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Old 06-27-2013, 09:58 PM   #196
Robbi
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Originally Posted by Mickey'snewestfan View Post
To give some context to my opinion, I am a transracial adoptive parent. I believe strongly that ethical, legal adoption, including transracial adoption, can be the best choice for children in certain circumstances.

I think that adoption laws in South Carolina are unethical. I think that they unfairly disadvantage birth parents, particularly birth fathers. I very strongly feel that they need to be changed. I think that prospective parents like the Capobianca's take advantage of the law to legally kidnap children.

I also think that the ICWA is a law that is still needed in this country. Indian children continue to be disproportionately removed from their families of origin, and without the protections provided by the law, it's easy for children to be removed from their culture of origin as well.

Given that I think that the Capobianca's and Veronica's birth mother intentionally tried to take advantage of loopholes in the law, and that they lied to prevent Brown from exercising his parental rights, I don't think that they should be allowed to complete the adoption. I realize that apparently ICWA is the only law that currently protects Brown's rights, and so I'd like to see it enforced. But what I'd really like is to see South Carolina's laws changed.

This is the South Carolina law regarding father's rights in adoptions:

If the birth father is married to the birth mother he may essentially veto any adoption plan.

If the birth father was not married to the birth mother and the child is placed before it is six months old and the birth father lived with the birth mother a continuous period of six months immediately preceding the placement and held himself out to be the father during the six month period or paid a fair and reasonable sum, based on his ability, for the support of the child or expenses incurred in connection with the pregnancy or with the birth of the child then his consent will be required and he may essentially veto the adoption plan.

If the birth father was not married to the birth mother and the child is more than six months old at placement, the birth father’s consent is necessary but only if he has maintained substantial and continuous contact or repeated contact with the child as demonstrated by payment of support of a fair and reasonable sum based on his financial ability and visits at least monthly when he is able to do so and not prevented from doing so by the person or agency having lawful custody of the child or regular communication by the father with the child or with the person or agency having custody of the child when the father is financially of physically unable to visit the child or when the father is prevented from visiting the child by the person or agency having lawful custody of the child. See S. C.
Code Ann. § 20-7-1690 (Cum. Supp. 1992)


Basically if a birth father has shown interest in, financially supported the child or the birth mother before the child is born, he can veto the adoption. If he has visited the child, he can veto the adoption. If he can't afford assistance or is unable to visit the child, but he stays in contact with whoever has the child and shows concern for the child, he can veto the adoption. We know that Dusten Brown did not follow the requirements because he did not financially support the birth mother during her pregnancy.

If a birth father has shown concern about the child's welfare, he can veto the adoption. How is that unfair?

Last edited by Robbi; 06-27-2013 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:30 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by Robbi View Post
This is the South Carolina law regarding father's rights in adoptions:

If the birth father is married to the birth mother he may essentially veto any adoption plan.

If the birth father was not married to the birth mother and the child is placed before it is six months old and the birth father lived with the birth mother a continuous period of six months immediately preceding the placement and held himself out to be the father during the six month period or paid a fair and reasonable sum, based on his ability, for the support of the child or expenses incurred in connection with the pregnancy or with the birth of the child then his consent will be required and he may essentially veto the adoption plan.

If the birth father was not married to the birth mother and the child is more than six months old at placement, the birth father’s consent is necessary but only if he has maintained substantial and continuous contact or repeated contact with the child as demonstrated by payment of support of a fair and reasonable sum based on his financial ability and visits at least monthly when he is able to do so and not prevented from doing so by the person or agency having lawful custody of the child or regular communication by the father with the child or with the person or agency having custody of the child when the father is financially of physically unable to visit the child or when the father is prevented from visiting the child by the person or agency having lawful custody of the child. See S. C.
Code Ann. § 20-7-1690 (Cum. Supp. 1992)


Basically if a birth father has shown interest in, financially supported the child or the birth mother before the child is born, he can veto the adoption. If he has visited the child, he can veto the adoption. If he can't afford assistance or is unable to visit the child, but he stays in contact with whoever has the child and shows concern for the child, he can veto the adoption. We know that Dusten Brown did not follow the requirements because he did not financially support the birth mother during her pregnancy.

If a birth father has shown concern about the child's welfare, he can veto the adoption. How is that unfair?
Why was it in South Carolina when the baby was born in Oklahoma? and why does her refusing to be supported count?
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:05 AM   #198
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Why was it in South Carolina when the baby was born in Oklahoma? and why does her refusing to be supported count?

Adoptions take place in the state where the adoptive family lives.

Brown refused to give her financial support when she said she didn't want to marry him.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:02 AM   #199
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The child is now in her fathers care, he has been doing a good job of raising her with her step mom extended family and siblings. How can it be in her best interest now to move her again? It's been said she doesn't remember the cappobiancos so if they, truly loved her they will leave her alone. If the courts look at the best interst how can they find that after this time and there will be months now before the case can beheard the damage done to her will be increased
People are talking about how Dusten made mistakes and should loose his daughter but Emma wyatt's father did everything he was supposed to including getting legal custody of his daughter and he still lost her because Utah doesn't follow rulings of other states.

Last edited by PaulaSB12; 06-28-2013 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:43 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by Robbi View Post
Brown refused to give her financial support when she said she didn't want to marry him.
Maybe someone in the military can answer this? If you are in the military, and get married (and have children), doesn't your housing allowance increase? Wonder if this is the reason he wanted to get married?
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:20 PM   #201
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Good luck with that.

They didn't attempt to adopt her as a newborn. NO one including the father, the grandparents or the tribe attempted to adopt her. Only the adoptive family in SC. That's mentioned in the ruling also.

And, my guess is since she wasn't part of the "family"before, she won't be part of it now...per SCOTUS and the ruling on ICWA.
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The ruling was 5-4. The grandparents probably have zero leverage. Ask any grandparent who tries to see their grandchild against the wishes of the parent.

Part of SCOTUS ruling:

We further hold that the act, which conditions involuntary termination of parental rights with respect to an Indian child on a showing that remedial efforts have been made to prevent the "breakup of the Indian family" - is inapplicable when,. as here, the parent abandoned the Indian child before birth and never had custody of the child.

"What this Court said is that going forward, unwed birth fathers who do not take the steps required to acquire parental rights will not benefit from the provisions in ICWA," said Martin Guggenheim, Professor of Law at New York University.

Even after it is kicked back to the state court, there is at least one precedent in Utah where the supreme court of that state ruled in favor of the adoptive couple over the Navajo tribe in a custody case.
Supreme Court Justice Sotomeyer disagrees with both of you and I think she knows the law pretty well. The paternal grandparents and the tribe have rights, more rights than the would be adoptive couple. She cautions those thinking the child will go back to the adoptive parents, stating that the tribe and the paternal grandparents can apply to adopt and must be considered under order of preference. And that is only if the father's parental rights are terminated.

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Originally Posted by Justice Sotomeyer
"The majority does not and cannot foreclose the possibility that on remand, Baby Girl's paternal grandparents or other members of the Cherokee Nation may formally petition for adoption of Baby Girl," she said. "If these parties do so, and if on remand, Birth Father's parental rights are terminated so that an adoption becomes possible, they will then be entitled to consideration under the order of preference established in federal law."
In any case, this is going to be fought for a long time in court.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:28 PM   #202
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Supreme Court Justice Sotomeyer disagrees with both of you and I think she knows the law pretty well. The paternal grandparents and the tribe have rights, more rights than the would be adoptive couple. She cautions those thinking the child will go back to the adoptive parents, stating that the tribe and the paternal grandparents can apply to adopt and must be considered under order of preference. And that is only if the father's parental rights are terminated.



In any case, this is going to be fought for a long time in court.
Sotomeyer was in the minority. She can write a dissenting opinion but the ruling was 5-4 stating the Native America. Heritage cannot factor into a lower court decision. If that's thrown out, then Brown did not meet the requirements according to South Carolina law for halting the adoption.

Last edited by Robbi; 06-28-2013 at 03:29 PM. Reason: Sp
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:05 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by Robbi View Post
Sotomeyer was in the minority. She can write a dissenting opinion but the ruling was 5-4 stating the Native America. Heritage cannot factor into a lower court decision. If that's thrown out, then Brown did not meet the requirements according to South Carolina law for halting the adoption.
The father cannot factor into it. The baby's heritage is still the baby's heritage, so the tribe, which was conveniently bypassed due to mom's inability to remember her BFs last name and birthday correctly, still has some recourse.

If they so choose.

Which is anybody's guess.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:20 PM   #204
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The father cannot factor into it. The baby's heritage is still the baby's heritage, so the tribe, which was conveniently bypassed due to mom's inability to remember her BFs last name and birthday correctly, still has some recourse.

If they so choose.

Which is anybody's guess.
Even if the Supreme Court says it cannot factor into the decision?
As far as conveniently, the Cherokee Nation misspelled Dusten Brown’s name. It's been shown that he misspelled his name using an i instead of an e.The tribe cannot have been very thorough in checking. You get a letter asking about tribal affiliation and it says Dustin Brown. You see Dusten Brown and you don't look any further? I would.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:24 PM   #205
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From the SCOTUS ruling

In this case, Adoptive Couple was the only party that sought to adopt Baby Girl in the Family Court or the South Carolina Supreme Court. See Brief for Petitioners 19, 55; Brief for Respondent Birth Father 48; Reply Brief for Petitioners 13. Biological Father is not covered by §1915(a) because he did not seek to adopt Baby Girl; in- stead, he argued that his parental rights should not be terminated in the first place.11 Moreover, Baby Girl’s —paternal grandparents never sought custody of Baby Girl. See Brief for Petitioners 55; Reply Brief for Petitioners 13; 398 S. C., at 699, 731 S. E. 2d, at 590 (Kittredge, J., dis- senting) (noting that the “paternal grandparents are not parties to this action”). Nor did other members of the Cherokee Nation or “other Indian families” seek to adopt Baby Girl, even though the Cherokee Nation had notice of—and intervened in—the adoption proceedings. See Brief for Respondent Cherokee Nation 21–22; Reply Brief for Petitioners 13–14.12

Dusten will lose custody. No one else ever filed. She will go back to the Capobiancos.

Sotomeyer was on the losing team. She can write an opinion, but her side is not the side that made the ruling.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:39 PM   #206
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If a birth father has shown concern about the child's welfare, he can veto the adoption. How is that unfair?
I think it's unfair for several reasons.

Firstly, in every other situation, it is very difficult to sever someone's parental rights. Parents physically abuse their kids, and neglect them all the time, and don't lose parental rights. A woman can refuse all medical care during her pregnancy, and can choose to smoke and drink heavily and take all kinds of risks, without losing her parental rights. A pregnant woman can state her intentions to have an abortion, or to place her unborn child for adoption, but neither statement is considered binding. And yet, in this case, under South Carolina law, it seems that all a woman has to do to sever a man's rights is refuse to marry him, refuse to live with him, and tell him you don't need any money. Now suddenly he has no rights to contest an adoption, although he's still liable for child support. Now, I can maybe, possibly, wrap my mind around the idea that men in South Carolina should know this, and should give and document support to the mothers of their children, even if the mothers don't want or ask for it, if they want to prevent a possible adoption. Maybe. But the fact that a woman in any state, can sever a father's rights by flying to South Carolina? That goes too far, in my opinion.

Secondly, I think that given the magnitude of the decision involved in signing away your parental rights, safeguards need to be in place to make sure that parents fully understand the decision they're making. Oklahoma has a safeguard, which is that they require the paperwork to be signed in court, where presumably there are people there to observe the procedure and make sure that the document is being described correctly. Other states have safeguards in the form of waiting periods. In some states there are rules requiring a waiting period after a child is born, so that people aren't making a decision while they're overwhelmed by the shock and emotion of becoming parents. I don't think that it is acceptable for someone to be able to walk up to someone, without warning, and present them with paperwork this important, without protections in place.

Finally, the idea that because someone declines or doesn't ask for custody, they shouldn't have rights, is overly simplistic. I'll give you an example from my own family, an analogy that I recognize to be imperfect. I have a kid. My mother loves that kid very much. She wants only the best for him, and believes, I hope, that the best thing for him is to live with me and be cared for by me. She has certainly never mentioned, or even joked about taking him away from me, and if I up and moved to Alaska and never spoke to her again, she wouldn't fight for him, because she believes that it's in his best interest to be with his mother. However, if something happened to me, and I was no longer in a position to parent him, you better believe that she'd fight like hell for him. Just because she doesn't see herself as the first choice for him, doesn't mean that she doesn't want him. Brown may have thought that the best place for a baby is with it's biological mother. He thought, because of her deception, that that was the plan for his daughter. That doesn't take away his right to step in when her rights were terminated.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:52 PM   #207
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I think it's unfair for several reasons.

Firstly, in every other situation, it is very difficult to sever someone's parental rights. Parents physically abuse their kids, and neglect them all the time, and don't lose parental rights. A woman can refuse all medical care during her pregnancy, and can choose to smoke and drink heavily and take all kinds of risks, without losing her parental rights. A pregnant woman can state her intentions to have an abortion, or to place her unborn child for adoption, but neither statement is considered binding. And yet, in this case, under South Carolina law, it seems that all a woman has to do to sever a man's rights is refuse to marry him, refuse to live with him, and tell him you don't need any money. Now suddenly he has no rights to contest an adoption, although he's still liable for child support. Now, I can maybe, possibly, wrap my mind around the idea that men in South Carolina should know this, and should give and document support to the mothers of their children, even if the mothers don't want or ask for it, if they want to prevent a possible adoption. Maybe. But the fact that a woman in any state, can sever a father's rights by flying to South Carolina? That goes too far, in my opinion.

Secondly, I think that given the magnitude of the decision involved in signing away your parental rights, safeguards need to be in place to make sure that parents fully understand the decision they're making. Oklahoma has a safeguard, which is that they require the paperwork to be signed in court, where presumably there are people there to observe the procedure and make sure that the document is being described correctly. Other states have safeguards in the form of waiting periods. In some states there are rules requiring a waiting period after a child is born, so that people aren't making a decision while they're overwhelmed by the shock and emotion of becoming parents. I don't think that it is acceptable for someone to be able to walk up to someone, without warning, and present them with paperwork this important, without protections in place.

Finally, the idea that because someone declines or doesn't ask for custody, they shouldn't have rights, is overly simplistic. I'll give you an example from my own family, an analogy that I recognize to be imperfect. I have a kid. My mother loves that kid very much. She wants only the best for him, and believes, I hope, that the best thing for him is to live with me and be cared for by me. She has certainly never mentioned, or even joked about taking him away from me, and if I up and moved to Alaska and never spoke to her again, she wouldn't fight for him, because she believes that it's in his best interest to be with his mother. However, if something happened to me, and I was no longer in a position to parent him, you better believe that she'd fight like hell for him. Just because she doesn't see herself as the first choice for him, doesn't mean that she doesn't want him. Brown may have thought that the best place for a baby is with it's biological mother. He thought, because of her deception, that that was the plan for his daughter. That doesn't take away his right to step in when her rights were terminated.
What deception? He said he would relinquish his rights rather than pay support.
If you mean the name thing, that was the tribe. They had his name spelled wrong and didn't look further when the lawyers sent in his name.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:26 PM   #208
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Dusten will lose custody. No one else ever filed. She will go back to the Capobiancos.
Not necessarily. It could go either way. From the NY Times:

Family courts ordinarily base custody decisions on the best interests of the child before them. Joan Heifetz Hollinger, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who filed a brief in support of the child’s interests, said that if the State of South Carolina holds a custody hearing for Baby Veronica that “there would be strong presumption that the child’s best interests are to allow her to remain where she is, absent evidence of abuse or neglect by dad.”

“If, however, the court resumes the original adoption proceeding,” she said, “the outcome is likely to be in favor of a return to the adoptive parents.”


Here's hoping the courts find in favor of Dusten Brown, and let this little girl stay with her father who so obviously wants her. The interests of the adoptive couple will hopefully be seen as secondary to the interests of the child.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:27 PM   #209
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What deception? He said he would relinquish his rights rather than pay support.
If you mean the name thing, that was the tribe. They had his name spelled wrong and didn't look further when the lawyers sent in his name.
In neither South Carolina nor Oklahoma, can a birth mother relinquish her rights before the baby is born, even if they appear in court or follow legal channels. So why should a single, emotional, text from the father be considered to be a relinquishment of his rights? Furthermore, how many young men or women understand the difference between giving up parental rights and giving up physical custody?

The birth mother hid her plans from him for sixth months. How is that not deception? Furthermore they used a process server who clearly didn't explain the paperwork that Brown was being asked to sign. Finally, as to the "name thing", everything I have read says that the paperwork the lawyers sent to the Cherokee Nation listed the wrong spelling of his first name, the wrong birth date, and the wrong year. Are you seeing something different? Can you provide a link saying that the Cherokee Nation was the one who erred?
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:08 PM   #210
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In neither South Carolina nor Oklahoma, can a birth mother relinquish her rights before the baby is born, even if they appear in court or follow legal channels. So why should a single, emotional, text from the father be considered to be a relinquishment of his rights? Furthermore, how many young men or women understand the difference between giving up parental rights and giving up physical custody?

The birth mother hid her plans from him for sixth months. How is that not deception? Furthermore they used a process server who clearly didn't explain the paperwork that Brown was being asked to sign. Finally, as to the "name thing", everything I have read says that the paperwork the lawyers sent to the Cherokee Nation listed the wrong spelling of his first name, the wrong birth date, and the wrong year. Are you seeing something different? Can you provide a link saying that the Cherokee Nation was the one who erred?
This is a quote from Marcy Hayden who is the Native American Affairs coordinator for the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs:

http://www.southcarolinaradionetwork...-custody-case/

Hayden says the Cherokee Nation misspelled Dusten Brown’s name and used an incorrect birthdate, so he did not show up on the roles as a member. She also said they acted quickly to correct it. It keeps being put out that it was the adoptive family who did this but it's wrong.
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