Baby Veronica Adoption Case Facts

QUICK FACTS

  • Despite the lies being spread, this adoption is legal and ethical. The United States Supreme Court found it to be legal and ethical, as well as the other five courts to have ruled on this case.
  • The birth father had no legal ground to contest the adoption due to his abandonment of Veronica and her birth mother. This is based on laws in both Oklahoma and South Carolina.

Did the biological mother get paid for giving her child up for adoption?
Absolutely not. While the adoptive couple did assist the mother with some basic necessities including helping with doctor visits, rent, etc, Christy never received payment for the child. (“Appellants helped support Mother during the last few months of her pregnancy and shortly after Baby Girl’s birth.” Pg34 SCSC ‘12) – There are disturbing rumors spread out about Christy receiving 10-30k, this is an outright and outrageous lie started by the Indian Country Today news-outlet with absolutely no evidence or record to back it up. (“Adoptive Couple supported Birth Mother both emotionally and financially throughout her pregnancy.” Pg7 SCOTUS ’13) Nothing has ever been suggested through court records that mother received above or beyond the normal expenses provided to the Christy, and certainly nothing more than Dusty should have attempted providing himself.

Didn’t the biological father want to marry the biological mother?
Yes. Dusty and Christy were engaged for a short period of time, though she got pregnant shortly afterwards and the relationship turned for the worse soon after.(“In this case, Birth Mother (who is predominantly Hispanic) and Biological Father (who is a member of the Cherokee Nation) became engaged in December 2008.One month later, Birth Mother informed Biological Father, who lived about four hours away, that she was pregnant. After learning of the pregnancy, Biological Father asked Birth Mother to move up the date of the wedding. He also refused to provide any financial support until after the two had married. The couple’s relationship deteriorated and Birth Mother broke off the engagement in May 2009. In June, Birth Mother sent Biological Father a text message asking if he would rather pay child support or relinquish his parental rights. Biological Father responded via text message that he relinquished his rights.” Pg6 SCOTUS ’13)

Did the biological father always want to be a part of his daughter’s life?
While it appears he now has a desire to raise his child, the facts show that during the pregnancy and up to the first four months of Veronica’s life Dusty made no attempt to be involved in his daughter’s life. (“Father was aware of Mother’s expected due date, but made no attempt to contact or support Mother directly in the months following Baby Girl’s birth.” Pg6 SCSC ’12) – (“Father claims his abandonment was conditioned on his belief that Mother would raise the child—not place her for adoption.” Pg66 SCSC ’12)

Is it true that the biological father was overseas with the Army and couldn’t see his daughter?
No. This is one of the biggest misconceptions out there. (“At the time Mother became pregnant, Father was actively serving in the United States Army and stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, approximately four hours away from his hometown of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where his parents and Mother resided.” Pg2 ’12) He remained stationed there throughout the pregnancy, and four months after birth, when he was deployed to Iraq in January 2010. (“Mother gave birth to Baby Girl on September 15, 2009“) – (“Father departed for Iraq on January 18, 2010”)

Did biological father pay child support?
Dusty did not pay any child support until the case was nearly to a close in Family Court (“Beginning in February 2011, Father has intermittently sent checks to Appellants’ attorney for the benefit of Baby Girl. According to the record, Father remitted seven checks totaling $1,500. The most recent payment was dated July 7, 2011.” Pg46 SCSC ’12 FN). In fact, he was in trouble with the law already for back child support of his other daughter for approximately $11,000 (“The mother of his first child was forced to take court action after Father had amassed a child support arrearage of approximately $11,000.” Pg52 SCSC ’12).

I’ve heard that the biological mother cut off all contact. Is this true?
This is not true. Christy tried to reach out multiple times to determine what Dusty’s involvement would be. Once Dusty confirmed that he was going to talk to his commander about signing away his rights, Christy knew she was on her own. (“While Father testified his post-breakup attempts to call and text message Mother went unanswered, it appears from the Record Father did not make any meaningful attempts to contact her.” Pg3 SCSC ’12)

Did the biological father and/or his family request to see the baby or try to give anything to her before or after her birth?
While there are testimonies in court to an attempt to give gifts to Christy by his mother, and an attempt to reach her, Christy testified in court to that being untrue. By Record, no meaningful attempts to connect with Christy were ever made. (“Although he was aware of the anticipated due date, Father made no attempt to contact Mother during the months after she gave birth to ask about Baby Girl, to request visitation, or to offer any gifts or financial support.” Pg36 SCSC ’12)

Did the biological father believe he was signing a temporary custody agreement to the biological mother because he was being deployed?
No. While Dusty has recently tried claiming that he believed to be signing a TPR or ‘Full Custody’ to Christy while he was deployed, in court he admitted to believing he was signing his parental rights to Christy to raise and support the child alone. (“Father sent a return text message to Mother expressly indicating his desire to give up his parental rights. Father later claimed he would not have “given up” his parental rights had he known Mother planned to place the baby for adoption. However, during Father’s cross-examination the following exchange took place: Q. But you were prepared to sign all your rights and responsibilities away to this child just so as long as the mother was taking care of the child? A. That’s correct. Q. And you would not be responsible in any way for the child support or anything else as far as the child’s concerned? A. Correct.” Pg33 SCSC ’12) – (“Father testified he believed he was relinquishing his rights to Mother and did not realize he consented to Baby Girl’s adoption by another family until after he signed the papers.” Pg6 SCSC ’12) – (”Father claims his abandonment was conditioned on his belief that Mother would raise the child—not place her for adoption.” Pg66 SCSC ’12)

Did the lower court originally rule it was in Veronica’s best interests to go with her biological father over her adopted parents?
On the surface, it would appear they ruled in favor of the biological father having Veronica as being in her ‘best interests’, however, their decision stemmed off of a Federal Law that they misunderstood, which actually placed Veronica’s best interests below the interests of the Tribe. (“While the best interests of the child standard is always a guiding consideration when placing a child, any attempt to utilize our state’s best interests of the child standard to eclipse the ICWA’s statutory preferences ignores the fact that the statutory placement preferences and the Indian child’s best interests are not mutually exclusive considerations. Instead, the ICWA presumes that placement within its ambit is in the Indian child’s best interests. — Thus, the bonding that has occurred between Appellants and Baby Girl has not satisfied this Court that custody with Father is against Baby Girl’s best interests.” Pg28 SCSC ’12)

Are the adoptive parents trying to shut the biological family out of Veronica’s life?
From the beginning of Veronica’s birth, the adopted parents kept the relationship open for Veronica to remain in contact with her biological family. Christy was involved in her life from day one. Dusty never asked for visitation until Family Court was coming to a close, (“Moreover, while Father was in Iraq until December 2010, Father failed to request visitation until he was deposed in this case. At the time of his request, Baby Girl was twenty-two months old, and Father had returned from active duty seven months earlier.”) Since the beginning of the case in Jan. 2012, the Adoptive Parents have stated their desire to keep everyone involved in Veronica’s life. They have never wavered from their wish to have everyone involved, and hope to be able to continue a relationship between Dusty’s family and Veronica once she returns home. Unfortunately, Dusty doesn’t share the same desire, as he’s disallowed all contact between Veronica and her first parents since the day after he gain physical contact, and in his continued efforts to keep her separated from her Adoptive Parents.