerous and could even lead to death. Hence, knowledge is never equivalent to experience. A White person who has a Ph.D in African American studies will never know what it's like to live life as an African American. That Ph.D does not make the White person an "expert" on being African American. Similarly, unless you are an adoptee--no matter how many books you've read, no matter how many adopted children you've raised--you will NEVER know what it's like to be an adoptee. So, respect that. Sit down. Listen. Acknowledge. Validate. Do not presume. Do not dismiss. Do not negate. Do not pit adoptees against each other by saying, "Well, I know this one adoptee who..." Turn your mouth off and your ears on. That's what non-adopted folks can do if they truly want to understand and respect adoptees in our spaces.
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