On or around Jan. 4, 2010, the birth father signed papers agreeing to give up his daughter. However, he later 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 ICWA, a family court judge ruled in his favor.
The ruling placed the wishes 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 is devastating and will have long-lasting consequences. Yet on Dec. 31, 2011, Veronica was handed over to her biological father as if a possession without rights—and with only two hours of “transition” time. She was placed in a car with literal strangers and taken hundreds of miles from her home.
Veronica & CAICW in the News:
CAICW, a national 501(c)3 organization, has been fighting to bring awareness of the ICWA 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.
On January 6, “Save Veronica” officially became an advocacy and awareness campaign of CAICW – so that the efforts to save Veronica could fall under the auspice of a nonprofit org. This allows Veronica’s supporters to be protected under a legal entity and allows supporters to donate to the family’s legal defense fund for 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).
The Campaign has two goals:
1) Raise Necessary Funds for Veronica’s Appeal to State Supreme Court
2) Press in on Congress to make necessary legislative changes to ICWA
According to the 2000 census, approximately 75% of people claiming to have American Indian 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. This is a politcial issue – not a racial issue.
The Cherokee Nation alone is currently tied up in about 1,100 active ICWA cases involving some 1,500 children.
The Cherokee Nation, in particular, is known for targeting children of minimal heritage. CAICW has worked with families in the past with heritages of less than 5% – some children being 98% or more NON-tribal. How many of the 1500 children currently under the crosshairs of the 115 Cherokee Nation attorneys are just like Veronica – children of minimal heritage living in happy, healthy homes? How many are children of more substantial heritage living in happy, healthy homes?
My husband chose to raise his children apart from the current destructive culture on his home reservation. How many of the 1500 targeted by the Cherokee Nation are children living exactly where their parents and/or extended family have placed them and want them to live? What is the purpose of ICWA?
Lastly, those 1500 children and 115 attorneys are for just one tribal government. There are 500+ tribal governments. Some have been responsible in their use of ICWA, other have not. How many children, total, are currently threatened?
While we want more than anything for Veronica to be allowed to come home, Congressmen are unable to interfere in court proceedings. Please Contact your Congressmen and ask them to CHANGE THE ICWA Law.
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 U.S.
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 U.S. 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”
PLEASE HELP with expenses for the DC trip – DONATE NOW
~ Volunteers Embraced!!! ~ THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS!! ~
Purchase a ‘Samaritan Saver’ discount card and SAVE more than you GIVE.
Make a generous donation of $20 and recieve this “gift of giving.”
You’ll save up to 50% at 100,000 merchants nationwide!
Participating merchants include Walmart, Macy’s, iTunes, Gamestop, Lego, Chuck E Cheese’s, AMC Theaters, FinishLine, Advanced Auto Parts, Marriott, Petsmart, Southwest Airlines, KFC, Home Depot, Budget Rental, Best Buy, and Office Depot – and many, many more! See the Samaritan Saver Website
for more details.
100% of these Samaritan Saver Donations will go toward Washington DC expenses
To Donate to the DC expenses and purchase a card, please contact us at
CAICW, 501c3 non-profit Christian ministry as well as family advocacy, is the ONLY national org advocating for families who have lost or risk losing children due to the Indian Child Welfare Act.
You must be logged in to post a comment.