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

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Dr. Phil: Matt And Melanie Lose Veronica Because Of ICWA

Matt and Melanie were forced to give up their 2-year-old child, Veronica, when the biological stepped in and took her back, even though he was nowhere to be seen during Veronica’s mother’s pregnancy, and didn’t pay child support. The father got Veronica back because he is part of the Cherokee Nation and has the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) on his side, which pretty much allows tribes to take back children adopted out of the tribe, no matter the circumstances.

Dr. Phil: Troy Dunn The Locator

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

The Indian Child Welfare Act broke up Matt and Melanie’s adoptive family.

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Troy Dunn, host of hit TV show The Locator, was part of a family that was three generations of adoption, so he had a personal connection to this. His little brother, Travis, was partially Native American, and when his mother heard about ICWA, she was so afraid that she kept a suitcase packed by the back door of their home for years, ready to run with Travis if anyone ever came for him.

Dr. Phil: Indian Child Welfare Act

Matt and Melanie were selected to be Veronica’s parents by her birth mother, with the birth father, no longer together with her, wanting to sign his parental rights away. Matt even cut the umbilical cord at her birth.

When they found that the birth father was filing for custody of the child, they were shocked. Shock turned to anger after the Cherokee Nation sided with the biological father because of the Indian Child Welfare Act, and after months of litigation, Veronica was given over to her biological father. Months ago, the supreme court in South Carolina denied their appeal to hear this case again, so they are going to the Supreme Court.

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Dr. Phil: Melanie Is A Child Developmental Psychologist

When Veronica was about to be taken away, they tried to explain it to her so she wouldn’t be scared, but it didn’t work. As Veronica was being carried away, she cried after them and held her arms out. A child developmental psychologist, Melanie knew in her heart of hearts that this was not in Veronica’s best interest.

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