Sunday, December 02, 2012

Baby Veronica

I have a lot of thoughts about adoption right now. They're rather unrelated to each other, but all about adoption. I'm going to do a few posts... this shall be my first.

Baby Veronica

If you're not familiar with the Baby Veronica case, let me share the basics. When Veronica's mom was pregnant with her, she decided that she wanted to place her for adoption. She picked the family to adopt her (the Capobiancos) and was able to have the baby's father sign something saying that he would not contest the adoption once TPR was signed. 

Veronica's biological father is part Cherokee and registered to the tribe, which means that when Veronica was born, she too was part Cherokee.

This baby was born, the adoptive father cut her umbilical cord. The family welcomed Veronica's birth mother into their family and they shared an open adoption. They were under the assumption that Veronica's biological father had signed TPR... but he didn't. :-(  At four months old, he wanted custody and began fighting for her. 

This is the part that I'm torn about. While on one hand, I think it's horrible that he declared that he wanted nothing to do with the baby while the birth mom was pregnant, and wanted nothing to do with Veronica once she was born, the fact that he never signed TPR makes it pretty clear (unfortunately). The really unfortunate part is that instead of preparing themselves for the realities of the situation, the family got attorneys involved and began a legal battle that has been going on for over two years. 

On January 1st, 2012, at two years old, Veronica was ordered back into the care of her biological father and the Capobianco family was left with NOTHING. 

The thought of my two year old son being removed from my home and taken out of state (they are in SC and she was taken to Oklahoma) is so scary. He IS my son and we've been raising him AS our son. They were doing the same. So it's heart-wrenching to know that their baby girl was taken from their family and they may never see her again.

It's horrible to think about the possibilities of this happening, and unfortunately, this case has stirred up the media and the general (uninformed and ignorant) public as well. This is the true reason for my post.

I've read some really HORRIBLE comments about this case. People have said that the adoptive family should have known better, that they weren't her "real" parents and that children are better off with their "real" parents over anyone else. I've read that because the adoption was never final, the Capobiancos don't deserve to call her their daughter. 

This case was taken to the SC Supreme Court and was lost with a 3-2 ruling in favor of the father. The family is fighting because the father is trying to stand on the Indian Child Welfare Act as a way to keep his daughter. The ICWA was created in order to ensure that registered Native American children can stay within their tribes and not be taken out of tribes and raised by non-natives. The premise makes sense, but in this particular situation, it makes NO sense. Veronica was never on a reservation and her biological mother is not a registered member of a tribe.

I hope the US Supreme Court agrees to hear this case. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole thing. I mean, the father NEVER signed TPR... so that's the risk they took with taking her into their custody. They've been fighting this since she was four months, so it's not like it was a huge surprise that she was possibly going to have to be relinquished back to her biological father.

I watched Anderson Cooper 360 and they did an interview with the Capobianco family. It was so hard to watch and I cried as I watched them talk about their daughter and they showed pictures of her as a newborn through age two. They ended the interview in Veronica's room and there were toys and pictures and it looked as if she had just left the room. They may not ever have her back in their home, they may not ever see her again, and it was so sad to watch their anguish about the loss of their daughter.

What's bothered me most about this case are the comments though. I mean, on Facebook, the Adoptive Families Magazine posted something about this and there were almost 100 comments about the situation. I'm going to say that EASILY 85% of the comments were bashing the adoptive family and using really hurtful comments.

It's appalling when I read statements about children needing to be with their "real" families. I'm sorry... does that mean that adoptive parents are fake?

Calling birth families the "natural" families. Does that mean our family is unnatural? It's so incredibly hurtful to read comments like that. How we become a family is the work of God. Some people are NOT able to get pregnant and cannot conceive a child. It's not fair, and it's painful, but not everyone is cut out to adopt a child. There are people who just can't do it... and honestly, they shouldn't. Just like there are parents who just can't be parents. They know that for whatever reason, it's not something they want to do, and so they make the loving choice to give their child the best life possible. They place them for adoption (please notice that I didn't say they GIVE THEM UP).

Not everyone SHOULD be parents, whether or not they CAN be parents. So because of this, adoption exists and families are blended and created. It shouldn't be seen as a bad thing, and yet, through the Baby Veronica case, I've learned that there are a LOT of really nasty, negative people out there with really horrible views on adoption.

I'm not sure what the point is of this post... I guess I just feel like I need to share what I'm thinking about it. 

In regards to Baby Veronica... I sincerely hope that if the courts determine that she must stay with her biological father (yes, the same father who did NOTHING to support her biological mother throughout her entire pregnancy and beyond)... I pray that he really takes care of her and loves her the way that she deserves to be loved. She shouldn't be a pawn and treated as a prize to be won. I also pray that he let the Capobianco family see her and talk to her. She will need some serious therapy when she's growing up and I pray he makes sure she gets the help that she'll need.

If the court determines that the Capobianco family gets custody of her (which I highly doubt will happen), I pray that they are able to find peace and allow her to continue knowing her biological family, including the father who is now involved. 

What a mess. 

The lesson to this story is that if you adopt a baby, you better make sure that both the biological parents sign TPR before you let yourself get attached to the baby. If the father cannot be found, do all that legally has to happen to track him down or exhaust all resources to show that you did all that you could to locate him. 

My heart hurts for that family and for the little girl that they've lost and may never have back into their lives.


MommySquared said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I have to say I have mixed feelings about this case ... I am unsettled about the comments of those who do not seem to understand family building through adoption and of course the media storm that surrounds cases like this.

My heart goes out to all involved especially the little girl whose world, the one she's only known, has been taken away from her.

On the other side of the coin, if in fact the child's father petitioned or hired an attorney when the girl was only 4 months old, I believe the parents raising her were advised incorrectly. As hard as it would be to have someone reclaim their child it is the right thing to do. Now the child is much older because of the fighting in the courts which is unfair to this little girl.

This is not the first case I have ever heard like this and my heart breaks for all involved.

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