When it comes to the issue of child custody, there is a lot that readers of our blog can learn from looking at cases in other states. While state laws can vary quite differently when dealing with issues of custody and visitation, these cases often exemplify just how complex these situations can get, especially when different state laws come into play.
Such was the case for Baby Veronica who found herself at the center of a difficult custody battle between her biological father and her two adoptive parents. For those who may be unfamiliar with the case, it revolved around the issue of whether the father had really waived his parental rights before the adoption process. Complicating matters further was the fact that the now 4-year-old girl’s biological father was a member of the Cherokee Nation and therefore argued that his daughter should be protected under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act.
As some of our readers here in New York may remember, the case gained national attention when it made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. As some may remember, the complexity of the situation stemmed from the fact that different state courts were involved in the matter. The state in which the girl was born made a difference in where the biological father could file his custody claims, which sometimes conflicted with the state laws where the adoptive parents lived. In the end, three courts weighed in on the issue, finally awarding custody to the adoptive parents.
As with any child custody case — whether it’s a result of adoption or divorce — it’s important to remember that the situation may not be as simple as you might think and could require the honed in skill of a lawyer in order to reach an amicable resolution. This is especially true for cases where the parents of the child reside in different states or, in cases of adoption, differing state laws between birth state and state where adoptive parents reside can make situations incredibly problematic down the road. Speaking with an attorney can not only give you a heads up on these potential inconveniences but guide you through them on your way to a favorable outcome.
Source: CBS News, “‘Baby Veronica’ handed over to adoptive parents, Cherokee Nation confirms,” Sept. 24, 2013