Baby Veronica

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There has been a ruling in the Baby Veronica case, and all sides have formed their opinions. However, should the case have even made it as far as it did? There have been rumblings from the adoption community that this case should have been closed and solved long before it made it before the Supreme Court. It was decided, however, that Baby Veronica would indeed stay with her adoptive parents, and it is likely that all rights to her biological father will now be terminated.

For birthparents watching this case unfold, there has been a divide between those who believe that the father should have just left the girl where she was placed to. However, the texts that indicate he revoked his parental rights were inadmissible in court, and as such, opened the debate further. Was he really informed properly, or is he another one of those fathers who have been slighted by the system in regard to adoption?

This case has set an interesting bar for us to examine. We can look at the ethics that started the whole whirlwind to begin with, and start dissecting the sorts of reform necessary to make sure a case like this never happens again. The father absolutely should have been given ample opportunity to state his rights, and lay claim to parenting the child, though it appears he was never given much of a chance. When he realized what had happened, he began to fight to have his daughter back.

This warrants the question: If a biological parent, mother or father, has admitted that they would wish to parent, should the idea of adoption become null and void until this response is completely explored? The answer should be yes, but it's not the case, as we've seen in this heart-wrenching case.

It's hard to say who actually won in this case. Those who have been supporting the adoptive parents surely are crying victorious, even the birthmother is saying as such. However, is this a victorious day for the child? In a decade she'll surely be able to see the records that link her to this Baby Veronica case, and will have plenty of questions. How will she react when she sees that her biological father wished desperately to parent her but was rejected at every turn? Can we really say that she won't have conflicting emotions when she finds this information? Most certainly, adoptees struggle with their adoptions in various ways, but this would bring a whole new light to the struggle. It could be argued that she was stripped of her rights to live in her biological home, where she was wanted.

This is where ethics become an integral part of the adoption process. When we skip certain steps and presume that everyone knows exactly what they want right at that moment, we set ourselves up for disaster later on. Not properly getting the father's rights and relinquishment wishes accordingly is an ethical issue that we should be concerned about. We should be worried about the circumstances in which mother's relinquish their rights, and be fighting to ensure that the adoption was not led by misinformation and that it was guided through all varying options before the decision of adoption was arrived at. When the homework is not properly done, there is likely to be mistakes. Sometimes, they are mistakes that have no leverage, but in this particular case, because loopholes were made, and taken, we wound up with a national story that defines the very picture of an unethical adoption.

Should her adoptive parents continued to fight for her? They did, I'm certain because they love this little girl. In doing so, however, they have regrettably stripped her of her rights to be raised by the family that has a genetic claim to her, and furthermore, the one that desperately wants to raise her. When our own feelings play the most important role in the adoption scenario, should we not step back and question what we are doing? Is this best for the child? What will be the impact of this decision, now and in the future?

In the future, those adoptive parents will have some hard questions coming at them. As will the birthmother, and unfortunately, they don't appear to be easy ones. Most certainly, most adoptive parents would not wish to be in the hot seat while asking why they didn't allow their raised child to stay with her family of origins.

We can debate our opinions about this case, and take our sides, but the most important part of this decision is that it has shed an astronomical amount of light into the darker side of adoption, and what happens when we replace ethics with flimsy guidelines that change from case to case.

Credits: Danielle Barnsley-Cervo

Visitor Comments (4)
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Nikia - 4 years ago
0 0 2
I completely agree. I do not understand why this even was accepted by the supreme court on an ICWA precendent. As far as I am concerned all the USSC did was tell this country that unless a Native Man is married to the mother of his child he has virtually no rights and the native nation has no rights to the child....sad. I get that this father could have made better choices...but so could the biological mother, the attorney and espessially the prospective adoptive parents. Birth father rights in this country need to be uniform across the states and better protected. For heaven's sakes we give foster children back to their already known compromised (by the fact that the kids were removed in the first place)after having been removed for 12 monthes and even longer. Even if this father was aware from the child's birth (which all evidence indicates he was not) he would have made the decision to parent at 4 mos of age, and just days after having signed the consent to adopt paper work. #1
April - 4 years ago
0 0 2
You are a brave writer, because I fear many on this site will not agree with you. I think you hit the nail on the head. Her father's parental rights should have been protected by the courts. The courts have basically ruled that a father does not have to give consent to relinquish his rights. I think this is a step in the wrong direction. I realize the adoptive parents loved the child, but adoption should only be considered when a child needs a home. In this case she had a home available with her biological father. #2
Guest - 4 years ago
0 0 0
How can it possibly be better for her to be with these "adoptive parents"? She has spent the last two years of her life with her biological father, biological half sister, and stepmom. She also has loving paternal grandparents and other extended family. They have shielded her from the media all this time and she is reportedly happy, well-adjusted, and knows nothing about her "adoptive parents" or this whole case. She is a normal child in a normal, loving home. To rip her away from this, and give her to unrelated strangers is cruel and unusual. She has no memory of them. I am SHOCKED and APPALLED that this could actually happen. If they love her, they will let her stay in her family. Otherwise they are cruel, heartless, and selfish. Why do the courts now command her to live with such selfish, unrelated people and not with her beloved family. I #3
Sarah - 4 years ago
0 2 0
Those same articles that will say that the bio-dad "wanted her", will also show that he abandoned her before birth and had no intention of raising her until he found out she was to be adopted. He isn't exactly "dad of the year". Further, the Indian act should never have applied as she is like 2% native but 50% Hispanic. Why should 2% rule over 50%? That's just racist when you claim that one race is better than another! #4

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