The Next Chapter in Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl? Adoption to be Completed

There’s a case I’ve been following for a long time that I want to return to here.   You can read earlier posts here but in truth, you will be missing probably the most important developments–lost in the time I had no online access.

The case is a hard one–an unmarried genetic father objected when the genetic mother placed the child for adoption.  Under conventional South Carolina law (which is the law that applied) his protests would have been in vain as he didn’t comply with the requirements an unmarried man must meet before he can object.  (And there is a long discussion to be had about that, of course.)  But the man here was Native American and hence, could invoke the Indian Child Welfare Act.   

The child was placed for adoption with the Capobiancos, a white South Carolina couple.  But the adoption was never completed because of the ICWA issues raised.   After a couple of years (during with the child–Veronica–lived with the Capobiancos) the South Carolina Supreme Court found that ICWA required that the genetic father (Dunsten Brown) be given custody.  And so he was.   The Capobiancos appealed the case to the US Supreme Court seeking a definitive interpretation of ICWA.

All that’s in the earlier blog posts, I think.  But late this June the Supreme Court ruled and I’ve hardly had time to read it much less write about it.  There’s a great deal to say on many fronts–the broad sweep of law and the narrow application to facts–but for my purposes right here right now the key thing is that the Supreme Court sided with the Capobiancos and returned the case to the South Carolina court.

Brown did not simply surrender–and after all, the child has now been living with him for upwards of 18 months and so knows him as her father–so various motions were filed.   But yesterday the South Carolina court issued its post-Supreme Court order:   it directed the lower South Carolina courts to complete the adoption of Veronica by the Capobiancos.   Which means once again the child will be taken from a home and a parent she knows and moved to a different home.

The South Carolina court comments on the value of moving expeditiously at this point.  What purpose is served by dragging things out for longer and longer?    (This is not to say that the outcome is necessarily right, by the way.)   But it’s hard not to notice the sudden concern with speedy action after over four years of litigation.   The passage of time at every phase–when Veronica was first with the Capobiancos and when Veronica was with Brown–have clearly made this case harder.  Maybe not legally harder, but emotionally harder.  And surely harder for Veronica herself.

In any event it now seems that the Capobiancos will complete the adoption and that Brown will have no parental rights.  But this does not mean that Brown will have no contact with the child nor that he will play no role in her life.  Surely it is possible–and it seems to me it is desirable–for Veronica to continue a relationship with him.  He is, of course, her biological or genetic father.  He is also a person of importance in her life–someone she knows and relies on.  He (and his community and his family) is a link to her Native American heritage.    It ought to be possible for the adults here to put Veronica first and forge some sort of ongoing relationship that will endure even if it isn’t a legal parental one.

Then again, four years of litigation might leave deep scars and may not incline the adults to trust and compromise.  I can only hope?

I do mean to come back to this case soon–there’s really a lot to say.  But for the moment I am left thinking of the real impact of law on one little girl.


47 responses to “The Next Chapter in Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl? Adoption to be Completed

  1. This case has always been hard for me. I usually support the biological father in these cases but I am troubled by the fact that he was aware a child would be born a certain month (the couple did not break up until halfway through the pregnancy) and was apparently okay with assuming that the mother would raise her alone and he didn’t have to support her or even try to see her. Had he filed paternity at birth I would have supported him but the child was four months old and he only took legal action because he heard about the adoption at that point. I also find ICWA troubling in cases where only one parent is Indian since it places so much emphasis on the heritage of one parent to the exclusion of whatever the other parent is.

    But now that the child has lived with him and bonded with him, while I think it’s a legally correct outcome in terms of whether he preserved his rights or not, I’m worried it will harm Veronica to move her again at an age where she is more likely to remember.

    • Dan in Tennessee

      Rebecca: To keep the child with this man would be a total abrogation of the law though would it not? I think the South Carolinia Supreme Court has now done the right thing in upholding a clear mandate from the US Supreme Court.

      • Yes, it is legally correct. I just hope the child will be okay.

      • At the risk of repeating myself (from another response I just wrote)–I wish (among other things) wee had known what the law was four years ago. Did it have to take four years to get clarity about the meaning of the statute? (And this is setting aside whether I think the actual interpretation of the statute is “right.”)

    • This case is a haunting reminder of the price involved in the way law works in the country. It takes a long time to get things legally right. (And I’ll just assume for the moment that the US Supreme Court got things right, not because I think they are particularly wise but because they are the last and final arbiter of what the law means and hence, by definition what they say is “right” about what a statute means.) If we’d known the answer from the beginning we might not like the outcome but we wouldn’t have all the wear-and-tear on Veronica–going back and forth, etc.

      But this is the way we do law–it takes time. I really do think at a minimum we ought to fast-track cases like this, since it is so clear that the passage of time improves nothing. But that doesn’t look to be happening anytime soon.

      • Well, unfortunately, there was a delay of over a year while there was a stay on the case due to the biological father being deployed. But I agree the rest of the process could have been sped up.

  2. I think this case illustrates the problems with accepting adoption as a normal event, rather than as a necessary evil to be used only as a last resort when no biological family is available to care for a child. Because honestly, I don’t see much of a difference between adopting an unwed woman’s kid when its father wants to raise it and the adoptions of the “Baby Scoop Era”.

    I admit, my opposition to adopting on a personal level may bias me against adoption as a policy matter. But just as it seems self-evident to me that no man should have to care for another man’s offspring unless knowing it isn’t his he gives informed consent, it seems self-evident to me that no man should be deprived of caring for his offspring unless having first tried it he’s failed at it. What the law’s enabled the Capobiancos to do seems wrong to me as the flip of what makes paternity fraud seem wrong to me. I should have no obligation to no man’s children but my own, and no man should have any obligation to my children.

    • I think this is a perfectly coherent view of things but it is premised on the notion that the simple genetic connection between man and child makes the child “his.” Thus, a man raising a child not genetically related to him is not raising “his” child, but rather is raising someone else’s child. And a man who can invoke that genetic connection can say the child is “his.”

      Now if you’d add “his genetic child” of course I’d agree. But then you wouldn’t be saying what you are saying. I think that, like Marilyn say, you are placing a priority on that genetic connection. And, as you will know if you read elsewhere on the blog, I don’t agree with that.

      I think that this priority would reasonably lead one to grave skepticism about adoption–as it has lead you. It is second best when best is to be raised by genetic connection. I don’t share that skepticism. Without reference to the specific facts of this case, it isn’t clear to me that a child is generally better off being raised by the genetically related man who has lately decided that he wants to raise the child as opposed to people who have put a lot of time and thought into becoming parents. That’s not to say that I’d always remove the child from the care of the genetic father–I’m just questioning your assumption about last resorts.

      • Julie stop saying that thing about genetic connection. Its a catch phrase that means nothing. I don’t think genetic connection makes a person better at raising children. I think people are responsible for putting their own offspring on the earth. We have to hold those who put a minor in a dependent position must be accountable to and for their offspring because it is unfair and unreasonable to randomly assign that responsibility to anyone else. If the parent fails to care for their child then it is reasonable to allow someone else to take over the caregiving responsibilities.

        It is not reasonable for the minor to have to loose their identity as the child of the parents who created them however. They should not be renamed they should not have modified birth records and they should not loose legal kinship in their maternal or paternal families just because someone other than their parents raises them. Only two people owe it to the child to raise them and that is the two that created them. So the child deserves the care of her father not the care of the other people and if her father was a horrible man convicted of a crime that made it unsafe for her to live with him (not just mere opinion or finances) then fine there would be a need for her to be adopted. But if the parents can care for the child there is no need for the adoption.

        You just don’t get it. For anyone else to gain parental authority over a child the parent has to fail to care for their child. Anytime anyone is raising another person’s offspring that child has suffered a loss. You say there is no loss unless the parent was in their life caring for them – that without the care they were never a parent and therefore there is no loss. The fact that they never provided the care and formed the bond IS THE LOSS. Their abdication of responsibility IS A LOSS. It is one that is impossible to recover from and it cannot be made up by simply giving a person access to information. The parent owes it to their child to care for them and nobody else can pay that debt to their children for them. There will always be a net loss.

        • And there lies one of the things people disagree about in this case – if a father fails to take responsibility or initially says he doesn’t want the child, what should be the length of time he gets to change his mind? The full lower court record is sealed, but the South Carolina Supreme Court ruling has some excerpts from the lower court case where the father admits to telling the mother he felt no need to be responsible as a father for the child if she wouldn’t marry him. Heck that may have prompted the decision by the mother in the first place. They were together long enough for him to know the due date. It came and went, he didn’t file for paternity, he didn’t take legal steps to see the child or make sure he was recognized as the father. In fact he did nothing until learning of the adoption. He said he assumed the mother had her and would continue to raise her alone indefinitely, with no assistance from him.

          • I think you’ve put your finger on at least one key thing that leads people to different conclusions about his case (and it’s not the ICWA point, really.) How much (if anything) does a man have to do to signal his interest in parentage in order for him to have legal parental rights or even a legal right to notice/hearing before adoption?

            You can think of a spectrum here. At one end you would find the view that he needs nothing more than to be genetically related to the child–to have provided the sperm. If he has done that, then he is (in this view) entitled to at least notice/hearing and perhaps actual parental rights. The adoption cannot proceed without his participation unless you find that he has abandoned the child (at which point you could revoke his rights).

            It’s a bit harder to state clearly the other end of the spectrum, but moving in that direction you’d say that he has to take some action (or series of actions) to demonstrate interest in the child/parentage. And that if he doesn’t take those actions then he has no right to object to the adoption because he has no legal status vis-à-vis the child. There’s a lot of different things you could require. But the key thing is that you’d require more than the folks in the above paragraph.

            In this case some people will say he had rights by virtue of the genetic relationship to the child ad that his rights were improperly abrogated. But others will say that he didn’t do enough–or maybe that he did actually reject the opportunity to claim rights–and so had not rights to abrogate. I don’t think I’ve said this any better than you did (and I don’t know the facts). But I think it really is a key to understanding what we can learn from the case.

        • I’m sorry if I have misstated your position. I don’t mean to distort. But you do think that those who are genetically related to children are the people who should initially be legal parents, don’t you? Isn’t that what you mean by saying they should have the obligations/be held accountable? And it doesn’t matter whether they became genetic parents via sex or via assisted insemination, etc? It’s enough that the child is their genetic offspring–that’s what gives rise to the obligation?

          Maybe I’ve fallen into shorthand, but that’s primarily what I mean.

      • Well, yes, it’s premised on the genetic link. That’s kind of the point of having kids, though, when you get down to it: life exists to perpetuate itself and since humans are mortal that makes procreating the meaning of life. So raising children that aren’t yours biologically, being financially responsible for them and forming an emotional bond with them, makes no sense whatsoever to me.

        And yeah, if you want to be coldly rational about it, having another man raise your [genetic] children makes sense since it enables you to use his resources to raise some of your children, thereby denying resources to his potential genetic children and freeing up your resources to devote to other [genetic] children of your own. But I think a legal system that encourages that sort of brood parasitism approach to fatherhood, isn’t doing what a legal system’s supposed to do: regulate the conflict between competing individuals (in this case, the competition to ensure that the maximum percentage of following generations is composed of your genetic descendants).

        And that’s one thing – I don’t think I’m looking at this from the perspective of “what’s best for every child”, which I think you are. I’m looking at this from a “what’s best for me and my child” perspective, and yeah, I define “my child” solely as “child created by my sperm”. But more to the point, I identify with the “genetically related man” because it’s possible for me to end up in a situation where I’m involuntarily not legally the parent of my child and I don’t want that to happen, while on the other hand I don’t care very much what happens to somebody else’s child. Again, the whole point of civilizations and laws is that what’s best for anyone’s genetic children is probably for everyone else’s genetic children to die.

        • Some people just really like children in general and want to have the experience in their life of raising children. That’s why they adopt if infertile. Even if they cannot pass on their genes, they still want the experience of raising a child. Not everyone feels the same way as you do. And even if it becomes impossible to pass genes on, it may be possible to pass down other things like values, culture, etc at least.

        • Oh you are not as logical as I thought you were. Your statements are so extreme as to be almost tongue in cheek. It is almost like you might be mocking the idea that people with offspring the parents of their own offspring. That anyone who would hold people accountable as parents for their own offspring disregards the welfare of children generally and does not care what happens to any child outside his own family.

          Well I think that the law does hold people accountable for taking care of their offspring and it ought to be consistent across the board with no special exemptions for people who did not intend to raise their children. Donating sperm and eggs is not the same as donating a child so there should be no provisions for abdicating parental responsibilities in gamete donation contracts leaving the person who donated the genetic material just as accountable as a parent for their own offspring as they would be under any other circumstances that cause the birth of their offspring. Their intention not to raise their children is not unique or special; many people wind up with offspring who never intended to have to take care of them and they owe it to their child and to society to do it none the less it is after all the child’s right to be taken care of by both their parents. The child has no right to be cared for by anyone else although they do have a right to the state’s protection if their safety and welfare is in danger in the care of one or both parents. They do have the right to have any relinquishment of parental responsibility scrutinized in court for evidence of graft or corruption by the relinquishing bio parent and by the prospective adopting party and any intermediaries. It is clear that courts are getting lax with the the ethical scrutiny part of adoption. Look no further than step-parent adoptions in traditional surrogacy.

          I reject Julie’s description of the position that I hold as founded on the idea of the primacy of the genetic link or natural law or any mumbo jumbo lingo. A person with offspring is a parent because they caused the existence of another human being. It is their responsibility to take care of their minor offspring and not anyone else’s unless they fail. If they fail and someone else needs to help them raise their child the entire transfer of responsibility should be scrutinized by the courts to prevent child trafficking because I do care what happens to children and people broadly and generally even though I think that a dna test is a fine way to confirm the identity of the person who caused the existence of a hungry young mouth to feed.

        • I don’t know how “coldly rational” you are Steve- assuming that DNA propagation explains all human motivation. evolutionary biology most often fails at explaining the behavior of individual people.

      • Isn’t that the normal understanding of the word ‘his’ though? That when a man talks about a child that way, he usually means it’s his biological child?

        And with adoption, the relationship built over time and with the sanction of the law is supposed to give the child what she would have had if her parents had been in a stable relationship and wanted her. It gives the adoptive parents the reassurance and legal right to act as parents to a child that isn’t genetically related, ie who is not in the usual type of parent-child relationship to them.

        Not saying that an adoptive father has no right to use the phrase ‘my child’ as to me they are in a father-child relationship which parallels the biological relationship, because rightly or wrongly the biological link usually implies a certain type of social relationship on top. In different ways they are both true. Fatherhood has more than one meaning – whatever the usual meaning of a man who is socially/biologically related to a child he’s in an ongoing relationship with, it’s also used to describe birth fathers, adoptive fathers and sometimes sperm donors.

        Certainly I’ve heard sperm donors refer to their donor-conceived children as ‘my children’ and mean something different to the children they’ve had within a relationship.

        Also, I’m not saying that adoptive or donor-conceived families aren’t real families with real bonds. And if you can’t understand how that can come to happen, then you probably aren’t suitable as an adoptive parent!

        • nice response Kris

          • it shows that genetics and social relationships are important- therefore we can not create laws that disregard either of them.

        • I used an open ID donor for this pregnancy. I have no idea how the donor thinks of the babies from his donations. I assume that since he agreed to contact someday, he has some feelings or at least interest/curiosity towards them. I personally think of him as my baby’s biological father – I may be the one to raise my baby til 18 alone but half of the DNA came from him no matter what. He’s not a non entity, which is why it was important for me to use that type of donor.

          • It’s good you recognize that he is every bit as much a bio father as you are a bio mother. Just be prepared to explain why it is that one bio parent wanted to raise them while the other did not and why are other bio dad’s required by law to take care of their kids while theirs was not required to do so. They may want to understand why you would not want him around – if he was good enough to make a baby with why would he not be good enough to help raise them and why was there no way you and he could come to a compromise and work things out so both parents could be involved the way they’l see with other friends who have separated parents sharing custody. It is bound to come up why if it was all so planned out that it could not be planned out where both parents stayed involved and why not pick someone who wanted to be involved? Why pick someone who would not care and would not want to be around if your picking character traits in a man to father your child a man that wants to take care of his child would come before eye color or major course of study. The thing you’d want least would be someone who would ditch out and pretend not to be related to their son or daughter someone who might forever exclude them from their paternal family legally and would not want them to get to know their siblings etc. Since it was planned why not plan to make sure their father was present as opposed to absent because wouldn’t it be preferred for their sake even if you were not trying to have a romantic relationship with them? Wouldn’t you hope they’d have a relationship with their father that was loving inclusive and supportive rather than isolated?

            These are things that people think and say when they are raised by someone who wanted their bio parent kept at bay. Not just people with donors for parents but people raised by grandmothers with deadbeat dads or deadbeat mom’s. These are things people say when their dad walked out on them and their mom. These are def. things that donor offspring think and say especially when told how wanted they were or how planned they were because it is worse that way.

            It is good that your donor their father is not opposed to talking to them and meeting them. That will be a comfort to them and maybe even to you. It is thoughtful and kind I don’t want to discount that effort on your part. Just have your answers to other questions thought out.

            • the answer to the question for many many single women who purchase anonymous sperm is as follows: men rarely want to have kids with a woman they are not in a romantic relationship with. so for many women, the choice is being in an unwanted relationship or not having kids. This may not be a fully satisfying answer but its the truth. The question is harder for the father to answer, but I think fewer people ask it, because less is expected of men. they’re supposed to be grateful that they at least got to find out who he was.
              it should be the opposite- at least the mother did take care of the child and made the decision out of limited options. whats the fathers excuse- i wanted to make some extra cash????

              • i wrote on another post, which was ignored, that ethically, the father is a more unethical than the mother for the above reasons.

              • The person raising a donors offspring is an easy target for anger and resentment because they wanted that person to be separated from their maternal or paternal relatives but ultimately it is not their fault that the other parent failed to rise to the occasion. Each parent has to be accountable for his or her own actions regardless who was acting to influence them. So a sperm donor can’t blame his kid’s plight on the people who wanted to raise his kid – he did not have to abdicate his responsibilities.

            • I’ve actually found it is easy to explain all this IF you don’t put a great deal of weight on being a genetic parent. Someone provided sperm that allowed a woman to have a child and agreed in advance not to be involved with raising the child. That could be portrayed as the immense abandonment–a shameful refusal to take responsibility for one’s offspring. Or it could be portrayed as a thoughtful and generous act that allows a woman to have a child she wants to raise.

              If you are raising a donor conceived child I wouldn’t recommend using the first portrayal. And if the first portrayal seems obviously true to you, then I wouldn’t recommend raising a donor-conceived child. But it’s not obvious to me that the first portrayal is true and the second one false or even that the first is better than the second. One of the recurrent points on this blog, it seems to me, is that things can be seen and described in very different ways.

              • if you have to plan too much about what you are going to say, good chance either you are not being straightforward or you are trying to indoctrinate the kid to reach a certain conclusion. this goes for a lot of issues not just donor conception.

                • julie you sometimes claim that you want to raise the standards for men but then you go ahead calling masturbating for money, while knowingly creating children who you have no idea what their fate will be, “thoughtful” and “generous”. Hows that for low standards?

                  • I think men become sperm donors for all sorts of reasons. Some undoubtedly masturbate for money. But others do not actually do it for the money, or at least not only for the money. Particularly those willing to do identity release seem to have more complicated motivations. (This is from the research by Renee Almeling I wrote about a while back.) Many more of them have children of their own, for example. Some sperm banks provide personal statements from the providers that include information about why the person chose to provide sperm. All of which is to say that it seems to me to be painting with way too broad a brush to say that all sperm donors just masturbate for money. And in the same way, while those who do it purely for the money probably don’t give much thought to where/when/how the sperm will be used, those who have broader motives do think about the children who will be created.

                    Maybe “thoughtful” and “generous” are over the top and aren’t the words I would use. I really just wanted to make the point that there are different ways to think about and to describe what is going on. And I still think that’s a valid point, even if my particular choice of language is open to question.

                  • nice point

              • If you choose to describe it as a thoughtful and generous act that allows a woman to have a child then how would you deal with compare and contrast issues that would come up over the years? Comparing and contrasting the actions of both biological parents? Why would I be important to one and not the other? Why would they hold my mother responsible but not my father? Why would some of his offspring deserve him to take responsibility but not me?

          • I don’t mean to lecture or anything, but if I can just key off this to offer an observation:

            Your child will also think of him in some way or other. It seems to me obvious that how your child thinks of him will be in part shaped by how you think of him (and so what you teach your child to thin of him) and also in part shaped by how others around you think of him. It’s even possible that how you think of him will change over time as you reflect on how your child thinks of him.

            It’s hard to have it all set out at the beginning (as is true of most things with parenting, I guess) and it’s good to be open and flexible.

    • Steve – you are super logical please stay and talk

    • Yes, people definitely have different views on adoption. I am pregnant with a biological child and that was definitely my first choice. But I love kids. I was a babysitter and then a nanny for many years and I loved the kids I watched long term who did bond to me as an alternate caregiver when their parents were not available – I did not love them as a parent obviously but they had parents they were living with and I was not there 24/7. I find babies and children very easy to love and connect with. While I would not seek out an adoption, if I qualified and was specifically asked to adopt a distant relative’s child, or a friend’s child or another child I already knew in some way, I think I could easily love that child as a parental figure if I were caring for them 24/7. I might not be able to pass on genetics but there are other things I could pass on to the child.

      • OK you just described an ethical adoption senario where you were not trying to become a parent by assuming responsibility for raising someone else’s child. You did not go out and commission someone to create you a child to raise without them in the picture. You did not want the child to be abandoned and excluded from their family it happened before you came along and you feel badly the child is in that situation but you care about the child and think that you could provide a loving and secure environment for them to grow up in.

        That is where genetics does not matter that is where the unrelated individual may be far better than the genetic parents for raising the kid and the ethics of the adoption are not scummy. Your adoption or guardianship would not have been something you went out and solicited and so their feelings for you would not be tainted by the resentment that you wanted their absent parent to fail. If you did not try to call yourself mommy or try to change your name you’d be even more likely to have a good relationship just because you were not trying to change them into someone else in order for you to be willing to raise them. You could just be their cousin or Mom’s friendx or whatever. And they’d wind up loving you more for all you had done despite still referring to their absent parents as parents. True I’ve seen it work and it’s awesome to witness good adoption like that.

  3. i do not follow the courts reasoning so well, will probably have to review it a bit. but while certainly the law must be followed, whatever the law is my feeling is the capobiancos should have gracefully bowed out if the child was being well cared for, perhaps reaching a settlement which would give them visitation or something like that.

    • I think what they did was basically go back in time as if nothing since the original decision happened,then considered the same original facts without using ICWA custody preference for father.

      • Right–and that’s the way the law works. The first decision of the South Carolina court was wrong so becomes a nullity. It is as though you went back in time. Which of course we cannot really do.

        • I suppose that would be one thing that people disagree on, and I’m torn on where to stand in this particular case – even if a biological father’s consent would not be required, should an adoption be denied nonetheless if there is enough evidence it would be bad for a specific child? Should a best interest standard be written into the statues? I do think with the right attitudes among the adults it is possible for Veronica to have close relationships with the Capobiancos, Dusten and her stepmother, and her biological mother (and any biological siblings). Long distance communication is very easy now. I’m sad that my niece who I was very close to moved 1000 miles away, but she talks to me and her other relatives her on Skype as if we were in the room with her, runs around the house “showing” us things, etc. She definitely won’t forget us, even if we physically don’t see each other again for a while. (she is slightly younger than Veronica).

        • but i didn’t get why they decided it was wrong

    • I need to push a bit further into the facts of the case, beyond those necessary for the decision. I gather that the genetic mother has always planned to play a role in the child’s life and that the Capobiancos have suggested that they would like the genetic father to do the same. These points may not be relevant for the legal analysis, but they might make a big difference to Veronica.

      • Yes, there were visits with the biological mother prior to the change of custody to the father and they initially said they were fine with the father having the same thing. I hope there isn’t so much bitterness between the C’s and the father that that becomes impossible.

  4. What is interesting to me is the incredibly strong reaction from many AP’s who have adopted internationally who understand exactly what the results are when you take a child at that age vs many domestic infant adoptive parents. Night and day difference simply because the Int’l AP’s have lived the reality of watching the child they love dealing with the trauma that doesn’t magically disappear…

    Of course I think this is wrong on so many levels.

    • I’m not exactly sure what you mean but I do think that the differences between international adoption and domestic infant adoption are interesting. Not something I’ve attended to much here, either. I’ll have to think about this.

      • I think the point is that international adoptions often involve slightly older children? so folks who have done international adoptions know that veronical is in for a hard time?

  5. I visited my mother this weekend and her new nurse said she heard i find people she was looking for her mother. She had been raised by her paternal single grandmother who had become a guardian after her single and unmarried father had failed to provide proper care for her. He had won custody of her shortly after birth when her mother escaped prison with her en tow and she got an extra 7 years. Her birth certificate was from prison and her parents were unmarried. Here is a situation where an unmarried father did win custody of his child and she clearly could have been lost to adoption forever and even as screwed up as her family life was at least she was not adopted because she still has her rights intact. She has her birth certificate and her grandmother never tried to pretend that she was her mother or that her father was a brother. He was just a semi-absent father. Her grandmother refused to allow any contact with her mother. and this broke this woman’s heart. She still loved her mother and thought of her as her mother despite being raised by someone else.

    Many people would say that woman would be better off adopted but she never lost her rights her records her truth or her name. She’s still legally her mother’s daughter. Tonight my mother’s nurse and her daughter are in xxxxx sleeping overnight at her mother’s house with all the siblings she never met and all the nieces and nephews. Her mother has not been in a spec of trouble since she was 20 in 1969 and she and all her other kids have searched for 42 years. As bad as the separation was at least she was not adopted out of the family at least she knows both parents fought to be with her. This family has not lost legal rights because no adoption ever happened. All the drama was left in the 1960’s. It’s better for the kid in this story to stay with her father no matter what these adoptive people have to offer unless the father is beating the kid, there is no reason for her to be with those adopted people.

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