Dr. Phil: Indian Child Welfare Act Tearing Adoptive Families Apart

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Dr. Phil: June 7 2013

On Dr. Phil June 7 2013, Dusten, who is part Cherokee Indian, took advantage of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to undeservedly get his daughter, Veronica, back from her adoptive parents after he was never even around for her pregnancy. Veronica’s adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie, were devastated by this. In their defense, Troy Dunn, host of hit TV show The Locator and someone who has had run ins with the ICWA law in the past, brought Dusten, Matt, and Melanie on the show to get this sorted out.

Dr. Phil: Indian Child Welfare Act Broke Up Matt And Melanie’s Family

Dr. Phil: Indian Child Welfare Act Tearing Adoptive Families Apart

The Indian Child Welfare Act is tearing adoptive families apart. What is it?

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On the day that Veronica was taken away from Matt and Melanie, Matt told Veronica that she would be staying with some nice people for awhile because they wanted to make sure it went over smoothly and didn’t want her to be scared of a situation that she couldn’t possibly understand. They didn’t want her to l have any animosity towards them.

Dr. Phil: Indian Child Welfare Act Broke Up Matt And Melanie’s Family

Dr Phil: Adoption Birth Parents’ Rights Under Indian Child Welfare Act

The ICWA was a federal law passed in 1978 that ultimately gave Chrissi Nimmo, the assistant attorney general for the Cherokee Nation, the right to take Veronica away from Matt and Melanie. Despite her thorough explanation and reasoning, Troy Dunn did not agree with the things this law permits.

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Dr Phil: Adoption Birth Parents’ Rights Under Indian Child Welfare Act

Dr. Phil: Tribal Judge Les Marston Defends ICWA & Is ICWA Racist?

Johnston, who pursued custody of Chris and Anthony through a foster care program in 2000, was denied custody because the boys were 1/16 Native American, even though the boys were not well cared for and were homeless for a time. Tribal Judge Les Marston came on to defend the Indian Child Welfare Act, but Dr. Phil said that it put the interest of the tribe over that of the child’s, which he thought was wrong.

Dr. Phil: Tribal Judge Les Marston Defends ICWA & Is ICWA Racist?

Dr Phil: Was A Biological Father Motivated By Money? Who Gets Custody?

Areva Martin, an attorney and child rights activist, found it disturbing that the tribe would side with Veronica’s father, who, if he lived off the reserve in South Carolina, would have been stripped of his fathering rights, as he paid no child support and was not anywhere to be found during the pregnancy. Jay McCarthy, chairperson and attorney for the American Academy of Adoption, weighed in as well.

Dr Phil: Was A Biological Father Motivated By Money? Who Gets Custody?

Dr. Phil: Hiding From ICWA & Will Adoptive Parents See Child Again?

Dr. Phil said that he understood the pain that Matt and Melanie were going through, and that it would be in everyone’s best interest, Veronica’s included, if Matt and Melanie were allowed some visitation with their adoptive daughter.

Dr. Phil: Hiding From ICWA & Will Adoptive Parents See Child Again?

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