John Echohawk, Jaqueline Pata, and Terry Cross have a scathing op-ed on Politico here.
Poke beneath the basic facts, though, and you will find the ugly underbelly of the American adoption business. All across this country – but especially in states that are home to multiple Native American Tribes – unethical adoption attorneys are purposely circumventing the federal law that is meant to protect Native American children. Even worse are the continuing attempts by some adoption lawyers to take advantage of active duty service members in the process of being deployed to combat, or in active deployments.
Brown’s case is a sad example of both of these disturbing trends. At its very heart, this case is about a father’s deep desire to raise his daughter, named Veronica. Veronica’s mother and Brown were engaged when she was conceived, but her mother broke off the engagement while Brown was serving in the Army and stationed at Fort Sill, Okla. Unbeknownst to Brown, his fiancé began the process of placing her child up for adoption.
In the final months of pregnancy, the mother cut off all communication with Brown and worked closely with an agency and attorney to place the child with a non-Indian couple from South Carolina, the Capobiancos. Brown was not informed of Veronica’s birth on September 15, 2009. Instead, Veronica was placed with the Capobiancos three days after her birth in Oklahoma, and they relocated her to South Carolina shortly thereafter.
Four months later, the day before Brown’s scheduled deployment to Iraq, the couple’s lawyer (who was also the lawyer for the adoption agency) finally served Brown with notice of their intent to adopt Veronica. The notice was served to Brown in the parking lot of a mall.