Have we reached the end of the Baby Veronica story? Last night Dunsten Brown gave up physical custody of Veronica (no longer a baby), allowing the Capobiancos to assume that role. There’s no way of knowing if this is actually the end of the story. Litigation could be continuing, as the article suggests. But surely this is a significant moment. Actual physical custody of the-now-four-year-old child at the center of a very long legal struggle has shifted to her adoptive parents, who presumably have taken (or will take her) back to South Carolina.
I’ve written about this many times before, though most recently not so much about the actual merits as about the nature of the on-going struggle. It is this aspect of the case that continues to trouble me most.
Veronica (and at least all parties seem to agree on her name, unlike some cases where the child is given different names by the competing parties) is four year old. Continue reading
The last of my really sporadic posts concerned a new story about Liam Burke, a child born a little under a year ago. His mother–and here I mean the woman who gave birth to him who is also his legal mother and his social mother–is Kelly Burke. The embryo that became Liam was transferred to Kelly’s uterus after it had spent 19 years cryogenically preserved. (You can just go read the post, if you like.)
Anyway, the story has surfaced again and this time a couple of other things struck me. In fact, I found echoes of the issues raised by the more recent post about the underground market for children.
Here’s the thing. The embryo in question was given to Kelly Burke by a couple who had created these embryos 19 years earlier when they were having children. Continue reading
There was an interesting op-ed in the NYT yesterday. It’s about the commercialization of infertility treatment, but I think it makes points that can be understood more broadly. And, somewhat like the adoption story I blogged about yesterday, it makes me think about the importance of trying to put a bigger frame around the problem.
The authors–Miram Zoll and Pamela Tsigdinos–are women who pursued/endured “increasingly invasive and often experimental interventions, many of whose long-term health risks are still largely unknown.” The treatments were unsuccessful and eventually Zoll and Tsigndinos decided to stop. This is a decision the women are (now) happy with:
Ending our treatments was one of the bravest decisions we ever made, Continue reading
I’m plowing on ahead here–another post without taking care of comments. I’ve got this feeling I need to keep moving and, what with getting classes started and all there isn’t time for both activities. So on we go and please, if you’ve commented, bear with me.
There’s been an ongoing series of articles on Reuters (also picked up on NBC.com) this week. It’s headlined ”The Child Exchange: Inside America’s Underground Market for Adopted Children” and to say that it is harrowing is the understate things. It’s way more than harrowing.
It’s about instances where people adopt children and then, when they are confronted with overwhelming difficulties, hand off the children to other people. Continue reading
It’s been several months since the Supreme Court decided Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl. It’s a case I had written about a number of times over the years, though I have yet to actually discuss the Court’s opinion. (It’s the “lost-it-over-summer” thing.) When the Supreme Court opinion was issued, it probably seemed to many to mark the end of the case, but for some procedural follow-on in the lower courts. But the case was not, in fact, over and indeed, it continues even now.
You can read the facts in almost any of the news stories about continuing proceedings. And they can be very long and convoluted, as the case has a long history. But for my purposes here today, it comes down to this: There is a three year old girl named Veronica. The South Carolina Supreme Court, following the opinion of the US Supreme Court, ruled that a couple from South Carolina (the Capobiancos) could complete their adoption of this child. But she has been living in Oklahoma with her genetic father, Dunsten Brown, who also wants to raise her as his daughter, for roughly half her life. Continue reading
I know I’ve been a very bad blog host, and I hope you all understand why–see the last post if you must. It’s just a busy time. But since it makes me fret when I don’t post I thought I’d put something quick up this evening before the second-to-last leg of the family event marathon. (This is son-to-college. Next (and last) is daughter-starts-high-school.)
Anyway, this story caught my eye today. Liam James Burke was born sometime earlier this year. An ordinary baby save for one thing: He was born after an embryo created 19 years ago was transferred to Kelly Burke’s uterus. That’s a remarkably long time for a frozen embryo to be preserved and then successfully transferred. Then again, perhaps we don’t really know how long they might remain viable.
The embryos had originally been created for an Oregon couple. Continue reading
This is a continuation of a series of posts on putative father registries. Check back over the last three posts (and the extensive comments accompanying them) to get up to speed. The most recent post will at least help you understand the terrain of the discussion. In particular, it discusses what putative father registries are for. This is important to have in mind.
I’m working myself round to considering an objection to putative father registries–that objection being that they amount to sex registries. Though the term “sex registries” has been used some here, I’m not sure it has a general and agreed upon meaning–at the very least it doesn’t have one of which I am aware– which might mean we are actually talking about different things. Now for starters, I suppose I’d better say what I mean by “sex registries.” Continue reading
There’s an ongoing discussion here about putative father registries–you can see it in the last two post and the extensive comments. There’s one point that was raised (I’m sorry that right at the moment I cannot give proper credit to the person who raised it–my internet access is a little too clunky) that I wanted to pull out for a post as I think it warrants fuller discussion.
[I'm writing this after drafting this post. I now realize this is going to take more than one post. In this post I will set up the problem (subject of course to your objections that I'm not being fair, etc.) and in the next I'll get to the sex registry part.]
Let me start with a description of what we’re talking about. I’m actually going to begin by reminding you all what the problem is that lead to the putative father registries. This is partly because for all the discussion of the comments and for all the objections (many of them good ones) being raised, I don’t see much attention being paid to the actual underlying problem. Continue reading
I want to think a bit more about the putative (or responsible?) father registries that were the subject of yesterday’s post. You can go back for a quick look to get up to speed about what they are and there’s already a lot of discussion in the comments.
Perhaps what I really want to do is consider how registries might work rather than how they actually do work. I draw this distinction because the way they currently operate may be problematic. In particular, the idea of requiring registration and then making it hard to figure out where to register and failing to inform men that they need to register simply creates a trap. That’s indefensible in my book.
So let’s instead think about a registry system that is widely publicized and simple to access. Continue reading
I’m really playing catch-up here–no new news. Months ago now federal legislation was introduced to create what amounts to a national putative father’s registry.
I’ve written about the idea of putative father registries before and we’ve discussed it some. It all ties in with the discussion of the parental rights of unmarried men, which is partly what is at issue in the ICWA case.
I’ll start with a bit of background. Suppose an unmarried woman is going to give birth and wants to place the child for adoption. She can go ahead and make arrangements and sign papers. But what about the rights of the man who must have been involved in the creation of the child? The adoption cannot be completed unless/until either his rights are terminated or we know he has no rights to begin with.
The last point may seem surprising (unless you’ve been reading here regularly) Continue reading