Posts belonging to Category Adoption



Are Mothers Using Utah Law For Legal Kidnapping of Fathers’ Rights to Babies? – Cleveland Conservative | Examiner.com

If you are a father you will not ever want to experience what many fathers in Utah are experiencing by having their parental rights stripped away by a law that give mothers the right to legally kidnap your baby. According to Fox News, the state law “allows mothers to put their babies up for adoption without the biological father’s consent, or sometimes even knowledge.”

Now at least a dozen men are standing up for their fatherhood rights and taking the state of Utah to federal court in a concerted effort to regain their parental rights. The fathers contend in their lawsuit that the state’s Utah Adoption Act is nothing more than “legalized fraud and kidnapping.”

via Are Mothers Using Utah Law For Legal Kidnapping of Fathers’ Rights to Babies? – Cleveland Conservative | Examiner.com.

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Utah may take lead in protection of fathers’ rights in adoption cases | The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah may make it easier for unwed fathers to protect their rights no matter where they live by joining with other states to share confidential paternity filings.

The Senate Health and Human Services Standing Committee gave a nod to SB63, which creates an interstate compact to share putative father registry information. Adoption agencies and attorneys are supposed to search such registries to locate unwed fathers who want to be notified of adoption proceedings.

via Utah may take lead in protection of fathers’ rights in adoption cases | The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Editorial: Veronica’s Law? Making fathers’ rights ‘crystal clear’ – Tulsa World: Editorials

In Oklahoma, the wounds are still fresh following the losing battle last year of Dusten Brown for custody of his biological daughter, known as Baby Veronica.

Veronica was adopted at birth by a South Carolina couple who’d arranged the adoption with Veronica’s mother, estranged from Brown. But a court there later awarded custody to Brown. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ultimately, Brown lost his daughter to Matt and Melanie Capobianco.

Now Oklahoma Rep. Wade Rousselot has written a bill dubbed Veronica’s Law and known officially as the Oklahoma Truth in Adoption Act, which would require biological fathers to appear in front of a judge to relinquish rights before an adoption could proceed. (more…)

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Legal battle over Native American girl comes to a poignant end – latimes.com

The courts won on this one, as to their power to dictate law as an ideology.  This case really highlights just about everything that can go wrong when bureaucrats and judges lose site of wisdom.

Was justice served Monday when a little girl called Veronica was taken from her biological father, a Cherokee, and returned to the white South Carolina couple who had begun to adopt her at birth four years ago?

This is one of those heartbreaking stories that periodically makes headlines, sending a shiver down the spines of adoptive parents and enraging Native Americans whose children had been ripped away from them so often that a federal law was passed in 1978 to put safeguards in place.

The facts of this case seem so unfair to the biological father that it’s hard to understand why the adoptive parents have ended up with custody.

Legal battle over Native American girl comes to a poignant end – latimes.com.

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‘Baby Veronica’ dad arrested, won’t turn over daughter | HLNtv.com

Here is more on that case where the biological father is being excluded from his daughter’s life:

'Baby Veronica' dad arrested, won't turn over daughter

Dusten Brown, the birth father embroiled in a heated custody battle over “Baby Veronica,” surrendered to Oklahoma authorities Monday on a charge of custodial interference.

The case of Veronica Capobianco has reached a boiling point, despite rulings from a South Carolina court and the U.S. Supreme Court stating that the 3-year-old Cherokee Indian girl was to be turned over to her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco.

Court orders ‘Baby Veronica’ back to adoptive parents

Brown failed to appear for a mandated transfer of custody August 4 and a felony warrant was issued Friday for his arrest. According to Charleston County, South Carolina, Sheriff J. Al Cannon, Jr., the charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.

Brown was granted leave from his National Guard training duties in Iowa in order to turn himself in. He was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond Monday after turning himself into authorities in Oklahoma, where he lives, and has refused extradition to South Carolina.

In a press conference Monday, Sheriff Cannon stated that everything Brown has done, including surrendering to authorities in Oklahoma and using his National Guard duties as an excuse to not appear for the transfer of custody, has been “a continuing felony, a continuing crime.” Cannon also said he did not know Veronica’s or Brown’s current whereabouts.

See how it all began: Supreme Court rules on little girl’s fate

The case first reached the high court over the issue of whether the adoption was valid based on the fact that Brown – and Veronica – are Native American. Brown stated that the pending adoption violated the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a federal law which lays out specific rules for the adoption of Native American children. In a split decision, the Supreme Court justices ruled ICWA did not apply in this instance and sent the case back to a South Carolina state court, which ruled in the Capobiancos’ favor.

An emergency custody hearing was held Monday morning in Cherokee Nation Tribal Court in Oklahoma. Brown did not attend, but his attorney, John Nichols, said his legal team “intends to do everything within the law to make sure Mr. Brown’s rights are protected.” Further, the Cherokee Nation has said Veronica has rights under tribal law that have not yet been exhausted.

Lori Alvino-McGill, attorney for Veronica’s birth mother Christinna Maldonado, said Monday’s hearing was held without notifying her client or the Capobiancos. The Capobiancos have an open adoption arrangement with Maldonado and was actively engaged in her daughter’s life, prior to her removal and placement with Brown.

The Capobiancos have called on federal law enforcement to resolve the matter. In a press conference outside their South Carolina home Monday morning, Matt Capobianco said, “Our daughter has been kidnapped, and I expect the situation to be treated as such.”  He went on to say, “If this doesn’t happen, I will be boarding a flight to Oklahoma today and I am coming to get my daughter.”

Doug Mayer, a spokesman for the South Carolina governor said, “Gov. Haley is working closely with law enforcement, the solicitor’s office, the state of Oklahoma, and the family on this case. Our goal is to do all we can to get Veronica back home safely.”

‘Baby Veronica’ dad arrested, won’t turn over daughter | HLNtv.com.

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Supreme Court Rules Against Indian Father in Daughter’s Custody Case – Andrew Cohen – The Atlantic

This case illustrates what an unfriendly place the courts are to fathers.  The guy wasn’t perfect, but who, really, is?  Additionally everyone seems to have completely ignored the fact that the mother concealed the adoption from the father.  The plain and simple fact is that the mother wanted to give up the child, and apparently vindictively wanted to eliminate the father from this little girl’s life.  In my opinion, there should have been no question.  The child should have gone to the father, and the mother as well as all involved in the adoption, should be reprimanded for systematically trying to deprive the little girl of her own father.

Virtually overlooked Tuesday in the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s vital decision to strike down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act case was a gut-wrenching ruling from the justices that ultimately could separate a father from his daughter. In the case styled Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the Court ruled that a Native American man named Dusten Brown could not rely upon the language of a federal statute, the Indian Child Welfare Act, to protect himself against the termination of his parental rights over his daughter, Veronica, after another couple sought to adopt her. 

The back story, to say the least, is complicated but you can identify the contours of the ruling, and at the same time understand what happened to this little girl, simply by reading the many descriptions of the case offered by the various justices as they sorted through the debris. For example, to start, there is Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority decision. He barely concealed his contempt for Brown and his cause by framing the story this way:

This case is about a little girl (Baby Girl) who is classified as an Indian because she is 1.2% (3/256) Cherokee. Because Baby Girl is classified in this way, the South Carolina Supreme Court held that certain provisions of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 required her to be taken, at the age of 27 months, from the only parents she had ever known and handed over to her biological father, who had attempted to relinquish his parental rights and who had no prior contact with the child. The provisions of the federal statute at issue here do not demand this result.

I agree with this:

And, finally, came Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She wrote about the ways in which the federal statute was designed to try to help troubled Native American families, like Brown’s family:

Moreover, the majority’s focus on “intact” families begs the question of what Congress set out to ac­complish with ICWA. In an ideal world, perhaps all parents would be perfect. They would live up to their parental responsibilities by providing the fullest possible financial and emotional support to their children.

They would never suffer mental health problems, lose their jobs, struggle with substance dependency, or encounter any of the other multitudinous personal crises that can make it difficult to meet these responsibilities. In an ideal world parents would never become estranged and leave their children caught in the middle.

But we do not live in such a world. Even happy families do not always fit the custodial-parent mold for which the majority would reserve IWCA’s substantive protections; unhappy families all too often do not. They are families nonetheless. Congress understood as much.

In the end, we have a decision here that says, contrary to both the text and the spirit of the law, that the Native American father of this little girl cannot rely upon a federal law designed to aid the parents of Native American children because he did not initially have custody of the child. The ruling makes mention of Browns’ failure to initially support his child but makes little mention of the ways in which the mother of the little girl sought to hide the adoption from him. This was always a case of Solomon-like ramifications–with a group of judges literally having to choose where a baby should life. For such a weighty decision it’s a terribly airy ruling.

Supreme Court Rules Against Indian Father in Daughter’s Custody Case – Andrew Cohen – The Atlantic.

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Did Utah four-day work week cost dad rights to his child? | The Salt Lake Tribune

This case clearly illustrates the difficulties faced by fathers of children whose mothers don’t want the child to know the father, and would rather get money from an adoption agency.  This story is truly ludicrous. The mother should be in jail.  The adoption agency should be out of business, and the judges in this case should all be hung from the nearest tree.

A Florida man’s court fight to gain custody of his daughter, given up for adoption after her January 2010 birth, may hinge on whether he is allowed to argue a state employee’s delay in registering his paternity notice violated his due process rights.

The Utah Supreme Court is now considering whether Ramsey Shaud, of Crestview, Fla., adequately argued in a lower court that his constitutional rights were violated by the delay at the Office of Vital Records and Statistics, caused in part by the state’s four-day workweek and a legal holiday.

Shaud is the latest in a string of unmarried fathers from across the country to make his way to Utah in hopes of undoing an adoption — in this case, of a child referred to as “Baby Girl T.” It will likely be months before the justices issue their opinion.

via Did Utah four-day work week cost dad rights to his child? | The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Ohio high court right to unite father, son

In every court, Benjamin Wyrembek prevailed, because he is the child’s rightful father. And every time he did, opposing attorneys filed more motions and appeals.

Media reports have emphasized the distress that the boy will surely suffer when he is removed from the only parents he has known. That distress will be heartbreaking for all, especially the child.

But let there be no mistake about the cause of that heartbreak. It is not Benjamin Wyrembek, but adoption attorneys who mistakenly believed that after enough time and expense he would give up his son.

There is a larger picture the media have overlooked. Every day, about 400,000 children in the United States need to be adopted. Millions more worldwide are warehoused in orphanages in countries such as China and Russia. They have no parents and get tragically little care.

These children are literally crying out for the love that good adoptive parents could give them. The great tragedy of the Wyrembek case is not only the effort to force adoption on a boy who didn’t need it; it’s also the loss of good adoptive parents by another child who did.

The Ohio Supreme Court did the right thing not only for Benjamin Wyrembek, but also for countless other parents who face losing their children the way he almost did.

And it did the right thing for all the children throughout the world who do not have the priceless resource that Mr. Wyrembek’s son has: a father who loves him.

Robert Franklin is a board member of Fathers & Families, a Boston-based organization that seeks reform of family court proceedings.

via toledoblade.com — The Blade ~ Toledo Ohio.

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