Jul 23, 2013 - BREAKING Cherokee Nation files petition for rehearing in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl
BREAKING: Cherokee Nation files petition for rehearing in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl
The Cherokee Nation has recently filed a petition calling for the rehearing of the Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl case, known to most as the “Baby Veronica” case. It specifically asks the South Carolina Supreme Court to reconsider its July 17th ruling.
The South Carolina Supreme Court’s order moved to terminate the parental rights of Dusten Brown and transfer Veronica to South Carolina without a hearing on her best interests.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker states, “It is very troubling that the South Carolina Supreme Court would move to terminate the parental rights of a man who has proven to be nothing but a fit and loving father, without even holding a hearing to determine what is in his own child’s best interests. What is best for Veronica has not even been considered by the court. We pray the South Carolina Supreme Court grants our request for a due process hearing to determine what is in this child’s best interests.”
The major points behind the petition were that the South Carolina Supreme Court was unaware of facts informing its determination of jurisdiction, and that the court overlooked Baby Girl’s best interests.
Further on July 17th, the Cherokee Nation District Court entered a temporary guardianship order, granting joint legal custody of Baby Girl to her stepmother, paternal grandfather and paternal grandmother.
Assistant attorney general for the Cherokee Nation Chrissi Ross-Nimmo states, “Dusten Brown is an Iraq combat veteran who has fought as tirelessly for his child as he did for our country. That fight began the day he learned of the birth mother’s plans to place his child for adoption and continues today. Since regaining custody, he has created a loving, safe and nurturing environment for Veronica. This temporary guardianship order is just another step Dusten has taken to ensure his daughter is always well cared for should something happen to him as he is serving his country during this mandatory military training assignment.”
In addition to the actions taken by the Cherokee Nations, The Native American Rights Fund, the National Congress of American Indians and National Indian Child Welfare Association are joining forces to file a civil rights lawsuit on her behalf.