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2 Year-Old Girl Returned to Biological Father
On December 31st, a two year-old girl in South Carolina was legally forced to leave her adoptive family. She began on a 20 hour car trip to Oklahoma, to live with her her biological father, who had relinquished his rights at the time of the child’s birth.
A couple in South Carolina adopted this girl, Veronica, at the time of her birth. The birth mother was supportive of the adoption, and states that the biological father knew of her pregnancy and adoption plans. She said he never financially or emotionally supported her. The adoptive family has a stable, loving home and maintains an open relationship with the birth mother.
When Veronica was 4 months old, the biological father began to legally fight for his paternal rights back. He joined the Cherokee Nation, who used the Indian Child Welfare Act, a 1978 law designed to preserve Native American families, as their argument for him to retain parental rights.
Veronica’s birth mother, who was once engaged to the biological father, claims that he never once told her about his Cherokee heritage. The biological father claims that the birth mother hid the adoption plans, and he thought he was giving up his parental rights to her.
At this point, the adoptive parents are heart-broken and awaiting for April when their appeal to the courts will be heard. They have a
“Save Veronica” website where they are asking for people’s support for them gaining back full parental rights to Veronica, and in overturning the government’s use of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
What are your thoughts on this story?
Where do you think Veronica should be living?
Do you think the Indian Child Welfare Act is being used improperly?
Is this a case where birth father’s rights are not being fully considered?
Any words to pass along to the adoptive parents as they fight to get their daughter back?
AFC Community Moderator
â€˘ Encouraging a hyphenated identity
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