COMMENTARY | Adoptions are highly emotional events, no matter the circumstances. The reversal of a 2-year-old adoption order not due to any wrongdoing on the part of any involved party is also deeply emotional with the return of a toddler to her biological father. What is the "right" solution to the situation? Can there truly be a "winner?"
The 2-year-old child, Veronica, was adopted at birth by Matt and Melanie Capobianco of Charleston, S.C., reports Reuters. The South Caroline couple was present at the birth of Veronica in Oklahoma to Christine Maldonado, a single woman who cited an inability to care for the child and lack of support from Veronica's biological father, Dustin Brown, as reasons for placing Veronica for adoption. So far, so good; all known statutes and laws have been followed in the open adoption process.
Brown, in the military and stationed in Oklahoma at the time of Veronica's birth, signed the adoption papers, which, according to KOCO.com, Brown later reported he felt tricked into signing. When the child was 4 months old, Brown filed suit to regain custody of his daughter.
On Dec. 31, the adoptive parents learned they must relinquish custody of Veronica to Brown, based on the Indian Child Welfare Act passed by Congress in 1978. The law's stated intent is to Native American children and promote the security and stability of Native American tribe's and their families. In this case, Brown is a member of the Cherokee Nation .
One family has been torn apart, another has been formed. The adoptive parents wonder about the welfare of their daughter and the biological father is likely trying to make up for lost time. More court battles are sure to come, with the outcome unknown at this time. Someone who loves this little girl will raise her as their own and someone else who loves her will mourn what might have been.
Courts so often view, and rule, in black and white; maybe a happy medium for all concern would be open visitation for whichever party does not have custody of this well-loved child.
Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of "The Red Man" state. With what he hopes is an everyman's view of life's concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.