On New Year’s Eve 2011, Baby Veronica was placed in a pick-up truck and taken from her adoptive parents by her biological father, a man that turned his back on the joys and responsibilities of fatherhood at every turn. As two South Carolina Supreme Court Justices stated, his “last-ditch efforts to embrace a relationship with his daughter under the cloud of litigation are far too little and much too late.”
From SC Supreme Court Justice Kaye Hearn:
My review of the record convinces me that Father turned his back on the joys and responsibilities of fatherhood at every turn. I would not minimize, as the majority does, the telling fact that Father told Mother in writing after Baby Girl’s birth that he would relinquish his parental rights rather than support her and Baby Girl, and I do not join the majority in accepting his laughable explanation that he did this as a way to convince Mother to marry him. In stark contrast to Father’s behavior in completely shirking his parental responsibilities, every action taken by Adoptive Couple since they learned she was going to be their child has demonstrated their deep and unconditional love and commitment to Baby Girl. Nevertheless, today, the majority goes out of its way to re-cast the facts in a light unfavorable to Adoptive Couple and overlooks Father’s clear course of conduct, affording him a second chance at fatherhood, all at great emotional cost to Baby Girl and Adoptive Couple.
Baby Veronica was removed from the only family she ever knew because of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) – a federal law that is tearing families apart. We feel certain that when Congress passed the law, more than three decades ago, they did not intend for ICWA to require the return of a child to a parent who consistently, by his words and actions, time and time again demonstrated a desire to forego his responsibilities as a father.