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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Delivering the Petition with 20,000 signatures to South Carolina leaders -


Reporter Haley Hernandez followed @Save_Veronica to Columbia today, look who they spoke with about the Indian Child Welfare Act ... http://ping.fm/MWk43

Delivering the Petition with 20,000 signatures to South Carolina leaders -

By: Haley Hernandez | WCBD


On New Year’s Eve, Jessica Munday watched helplessly as her close friends, Matt and Melanie Capobianco were forced to hand over their adopted little girl, Veronica, to her birth father.

Now Munday and Stephanie Brinkley (a Charleston adoption attorney) are on a mission to "save Veronica.”

“Rather than sit on the sidelines and just say ‘how sad’, I wanted to say ‘how sad, what can I do?’” Binkley said.

Tuesday they went from one government office to another, starting in Charleston and driving up to the State House in Columbia, delivering a petition from supporters of the organization.

Kathy Crawford, the district director at Congressman Tim Scott's office said it’s a shock that this could happen to a family, “a child could be taken away from the only mom and dad that they've ever known and you know, we hope that the courts will do the right thing.”

The organization delivered the petition to lawmakers with more than 20,000 signatures. In an unscheduled visit, Governor Haley spoke with Munday and Brinkley and empathized with the Capobiancos.

“If you have a child you know that's just like the precious part of your life and so my heart breaks for them, I will be happy to take this,” Gov. Haley said taking the petition. “The federal delegation and I communicate about a lot of things, because it is a federal issue doesn't mean I can't at least say "what are y’all doing about this?" so I'll be happy to ask the questions, be happy to see what's going on if anything.”

“I'm thankful that she was so receptive to us being there and so compassionate about what's happened,” Munday said after speaking with the governor.

“This is a matter that affects the people they represent, it represents a South Carolina couple and a South Carolina child and that child needs to be heard so it's great that they are receptive that we're trying to be a voice for Veronica when she can't represent herself,” Brinkley said about lawmakers listening to their concerns.

SaveVeronica.org is still taking signatures for their petition. Lawmakers said they will try to get a copy to the Senate committee that will hear the case.

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My Question: When is the Senate Committee going to hear it? I doubt they have any plans to put it on their agenda - we will need to do lots of pushing to get it there - and lots more to get a fair hearing!

20,000 Signatures on the Petition!

20,000 signatures on the SaveVeronica petition - Delivered to SC Senators @JimDeMint & @GrahamBlog today! Pic: http://ping.fm/Gn0hS

In just three weeks, over 20,000 signatures were gathered and delivered to South Carolina leaders - protesting the treatment of 2-year-old Veronica Rose and insisting that the Indian Child Welfare Act be changed to better protect children and the families that love them

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SC Supreme Court to hear case involving Veronica and Indian Child Welfare Act


VERONICA’S STORY BRINGS NATIONAL ATTENTION TO THE INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT

An injustice that has occurred to a two-year-old South Carolina child named Veronica Rose has brought national attention to our fight against the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Two years ago Veronica’s Latina birth mother chose Matt and Melanie to love, nurture and raise her child. To this day, Veronica’s birth mother remains committed to her decision and Veronica has been a thriving child residing in a stable, nurturing environment.

On or around Jan. 4, 2010, the birth father signed papers agreeing to give up his daughter. However, he changed his mind and because he had a small amount of Cherokee heritage, the Cherokee Nation intervened in the adoption proceedings and argued that this happy, healthy two-year-old be transferred to her birth father. Because of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a family court judge ruled in his favor.

View News Segment

Children need protection and should not be removed from a loving, nurturing environment. It is said that this law is meant to protect children; however, in Veronica’s case and many others, it has been used to hurt.

Former U.S. senator Jim Abourezk (SD), who authored ICWA, after reviewing Veronica's story, called the interpretation in this case "something totally different than what we intended at the time."
"That's a tragedy," he said. "They obviously were attached to the child and, I would assume, the child was attached to them."
The Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare, a national 501(c)3 organization, has been fighting to bring awareness of the Indian Child Welfare Act since 2004. Now, due to Veronica’s tragic story, the public has begun to pay attention and this organization’s years of fighting is gaining traction at a national level. Veronica’s case has caught the eyes of the media and lawmakers. Because of this, we are hopeful travesties such as what has happened to the this family will stop.

On January 6, “Save Veronica” became officially an advocacy and awareness campaign by the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare so that the efforts to save Veronica could fall under the auspice of a nonprofit organization. This allows Veronica’s supporters to be protected under a legal entity and allows supporters to donate to the family’s legal defense fund and receive a tax deduction.

100 percent of funds collected for the Save Veronica Fund go directly to the family’s legal defense fund (Ray Godwin, Esq., Capobianco Trust account).

According to the 2000 census, approximately 75% of people claiming to have American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry live outside the reservation. Further, interracial marriages are a fact of life. It is must be recognized that most children of heritage live off the reservation and have extended family that are non-tribal. Though supporters of ICWA say it has safeguards to prevent misuse, Veronica and numerous other multi-racial children across the U.S have been hurt by it. Children who have never been near a reservation nor involved in tribal customs are affected.

The Cherokee Nation alone is currently tied up in about 1,100 active Indian Child Welfare cases involving some 1,500 children.

Please Contact your Congressmen and ask them to Change the ICWA Law.

Tragically, under the Indian Child Welfare Act:
1) Some children have been removed from safe, loving homes and placed in danger
2) Equal opportunities for adoption, safety and stability are not always available to children of all heritages
3) The Constitutional right of parents to make life choices for their children, for children of Indian heritage to associate freely, and for children of Indian heritage to enjoy Equal Protection has in some cases been infringed upon.
While we want more than anything for Veronica to be allowed to come home, Congressmen are unable to interfere in court proceedings. Please ask them as an elected representative to:

1) Do whatever possible to protect Veronica’s rights.
2) Speak out on this issue and let your constituents know clearly where you stand
3) Sponsor legislative changes that will prevent this from happening to any more children.
4) Encourage fellow Congressmen to support the amending of the Indian Child Welfare Act:
A. Guarantee protection for children of Native American heritage equal to that of any other child in the United States.
B. Guarantee that fit parents, no matter their heritage, have the right to choose healthy guardians or adoptive parents for their children without concern for heritage.
C. Recognize the "Existing Indian Family Doctrine” as a viable analysis for consideration and application in child custody proceedings. (See In re Santos Y, In Bridget R., and In re Alexandria Y.)
D. Guarantee that United States citizens, no matter their heritage, have a right to fair trials.
E. Include well defined protections for Adoptive Parents.
F. Mandate that a "Qualified expert witness" be someone who has professional knowledge of the child and family and is able to advocate for the well being of the child, first and foremost.
G. Mandate that only parents and/or legal custodians have the right to enroll a child into an Indian Tribe. Because it is claimed that tribal membership is a political rather than racial designation, we are asking that parents, as U.S. citizens, be given the sole, constitutional right to choose political affiliation for their families and not have it forced upon them.
- Remove the words “or are eligible for membership in” 1901 (3)
- Remove the words "eligible for membership in" from 1903 (4) (b), the definition of an ‘Indian child’ and replace with the words "an enrolled member of”
This list is available online as a PDF at http://www.saveveronica.org/what-can-you-do/

http://www.saveveronica.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Senator-Letter-for-Veronica-and-ICWA-FINAL2.pdf

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"Our Life with James" -

Please see this video - What happened to Veronica has happened to so many kids all over the US ... http://ping.fm/xwc0k SaveVeronica

This video is the story of 2-year old James, who was taken from the home that loved him and put into a dangerous home, where he was moved again from after just six months. Debra Belford is telling his story in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing room, Washington DC. Unfortunately, few were interested in hearing the story, much less doing anything about it.

Please help James and children like him - www.caicw.org

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Today - Thursday - I am going to take the picture of Veronica and go make posters, yard signs and bumper stickers.... http://ping.fm/ov4li

Baby Veronica


A terrible injustice that has occurred to a two-year-old South Carolina child named Veronica Rose and her adoptive parents. Two years ago Veronica’s Latina birth mother chose Matt and Melanie to love, nurture and raise her child. To this day, Veronica’s birth mother remains committed to her decision and Veronica has been a thriving, happy child residing in a stable, nurturing environment. On or around Jan. 4, 2010, the birth father signed papers agreeing to give up his daughter.

However, because Veronica has some Cherokee heritage from her birth father’s side of the family, the Cherokee Nation intervened in the adoption proceedings and argued that this happy, healthy two-year-old be transferred to her birth father. Because of a federal law known as the Indian Child Welfare Act, a family court judge ruled that she be immediately transferred to her biological father.

The ruling placed the rights of the birth father and tribe above the best interests of this small child. Child-bonding experts agree that removing her from her home and family would be devastating and have long-lasting consequences. Numerous child psychologists stated this would be detrimental to any child. Yet on Dec. 31, Veronica was handed over to her biological father as if a possession without rights.


(Psychologist who witnessed Veronica's transfer comments on the detrimental effects -Click Baby Veronica to hear an audio of the interview.)

We believe that children need protection and should not be removed from loving, nurturing environments. We understand the premise of this law is to protect children; however, in Veronica’s case it has been used inappropriately.

Former U.S. senator Jim Abourezk (SD) authored ICWA. According to the Charleston Post and Courier, after reviewing Veronica's story, Abourezk called the interpretation in this case "something totally different than what we intended at the time."

"That's a tragedy," he said. "They obviously were attached to the child and, I would assume, the child was attached to them."

According to the 2000 census, approximately 75% of people claiming to have American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry live outside the reservation. Further, interracial marriages are a fact of life. It is must be recognized that most children of heritage live off the reservation and have extended family that are non-tribal. Though supporters of the Indian Child Welfare Act say it has safeguards to prevent misuse, Veronica and numerous other multi-racial children across the U.S have been hurt by it. Children who have never been near a reservation nor involved in tribal customs are affected. The Cherokee Nation alone is currently tied up in about 1,100 active Indian Child Welfare cases involving some 1,500 children.

Tragically, under the Indian Child Welfare Act:

1) Some children have been removed from safe, loving homes and placed in danger
2) Equal opportunities for adoption, safety and stability are not always available to children of all heritages
3) The Constitutional right of parents to make life choices for their children, for children of Indian heritage to associate freely, and for children of Indian heritage to enjoy Equal Protection has in some cases been infringed upon.

We want more than anything for Veronica to be allowed to come home. As our elected representatives, we urge you to protect Veronica’s rights in all possible ways as well as make legislative changes that will prevent this from happening to any other child again. While we understand you are unable to interfere in court proceedings, we ask you to speak out on this issue and let your constituents know clearly where you stand. We also ask you to sponsor legislation and encourage fellow Congressmen to support the amending of the Indian Child Welfare Act to:

1. Guarantee protection for children of Native American heritage equal to that of any other child in the United States.
2. Guarantee that fit parents, no matter their heritage, have the right to choose healthy guardians or adoptive parents for their children without concern for heritage.
3. Recognize the "Existing Indian Family Doctrine” as a viable analysis for consideration and application in child custody proceedings. (See In re Santos Y, In Bridget R., and In re Alexandria Y.)
4. Guarantee that United States citizens, no matter their heritage, have a right to fair trials.
• When summoned to a tribal court, parents and legal guardians will be informed of their legal rights, including USC 25 Chapter 21 1911 (b)“…In any State court proceeding for the foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights to, an Indian child not domiciled or residing within the reservation of the Indian child's tribe, the court, in the absence of good cause to the contrary, shall transfer such proceeding to the jurisdiction of the tribe, absent objection by either parent…”
• Under the principles of comity: All Tribes and States shall accord full faith and credit to a child custody order issued by the Tribe or State of initial jurisdiction consistent within the UCCJA – which enforces a child custody determination by a court of another State – unless the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2 of the UCCJA.

5. Include well defined protections for Adoptive Parents.
6. Mandate that a "Qualified expert witness" be someone who has professional knowledge of the child and family and is able to advocate for the well being of the child, first and foremost.
7. Mandate that only parents and/or legal custodians have the right to enroll a child into an Indian Tribe. Because it is claimed that tribal membership is a political rather than racial designation, we are asking that parents, as U.S. citizens, be given the sole, constitutional right to choose political affiliation for their families and not have it forced upon them.
• Remove the words “or are eligible for membership in” 1901 (3)
• Remove the words "eligible for membership in" from 1903 (4) (b), the definition of an ‘Indian child’ and replace with the words "an enrolled member of”

Save Veronica Supporters Worldwide
www.saveveronica.org
www.facebook.com/saveveronicarose
www.twitter.com/save_veronica

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Save Veronica" Video -

'Save Veronica' video is now featured on CAICW You Tube Channel - http://ping.fm/JdpRk

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Follow @Save_Veronica and help us start a trend by tweeting "I'm on board to help SaveVeronica - http://ping.fm/Gg5OC PLEASE RT

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

ICWA was used to take VERONICA. Please help this baby Girl return home: follow @Save_Veronica & share this petition! http://ping.fm/ERUKM