I have been working on the post about my sons visit with his biological father, but I keep coming to a stand still. I am living, breathing, and dreaming of Veronica Brown. She has consumed my life for the past few months. So since that is all I can think of, I think I should lend my voice to the countless others in Standing My Ground and doing my best to speak for this child that doesn't have a voice of her own. So here it goes.
Veronica Brown was conceived by two people in love. Two people engaged to be married. Dusten Brown and Christy Maldonado. For whatever reason she chose, Christy broke off the engagement even as Dusten was trying to push up the wedding. Later Christy cut off all contact with Dusten, and he hoped that by giving her some space, she would come around and come back to him. And then they could raise their daughter together. You know, the whole "happily ever after" thing. But that was not to be.
Christy purposely withheld from Dusten that she planned to place their child for adoption. And she gave false information to the adoption agency that she used and to the prospective adoptive parents that she chose for this little girl. This little girl that had a daddy that wanted her. Wanted to marry her mom, and raise her.
Matt and Melanie Capobianco, the prospective adoptive parents, couldn't wait to add to their family. I know almost everyone wants to have a baby. And I am sure that they were thrilled that they had been chosen, finally, by an expectant mom, to raise a baby. I have no doubt that they loved her the moment she was born. I have no doubt that they were greatly blessed to have been in the delivery room. For Matt to cut the umbilical cord. For them to welcome their baby into this world. To start the bonding experience at birth. (For the record, I am 100% against pre-birth matching, but I am trying to look at this from the outside and take into account all the truths.)
When Veronica was 4 months old the Capobianco's found out that Dusten did not want to sign his rights over. He wanted to raise his daughter. They fought this for the next 23 months, and finally a judge gave Veronica back to Dusten at the age of 27 months. On New Years Eve 2011. What a way to bring in the New Year by bringing your daughter home. I imagine the entire family was ecstatic.
But the fight continued over the next 19 months, and by using loopholes in law and using money, the Capobianco's somehow got a court to finalize the adoption of a girl living with her father, and demanded her immediate return to genetic strangers.
You can fact check here http://keepveronicahome.com/index.php/fact-check and you can read the timeline here http://www.nicwa.org/BabyVeronica/documents/Timeline_Feb_000.pdf
Now for my thoughts and opinions.
I don't see how anyone can fight to take a child away from her father. A fit, loving father that is caring for her needs. Where she is happy, healthy, loved and wanted. This is where my sympathy for the Capobianco's end. And where their love for Veronica turns into a desire to win. A desire to get what they paid for. They spent all their money, and some they borrowed and begged for, to purchase a child. Sure some call it birth mother expenses, but whatever. I call it buying a child. If the agency had called Matt and Melanie up and said, "Hey, we have this woman that really wants to keep her child, but she can't afford to. Could you please help her make her car payments, and rent payment, and maybe take her out to eat, since she doesn't even have the money for food." Do you think they would have raised all that money to give to Christy so she could keep Veronica? Yeah, me either. That in my opinion means they bought a child.
Fast forward 4 months, (we will pretend that they didn't know the child was Cherokee) to when they found out that several lies had been told, several laws had been broken, and this father wanted his child. Why fight that? Because you paid $XXXX to get her home in the first place? Anyway the fight ensues. Throughout the fight Dusten uses the Indian Child Welfare Act, to show that he should have Veronica, and he finally wins. After 23 months of fighting he brings his daughter home. Fight over? No.....
The Capobianco's continue the fight by saying that the Indian Child Welfare Act doesn't apply to this case, And they win! Ridiculous!!!
Now, I am going to move away from the Indian Child Welfare Act (it is a very important act, but doesn't play into my opinion of this case at all) and all the other laws used to fight this battle. And I am going to go into some questions. Feel free not to answer, or feel free to answer. Your call. But please, at least look into your heart and answer them for yourself.
1. Why do we need all these laws to fight for our children? Shouldn't the fact that we created them be enough of an argument? Shouldn't that trump any other argument or law out there?
2. Why does the law make it so easy to circumvent a fathers rights to his child? If the mother wants to give the child up for adoption, that's fine and dandy. If she wants to keep a child and force the father to pay child support that's fine and dandy, too. But when does the dad get a say? I personally don't think any child should be able to be placed for adoption until paternity is proven through DNA testing, and the father signs off on it. If she doesn't want the child, but he does, shouldn't she give him the child and pay child support?
3. Now at the age of 4, and only knowing that she lives with her Daddy and Mommy, and they love her, how come Veronica can't get a best interest hearing? If the Capobianco's think it is in Veronica's best interest for her to come home with them, why are they not saying, "Yes, do a best interest hearing, and we will follow along with what it says."?
4. Last question.... Do you have small children? Do you remember when your grown children were young? Look at your child, pictures of your child, memories of your child. Whichever is easier for you. Now imagine that I want your child. The child you love. The child you created. The child that is happy in your home. The child that is cared for, healthy, and thriving..... Now can you give me that child? I would love him/her just as much, I swear. I would do everything I could to make sure that child is happy in my home, and you can visit and call anytime. If you said no, then please go to https://www.facebook.com/StandingOurGroundForVeronicaBrown and share your support for this little girl to stay with her father. And if you said yes, then maybe you should give your child to the Capobianco's. They really want one.