Saturday, January 5, 2013

Brain and Best Interests Should Trump Blood

It is not about her bloodline. It is about her brain.

This is the reason why Baby Veronica should have stayed in the custody of her loving adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, with whom she resided from her time of birth until the age of 27 months when she was put into a pickup truck by her biological father, a virtual stranger, and driven 22 hours to her new home. Science proves that trauma of separation from loving, primary caregivers interupts brain growth and development.
Who do you think Veronica would say her parents are? The people who cared for her day and night and loved her into a happy, thriving two-year-old or a stranger whose DNA she carried?
Dusten Brown signed a legal document after Veronica was born stating he would relinquish his parental rights. Then he walked away.
But he came back later claiming he was part Cherokee and Veronica was too, affording his parental rights special protection under the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978. The court and the Indian Child Welfare Act threw open the doors for him, slamming the door on Veronica’s right to live with her loving family free from the intrusion of government.Never mind that in Veronica’s eyes she was with her parents, the two people who loved and nurtured and cared for her unconditionally. Never mind that her non-Indian biological mother enjoyed an open adoption and maintained contact with her and has now lost that. Never mind that Dusten Brown never mentioned to bio mom he was Cherokee or behaved in a way that showed he was connected to his Indian heritage. Never mind the science that proves babies as young as six months experience grief, loss, and depression following separation from their primary caregivers. 
Never mind that if the court really put Veronica’s best interests first, it would have at least required the biological father to stay in South Carolina for a period of time visiting with Veronica daily and developing a relationship with her before he hauled her off across the country.
Never mind, indeed.
Hopefully the US Supreme Court will right all these wrongs and send Veronica home to her real parents, the people who fought to protect her from the time she took her first breath.
Public opinion matters. There is strength in numbers. The civil rights movement started when Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus and the number of people supporting her swelled to epic proportions. It is time for children’s rights to matter and time for you to use your voice on their behalf.
Visit to learn more or join the Save Veronica Facebook Page.