How adoptee rights are related to the Baby Veronica case
What can be done to guard paternal rights?
Veronica is not a child in need. She is being raised by the father and family who created her. She should have a right to be raised by her own family. Allowing her adoption to go through will legally erase her origins through the falsifying of her birth certificate. And open adoption agreements are not legally enforceable. So she will not be guaranteed continued contact with her father and paternal family. The Capobiancos will hold all of the legal control over both Veronica and her father should the adoption be finalized.
If this adoption goes through, Veronica will be a Lost Daughter, just like all of us.
Even worse, I know that one day in the not-too-distant future, she will be able to read and hear and watch all the media coverage about her life, and she will understand very clearly what has happened. Even worse than knowing her mother did not want to keep her, Veronica will know that her own mother basically sold her to strangers. She will know that her own mother preferred that she be torn away from her father to be raised by strangers. Veronica will know that her mother tried to dismantle a law designed to protect Native American children from being stripped of their cultural heritage, that her own mother did not care that Veronica herself is Native American—that her own mother did not think about how striking a blow against the Native American community is the equivalent of striking Veronica.
This case is worse than the ugliest divorce. The Capobiancos should have backed off a long time ago, when it became abundantly clear that Dusten Brown never intended for his daughter to be adopted out to strangers and when it became abundantly clear that he is, in fact, a perfectly fit parent for Veronica, more fit than the Capobiancos will ever be now that they’ve made it obvious that they do not care about the bond between this child and her biological family. At this point, I honestly do not care about the Capobiancos’ emotional distress over this case, nor do I care about the money or time they’ve put into their fight to take this child. And I do hope they read this, because they need to hear how adult adoptees feel about what they are doing. If they do end up raising Veronica, she herself will be an adult adoptee one day, a lost daughter, one of us. Do they think she’ll be grateful that they stole her away from her father? Do they think she’ll thank them for purchasing her from Christy Maldonado? Think again.
Many people are saying that Dusten Brown turned his back on Veronica and then changed his mind. Many versions are circulating of what supposedly took place during Maldonado’s pregnancy and during the first four months of Veronica’s life. I don’t know any of the parties involved. I don’t know exactly how it all went down. What I do know is that Dusten Brown is a father who wants to raise his daughter, and the Capobiancos, along with Christy Maldonado, are trying as hard as they can to keep him from doing so. As an adopted person and on behalf of Veronica, I ask why? Why would anyone work so hard to keep a child from her own father?
So basically... Veronica will have to deal with a plethora of post-adoption issues that she would not have to deal with, all because the Capobiancos have made an investment?
Their emotional distress or financial investment is of no consequence in comparison to a child who will now have to face identity issues and much more than could have all been avoided had they just done the right thing.'
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is designed to protect Native American children. I think it is very telling that Christy Maldanado is suing to remove this law. She clearly has no respect for the ICWA, Native Americans and the father of her child. I believe she is on a power trip and has clearly lost sight that her child is drowning while she is grasping the media spotlight.
I believe the legal team behind Maldonado and the Capobiancos intended to bypass the ICWA and Dusten's legal rights and got caught. Dusten represents the inferior way we treat fathers in this country. How many other Veronicas will have to be passed back and forth before the Courts make a clear decision about father's rights? As my husband says, fathers are important only when they open their wallets. And when they do, they get every other weekend visits.
The ICWA should not be abolished and in fact, there should be sanctions and disbarring of attorneys who attempt to get around the laws in the first place.
I am having a really difficult time garnering any sort of sympathy for the Capobiancos at this point. While I understand that yes, Maldonado selected them and took $10k plus medical expenses from them in return for Veronica (society does not view this as buying a child, of course), they were aware of the issues surrounding Brown. And they opted to protect their "investment" instead of considering that rights of both Veronica and her father.
Clearly, they are not fighting to take possession of Veronica because they want to adopt a child in need. Veronica is not in need. So I can only assume that the Capobiancos are desperately clinging to the belief that Veronica somehow "belongs" to them because they paid Maldonado thousands and thousands of dollars for her. To be blunt, it seems to me that they paid their money and they want the merchandise. The fact that Veronica's father is willing, able and fit to raise his own child is of no concern to the Capobiancos.
I recently read a blog post written by an adoptive parent who wondered how the Capobiancos will look Veronica in the eye during the years to come and say "we fought hard to take you from your father, who wanted to keep you."
I am wondering the same thing.
From the very beginning, Maldanado decided what would happen with absolutely no regard for Dusten Brown --the father of the child they BOTH created.
Society at large seems to not care about Brown because they thought it was Maldonado who had the right to make the exclusive decisions regarding this child's fate from the very beginning.
People tend to believe in SOME rights for fathers, but definitely not equal ones. If we as a society believed in equal rights for fathers they would be equal from the get-go.
I know Julie has said this, but I'm going to say it again: Veronica is not a child who needs to be adopted, and adoption should be about a child's needs, not about the needs of adults who want a child.
My father and paternal grandparents wanted me. They fought to keep and raise me. My adoptive parents, however, didn't know this. They were in no way responsible for me not being raised by my own family. This will not be the case for Veronica. She will know that the people raising her purposely fought to take her away from her father and paternal family. I can only begin to imagine the sense of hurt and betrayal Veronica might feel one day when she is able to fully process what happened to her.
In order for an adoption to occur, something bad must happen first. A child must lose his or her first parents. Adoption or not, Veronica will already have to process the fact that her mother did not want to raise her and the sense of loss that comes with it. As adopted women ourselves, we know how difficult this can be. And if the Capobiancos get their way, Veronica will then have to process the fact that she lost her father because of the people who are feeding her and putting a roof over her head. It disgusts me that these adults are knowingly and willingly fighting to put a child through all of this.
They can't say they didn't know how it might affect Veronica. Right here at Lost Daughters, they have access to several of Veronica's adult counterparts who are expressing exactly what this adoption would put Veronica through. Will they listen? Will they consider what we have to say as adult adopted women? Or will they continue to allow their wanting of Veronica to overshadow the reality of what they are doing?
Love is not possession.
Really listening to us may involve arriving at the conclusions that there are good reasons to prioritize the preservation of families first, and that adoption should be avoided whenever unnecessary. Some adults simply cannot consider that being subjected to an unnecessary adoption and losing one's family, heritage, & identity could have adverse effects on us because they don't see anything undesirable about adoption at all. To listen to our voices on this would mean them having to re-examine their own beliefs and values. Some adults simply cannot go there when it comes to the sacred cow of adoption.
Yes, we may expect Veronica to join our ranks in the future when she finds her own voice on this matter. I wish she didn't have to lose her family again. I wish all the Veronicas could stay with their own families who love them & want them. How many more Veronicas must experience this so that legal & genetic strangers get to experience "parenthood"? We are witnessing an example of pro-adoption over pro-child.