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Friday, April 12, 2013

Indian Affairs, Adoption, and Race: The Baby Veronica Case Comes to Washington

A little girl is at the heart of a big case at the Supreme Court next week, a racially-tinged fight over Native American rights and state custody laws.   

Veronica with her biological father Dusten Brown and his wife, Robin. (Courtesy of John Nichols)
The United States Supreme Court next Tuesday hears argument in a head-spinning case that blends the rank bigotry of the nation's past with the glib sophistry of the country's present. The case is about a little girl and a Nation, a family and a People. The question at the center of it has been asked (and answered) over and over again on this blessed continent for the past 400 years: Is the law of the land going to preclude or permit yet another attempt to take something precious away from an Indian?
The case is styled Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, but everyone knows it as the "Baby Veronica" case. The "baby" is a little girl, now nearly two-and-a-half years old, born of the fleeting union of an American Indian man named Dusten Brown and a Hispanic woman named Christina Maldonado. Before Veronica was born, her mother arranged for her to be adopted without telling the baby's father. When, months after the baby's birth, the father found out about the adoption, he exercised his rights under federal law to undo the adoption and gain custody. The two state courts which have reviewed the case have both sided with him.
Read it here: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/04/indian-affairs-adoption-and-race-the-baby-veronica-case-comes-to-washington/274758/

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To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

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ADOPTION TRUTH

As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

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