NICWA shares the outrage reverberating through Indian Country today. It is incomprehensible that, in its decision, the South Carolina Supreme Court took the added measure of forbidding the state Family Court from holding hearings to determine what is in Veronica's best interest. By opting to remand the case to the Family Court for the sole purpose of finalizing the adoption, South Carolina has failed to act in a manner consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision.
While the Indian Child Welfare Act was not overturned and still stands as law, the decision by the South Carolina Supreme Court yesterday sends a chilling message. Like other Americans, American Indians rely on the integrity of the judicial system to protect our children. Now our faith in that system is shaken. Since the earliest contact, non-Indians have seen fit to take whatever they covet from Indian people. The sad truth is that this decision is one more chapter in that shameful history.
NICWA is reaching out to Congress to strengthen ICWA compliance and close loopholes so that the forced removal of Indian children from loving homes will never happen again. The Brown family and the Cherokee Nation continue to have our unwavering support as they pursue legal remedies to South Carolina's unjust decision.
Statement from the Brown Family
We are outraged that the South Carolina Supreme Court would order the adoption of our child finalized without a proper hearing to determine what is in Veronica's best interests. This child has been back with her family for 19 months and to tear her away from us, the family she loves and the only family she knows or remembers, would be devastating to her.
This is an Oklahoma child and her placement should not be considered by a court in South Carolina. We have contacted our U.S. Senator and encourage each of you to do the same, in order to help us keep Veronica in her home, which is a safe, loving and nurturing environment. We will never give up the fight to raise our daughter.
NEW FACEBOOK PAGE TO SUPPORT KEEPING VERONICA WITH HER FATHER AND FAMILY IN OK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Standing-our-Ground-for-Veronica-Brown/276909945780742