A heart breaking case has been ongoing for a number of years over the rights of
custody for a now three year old baby girl, who has one percent of Cherokee blood
running through her veins. Sadly, the mother discovered she was pregnant
with her current fiancé, and once he received this news he decided
he wanted nothing to do with the baby. Over a text message the father
relieved himself of all parental rights of the child. However the mother,
already with two kids and a low paying job, realized that what would be
best for the baby would be to have her grow up in a home with a loving
family who could give her the care she deserved. She was able to find
that loving family and they agreed to help financially support her during
the remainder of her pregnancy.
By this time the father had agreed to the adoption and yet at the last
moment changed his mind claiming his rights as the father under the Child
Welfare Act which was instated as federal law in 1978. This act claims
was designed to protect the Native American families from being broken
up and their children taken away from them to be adopted into non-Native
American families. When taken originally to court, the state agreed that
this law in fact protected the father, and the daughter was taken from
the home of her adoptive parents, where she had been for nearly two years.
Not wanting to stop the fight, the adoptive parents and the biological
mother continued to pursue the case and it was taken to United States
After much thought and contemplation, the court ruled that the father was
never involved in her life and by the adoptive family keeping the baby,
they were in no way keeping a Native American family from being together,
when he never really was one in the first place. There was a five justice
majority vote on the matter, and the adoptive parents were ruled that
as reliable adults they would be the legal parents of the baby after all.
The attorneys representing the adoptive family was able to prove that
it was not a Native American family who was broken up, but rather their
own because of this legislation. They had spent nearly 27 total months
with little Veronica whereas the father only objected the act of adoption
after it had already gone through and he had offered no support to the
child during the time when the mother was pregnant.
Though the average child custody battle will not be this expensive, they
can still be an emotional experience. For this reason, hiring a trusted
Raleigh family attorney who can care for your family and legal needs at
the same time is so important.
Contact Hopper Law Office, today for more information!