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Friday, September 27, 2013

Veronica's transfer to the Capobiancos

Being adopted gives you a certain view of "adoption" unique to the adoptee. Here are my thoughts (some published in August prior to the hand-over of Veronica to the Capabiancos.)


By Trace A. DeMeyer

I have followed this Baby Veronica case like many of you. I read the earlier testimony of Dusten Brown's mother who shared how the engaged couple suddenly broke up and how Dusten was concerned he may not return alive from Iraq and how they thought the baby would be with Christy and how they were not told about Veronica's birth and planned adoption and her transfer to strangers until months after it happened. 

Now I can only imagine what this transfer is doing to this little girl - AGAIN.

The statistics of Indian children being placed in non-Indian homes is in the Congressional record which lead to the passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act. The doctors who testify admit it harms the child to be adopted out, when we lose our parents and our connection to our tribes and identity as sovereign citizens. We adoptees and survivors attest to this in the anthology Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects.

We know adoption is a billion dollar industry that traffics in babies and children. The Capobianco's have paid and want took the child they paid for - it's that simple.


We know this case is not about Veronica's best interest. It's about money and Nightlight Christian Adoption Agency who brokered the sale. It's about lawyers and their fees. It's about dismantling and repealing the Indian Child Welfare Act so that more people can adopt Native children. It's about opening the gates so more "Christian" families can assimilate and adopt Native children. It's not new, it's been going on for over a century.

We know Veronica is VERY confused since the transfer on Monday. She's disoriented. She thinks she's on a vacation with the adopters. That will end in South Carolina or where ever they choose to live. Veronica will be enrolled in daycare then pre-school. Matt and Melanie will always tell her she was "chosen" to be their child.  They will explain to her she's not going back to Dusten; they will tell her, "You are home." Traumatized, over time Veronica will disappear into the fog of despair and disbelief. Symptoms of grief will come in stages. Every. single. day.  

Veronica will have a fake birth certificate which will list Matt and Melanie as her biological parents. They might even change her name to hide the truth. Veronica will remember. Veronica will use a computer.  She'll read why she's not with Dusten and Robin anymore. She will see her pictures on the internet. Veronica will learn the truth and nothing the Capobiancos can say will fix the pain Veronica will have over what they did to her and her family.

We know at the time of Veronica's birth, handed to strangers, that transfer, she suffered the wound we adoptees know we have. In birth psychology it's described as the severed biological connection with our mothers, a primal wound compounded by mommy's abandonment and it leaves a damage that takes a lifetime to repair. If it can be repaired...

A child never chooses this. Adults do. Courts do. Adoption agencies do.

Veronica is very strong, a fighter, a Cherokee citizen. She will find her dad again like I did. 

11 comments:

  1. There will be a day when Veronica learns how she was stolen from her father. She will learn to hate the people who stole her from her father her heritage and her family. I would love to see the day when she ask "Why did you steal me from my Dad?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right Diane. I asked many questions of my adoptive parents growing up, even before 1st grade. We can only guess what the Capobiancos are telling her since she's only 4.

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  2. Excellent. I agree wholeheartedly. I found my birth family when I was 19, and it's been the biggest blessing in my life. I do believe that you cannot be completely whole until you can know where you come from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KatieP, thanks for sharing your story. In Indian Country we call this going full circle - when an adoptee finally finds their way back and meets their relatives. Every time we adoptees make this journey to our natural families, the hoop is mended and we all heal.

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  3. If I've learned anything from the Veronica Brown adoption case, it is this: When an unmarried couple have sex, once the sperm leaves a man's body, he has no rights at all. He still has responsibilities, but no rights. If she carries the baby to term and chooses to keep the child, he has the responsibility of child support (and I am in full agreement with this). However, if she chooses to give the child up for adoption he has no rights. This is especially true if he is poor and the adoptive parents are wealthy. Forget the hype of CNN, which I put in the same category as FOX News when it comes to slant and bias, the public record shows that Dusten Brown wanted his daughter. He had no rightful claim to her according to the Capobiancos, their attorneys, and the courts of our "great" nation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David, you are absolutely correct! In 2013, this case has made that so apparent. Dads should have rights and laws need to change. Thank you for sharing your voice on this blog!

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    2. @David,
      There were laws in place to protect Dusten. The problem in this case is that laws in both OK and SC were broken. In OK the ICPC was filled out with falsified information and Baby Veronica was not listed as a Native American child, enabling her to be whisked illegally from OK to SC. In SC adoption proceedings were begun when Veronica was still in OK, which is against SC law. Had the laws been followed, Baby V would never have left OK, Dusten would have been notified and this whole nightmare would not have occurred. The frightening thing, the really pure evil about this, is that it was well-known that laws were broken and that there was an intent to deceive, and yet the lawbreakers and deceivers were able to prevail in the end. That, my friend, is truly scary.

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  4. Robin, thank you! The truth is terrifying. Even though the mainstream media like CNN has done a very poor job reporting a balanced view of this case, they elevated the adopters to national prominence and demonized Dusten and his family. Ultimately the courts (up to the Supreme Court) failed to protect Veronica. Nightlight Adoption Agency violated federal law. When will the public see that covered by CNN?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the truth will come out. It may take a very long time, but investigative journalists love these kind of stories about corruption and exposing what's really happening behind the scenes.

      I think South Carolina and some of its adoption practitioners will be just as notorious as Georgia Tann, Camille Kelley and the Tennessee Children's Home Society, some day.

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  5. We gotta change the laws, Adoption Agencies have been too successful at dictating lax oversight of their industry--and it is an industry, sadly enough where children are priced by their race. ICWA is one of the few laws that protect any parents in this country and that is why they are taking aim at it. All Americans should have the protections ICWA affords. Also, the presences of major DC power brokers like Paul Clement on the Capobianco's legal team highlights that Indian Sovereignty, itself is seen as beast the Conservative Right wants to kill. Read Clement's SCOTUS arguments, their lawyers argued for the court to strike ICWA and have written elsewhere of freeing us Indians from our Tribal bounds and Terminating Tribes. Yes, they really have our best interests at heart.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jacqueline! I am reading Somebody's Children: The Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption by Laura Briggs - Chapter 2 on ICWA is mind-blowing. I see this now in the context of disempowering Indian people and dismantling their sovereignty - and it's been happening for a century with deception and corruption in the American colonial system.

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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.

“Cherokee Nation ICW (Indian Child Welfare) is supporting the campaign #DefendICWA developed by the National Indian Child Welfare Association. Our department is asking individuals to express their support by writing down how and why they support and defend ICWA, with a snapshot of their self holding their document of support. Cherokee Nation is the largest federally recognized tribal nation. We also have the largest ICW department. ICW has around 130 employees who work continuously to ensure our Native families and children’s rights are protected and the ICWA is enforced. The BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) has published ICWA regulations, which will be in full effect this December 2016. These regulations address issues in the past that were misinterpreted by state courts and blatantly ignored. The regulations make the ICWA stronger, give it teeth and (makes) more clear for state courts understanding. The regulations also address the so-called ‘existing Indian family doctrine.’ This doctrine is no more. Unfortunately, there is still misconception and misunderstanding as to why the ICWA is so significant to tribal nations. There is a constant struggle with the media whom paints tribal nations so horrific and develops a very negative perception of ICWA. We are here. We are not going anywhere, and we will continue to fight for ICWA to ensure our future by taking care of our children. Every Cherokee child matters no matter where they reside. This campaign puts a face to supporters’ words. This campaign shows Indian Country’s strong supports of ICWA.” Heather Baker, Cherokee Nation citizen on the “I support and defend the ICWA because” Campaign #RealPeopleSeries

A photo posted by The Cherokee Phoenix (@thecherokeephoenix) on

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The editors have let the contributors tell their own stories of their childhood and search for their blood relatives, allowing the reader to gain a true impression of their personalities. What becomes apparent is that nothing is straightforward; re-assimilation brings its own cultural and emotional problems. Not all of the stories are harrowing or sad; there are a number of heart-warming successes, and not all placements amongst white families had negative consequences. But with whom should the ultimate decision of adoption reside? Government authorities or the Indian people themselves? Read Two Worlds and decide for yourself.

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