The Truth about Baby Veronica Update: Baby Veronica Is Going Home
STORY BY Holly Ramos
Published: August 1, 2013
For those of you following the Supreme Court ruling on Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, No. 12-399, there have been some updates. As you may know, eighteen months ago a South Carolina appellate court ordered a 2-year-old child to be removed from her home, the good home she shared with her adoptive parents since birth, and turned over to her biological father, a man she had never met. You can read the whole account here.
This decision was reversed by the US Supreme Court just over a month ago on June 25th. But while the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the adoptive couple, they did not decide weather the child would actually be returned to them. This decision was left up to family court.
The South Carolina Supreme Court finally decided last week that the child should indeed be returned to her adoptive parents. The adoption has been finalized and baby Veronica is set to go home. There will be a seven-day transition period for the child to readjust to her adoptive parents and say goodbye to her biological father whom she has been with for over a year.
The transition plan that is to take place would have the adoptive parents spending a half-day with Veronica for the first two days. The couple would spend the entire day with Veronica on the third day. Veronica will stay the night with the couple on day four. On the next two days the birth father will join Veronica and her adoptive parents for one meal. By the seventh day, the reunited family, parents and child, will return to South Carolina.
Any plan longer than that is considered too stressful. If there is too much conflict between the birth father and the adoptive parents, the transition will be cut short.
The biological father has been petitioning the courts with various appeals to stop the transition, but thus far the courts have rejected them. The state court has commented that it is their deep hope that “the parties will work together in good faith and place the best interest and welfare of Baby Girl above their own desires. This emotionally charged case was fully litigated in the South Carolina courts and the United States Supreme Court. This case has reached finality…. That finality should be honored.”
All of the parties in this case have a hard road in front of them. While I am thrilled for the adoptive parents, I know that baby Veronica has been through much pain and it is not over yet. The birthfather’s loss will be tremendous after spending eighteen months with Veronica, but the courts ruled against him due to the decision he made to give up this child at the time of her birth. Ultimately, we are all responsible for our reproductive decisions and we must live with them, even if we regret them.
In the meantime, Veronica’s biological mother will be taking the U.S. government to court for not honoring her rights and wishes as a birthmother to place her daughter for adoption. The case will challenge the constitutionality of ICWA, which is based on race. The birth mother’s comments about the birth father and the adoption can be seen at http://www.saveveronica.org/christys-letter/ More to be revealed, indeed.
The good news is that the adoptive parents can breathe a sigh of relief, as it seems that it is only a matter of days until Baby Veronica will be going home with them.
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