Dr. Phil: Troy Dunn & Is Indian Child Welfare Act Destroying Families?

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Dr. Phil: June 6 2013

On Dr. Phil June 6 2013, Veronica’s birth parents hand-picked Matt and Melanie  to adopt her, but trouble came soon after. When Veronica’s biological father, Dusten, who was never around during the pregnancy, found out about the adoption four months later, he suddenly realized that he wanted to raise his daughter. Taking the issue to court, Dustin, who is part Cherokee Indian, won Veronica back thanks to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a 30-year-old law that is supposed to protect the well-being of Indian children and their tribes.

Dr. Phil: Troy Dunn & Is Indian Child Welfare Act Destroying Families?

The Indian Child Welfare Act is splitting up adoptive families. Is it right?

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Should he have ever won his daughter back? Who is Veronica better off with? Dr. Phil will sit down with him and find out on tomorrow’s show.

Dr. Phil: Troy Dunn

Troy Dunn, whose hit-television show The Locator has brought thousands of lost loved ones back together, is responsible for bringing this matter to Dr. Phil. Having grown up in a family where adoption was all around him, he has a personal connection to this story.

His little brother, Travis, who is part Native American, was almost taken back after being adopted because of the ICWA. Troy Dunn said that his mother was so scared knowing this that she left a packed suitcase by their back door for years, always ready to make a run for it should someone come for Troy.

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Dr. Phil: Is The Indian Child Welfare Act Destroying Families?

Matt thinks that he ICWA is destroying families. Having been in the delivery room and being the one that actually cut Veronica’s cord, he does not think that Dusten should be getting her back just because of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Given that Veronica’s birth mother even said that Dusten wanted to sign the rights to Veronica away after they had broken up, the injustice of this situation seems to be made 10 times worse.

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Comments

  1. jai says

    To assert that tribal courts disregard the best interest of the child whereas U.S. courts are more compassionate toward children is even more racist and wrong. Those who died along the Cherokee Trail of Tears were primarily children and elders.

    Native people take pride in their love and respect for children and elders who are honored and protected in a manner which is rare in the white culture and almost non-existent in the U.S. court system.

    Phil,
    On the June 6, 2013 show, you appear to be defending the two white families who illegally adopted Indian children and are now fighting to take them from their biological Indian families.
    You allowed these culturally ignorant individuals to enforce the concept of the superiority of the ‘white’ culture.
    By featuring the couple who asserted that the tribe has ignored the rights of the child they illegally adopted by supporting the native father and a father who asserted that the tribe abandoned his children to a horrible lifestyle though they were unknown and off Indian land at the time he discovered their plight and illegally adopted them. Were they not abandoned by the U.S. of which they are also citizens?
    By focusing on the slight degree of Indian blood of the adopted children, you are being racist and disregarding one of the few remaining sovereign rights of America’s first inhabitants. The degree of Indian blood is a racist construct forced on Indian tribes by the U.S. government until the courts ruled against it. The degree of Indian blood is a factor for membership in some tribes, but the Cherokee recognize any descendant from an original enrollee. And that is our right!
    Historically the U.S. government has used every method imaginable to exterminate the original inhabitants of this country and destroy the native culture. But we remain.
    When gold was discovered on the small area in Georgia to which the Cherokees had been forced, the homes of tribal members were burned and they were confined to stockades where their spirt was broken and many died before they were forced to travel the “Trail of Tears” to what is now Oklahoma along which a fourth of the remaining members died. (Of course that is only what was recorded by white men who disregarded the Cherokee language of Sequoyah in which a greater number of Cherokees were literate than the few colonists who could read and write the English language).
    Adolph Hitler is said to have studied the Cherokee Trail of Tears as a model when he forced the Jews to concentration camps where their spirits were broken before they were forced to march to the ovens to be murdered.
    The few Cherokees who hid in the mountains formed the Eastern Band of Cherokees which the child discussed on your show is a member. This is not some rogue nation. It is a government that operates under the rule of law established by the tribe.
    For years, Indian children were forced to attend residential schools where they were abused and stripped of their culture then multitudes of adoptions were arranged, and many Indian children were forced to leave their parents to reside in a culture foreign to them. They were stripped of their culture, most were s——- and physically abused and some were murdered, but Americans ignored it until the U.S. courts recognized the jurisdiction of the tribes over their own children and citizens.
    Indian children are citizens of two nations. They are U.S. citizens and they are tribal citizens and have protection of both. Just as a family adopting a child from a foreign country must obey the laws of the country of the child’s birth as well as the U.S., those adopting Indian children must obey both the laws of the tribe and the laws of the U.S.
    To respect the U.S. law with disregard for tribal courts is racist and unconscionable.

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