I was very interested in a recent case in which a foster family tried to adopt a child who's biological father never relinquished his parental rights. The foster family fought the biological family for 8 long years. They say the biological father and family abandoned the child but that can't be true. If so- who were they fighting in court for all those years?
They petitioned the court six times to adopt the child and each time they were denied. The child as a baby had custody granted to her biological grandmother by the state while the child's father fought to stay out of jail. But the endless litigation by the foster family kept the grandmother from obtaining custody. The grandmother died without seeing her granddaughter one last time........ And the father was released from jail.
In the end the courts returned the child to her father when she was 9 years old. The legal battles continued. This brings to mind the baby Veronica case. But there were some important differences. The most striking differences is that this was a case on dependency instead of private adoption. Next, the child in this case was old enough to speak to the court through her court appointed guardian. After a year with her biological family she was thriving in school and seemed happy. But most importantly she with her own voice claimed she wanted to stay with her biological family.
Similar to the Veronica Brown case is that the foster family hired a PR firm. They raised a lot of money to fight the biological family. They had so much support. Yet, the PR firm or the foster parents themselves made some critical errors in their attempts to gain support and sympathy. They gave to the media and the world a private phone conversation with their former foster daughter after she had been reunited with her biological family. She found this out through a teacher at school who unfortunately chose to share that information with the child. She was not happy with this and the court was not happy with this either. They forbade the former foster parents from any contact with the child and called them detrimental to her.
The former foster parents fought still. This time although being deemed detrimental to the child they fought to have the child removed from her biological family and placed in foster care while knowing it would not be with them. Who then? They fought even though they knew by the law they could not foster this child anymore. At this point it seems they fought to have the child placed anywhere but with her biological family. Spite? Was it a case of "If I can't have her, neither can you?" Or were they misled by the Veronica Brown case and promises that the law favored possession of a child over the biological family's rights? After all they had managed to keep her from being reunited with her family for 8 years. Surely the law would entertain all that time together as a "best interest case".
The foster family lost. After years and years of litigation they could not keep the child they raised (or kept from her biological family) and could not foster or adopt her. She was with her family. Although the fosters and their supporters believe she must be brainwashed (how could she favor the bios over them) she has made it clear by her voice and her progress that being with her real family is what she wants.
The little girl was not adopted. Her father although flawed (as we all are in some way) never took it to the media. Never released private conversations with his child. Never publicly fought back when he was called every vile name but father to the child. He kept silent, kept his daughter's privacy even though he was humiliated over and over again.
The little girl went home and was allowed by the courts to stay home. Home with her family, her father, her sister. This is a story that terrifies some people. But they are not the people we should be concerned about. Because adoption should only be about a child needing a family. It should never be a pissing contest about a family with more resources who believe the deserve another family's child because they think they have more, or are better.
I watched this case from the sidelines never believing that the little girl could be allowed to stay with her family. After all even Ronnie was ripped from her loving father. But this time, maybe this once, or maybe forever after, a child went back home to her family despite money, privilege, entitlement and a PR firm.
This little girl went home.