Young girl taken by biological father 2 years after adoption
Legal panel weighs in on case
- Duration 6:50
- Date Jan 11, 2012
Legal panel weighs in on case
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We'll tell escorted back in session on the docket today a young child ripped from the arms of the only parents she's ever known.
Two year old Veronica adopted at birth by Matt and Melanie -- -- She was given up by a native American couple they signed over their rights to her.
But just four months after making that decision her biological father a US army soldier claims he did not understand what he was signing.
He filed papers to get Veronica back citing -- 1978.
Law called the Indian child welfare act speaking about native Americans.
And took a little girl more than a thousand miles away after she -- your first two years of the adoptive parents to Oklahoma.
We were there for the delivery and in the delivery around here.
And -- cut the umbilical cord and she's been with the -- sense except for the last four days we were told that she was not an Indian child and so.
We didn't think that it was -- Make a difference this is in her best interest we -- hurt them.
This is our home we sure that they're they're what -- is this is being abused.
You know we don't feel that this was what it was metaphor it's not about us the stuff that's it's not about -- it's about our dorm and the best thing for our.
Now Fox News legal analysts Mercedes -- at least we'll.
I mean heart breaks behind.
It's just awful for everyone you know Bob the parents and the daughter and so on.
But the question in -- you know this -- -- in the court is what does the law require and -- The father got custody a back -- little girl because of a a little long law.
Called the Indian child welfare act that basically makes it illegal to break up a native American family even if the guys signed a waiver -- us right.
-- -- make it I mean this is a horrible case very sad for the Foster parents.
But legally this is actually very straightforward -- the act that you cited 1978 act was really brought in because up to about 35% at that time 35% of American Indian children were taken off the reservation and adopted by non native Americans that that was that was going on -- 1978 and you couple that with the 1989.
Supreme Court decision -- field.
Where the Supreme Court ruled on point on this -- get it said that if in -- in -- in -- on voluntary adoption.
The -- lies with the native American tribe and that's chair -- Cherokee Indian nation here and so they were able to -- the father of the biological father who as you said started proceedings only four months after signing that document.
One of the -- Veronica back.
So what does this.
Mean -- a practical matter Mercedes that you can never adopted native American child without having to worry that at some point any point down the line.
You're gonna have to give him -- her back.
-- one of the things here this -- who actually wrote this loss that it has been misused in this particular case this is not what they intended.
Back in 78 children were taken out of their homes by private and public agencies that's not what we -- here when you -- aren't there back when you -- -- up and and when when it back in nineteen that we don't have that here because we have that waiver.
And there isn't any that frankly the judge here should've said what in the best interest of this child.
The best interests of this child is not to have a father who had virtually no contact with his child.
Burton for two years to take that child out of the only home that she -- And frankly what does he think he didn't understand the waiver what it this is a soldier who likes to this country can't conceivably say.
I signed a voluntarily a waiver giving up Mike Mike parental rights and suddenly two years -- few years later I don't understand that.
It's a fair question is what I understand I mean the document is it's not like an -- you wanna waive your right to we have.
Ride the roller coaster to see what's right -- -- like you're giving up your baby who is now.
For -- just just been born.
We don't know what the document says we don't know has been status of his mind but there is certainly an argument there was no meeting of the minds and as you know -- that would be not a valid contract but the main point coming back to the 1989.
Supreme Court decision right on point gives full jurisdiction to the American Indian nation the American Indian nations -- at how -- it -- they -- as.
Eight -- to themselves and I yet as I said we're -- Created I don't really attorney native American children because they can essentially never be -- -- because and that always have to worry.
About in the -- -- being reversed if you're the you know adoptive parents -- -- we're gonna continue this right after this break.
The picking up back up what our legal analysts you know.
Normally you mention the best interest of the child Mercedes normally that is the standard in these cases and they talk about how this little girl who did not know this biological father.
Have been raised for two years we're not talking about -- instant.
Two years old you know who your parents are you have a very deep connection there is a bond there is love.
And was just turned over to a man she didn't know who then took -- a thousand miles away -- saying I'm daddy call me daddy no more contact with mommy and daddy.
I -- Mercedes how was that in the best interest of -- -- of this child is that not enter into the equation.
That's what's so incredibly tragic about all of this that's exactly right in fact even the putt there was one communication between the atop the -- And the baby girl and she was calling a mommy and daddy and then I love it that goes exactly -- your point that there is already a very strong bond.
Between this two year old -- adoptive parents.
And that's what what something have to change.
And at least brings up in 1989 -- something -- to change -- are not static they're constantly evolving if you have this act and that's contrary to what's in the best interest of this job.
That's the case that should go up apparently the adoptive parents -- continued and they're going to pursue it and hopefully at some point some it's going to go back and they played it.
If this is a standard that we -- in every single custody.
Equation why we not using it here why -- we -- a 34 year old statute to track what's in the best interest of the time.
Lately has apparently his father says he thought the the birth -- is gonna -- we re sign a waiver he -- -- -- Sort of letting the birth mother raised -- the united another couple was gonna anchor and don't forget make -- he was just about to be deployed so he was thinking that it was is going to be temporary at least that's what he's saying.
And and I don't disagree with Mercedes and maybe the loss of the change but the law is is the law now that Supreme Court this is in the 1978 at and says -- that the tribunal.
Is it rules and the tribunal has for some -- violate a parent I need a quick -- campaign make him.
Allow the child to be closer to that adoptive parents at least Andre is playing -- -- state could easily -- -- a thousand miles away and -- and I was shocked by that of course the good that same judge could have rule that's.
The have to be visitation at a certain time replace whatever that could have done something to make the transition for this little -- a lot easier and by what you're -- about the -- those waivers can be written a lot differently you know the -- could say we know about with -- we have jurisdiction that the American -- territory we -- that we waved the -- they believe that candidate always heartbreaking as -- I -- -- -- -- where -- around that time -- was in the debate thank you -- so much thanks.