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Baby Desirai case covers familiar ground

December 2, 2013

Tulsa World
By MICHAEL OVERALL World Staff Writer


OKLAHOMA CITY — Protesters lined up in front of the courthouse while attorneys rushed inside for a closed-door hearing, where a biological father was fighting for custody of an Indian daughter.

It was like hitting “replay” on the Baby Veronica case.
Some of the same attorneys were in court again last week. And many of the same protesters held similar signs and chanted the same slogans.
The adoptive couple even comes from South Carolina, where they arranged the adoption through the same lawyer, Raymond Godwin.
In the Baby Desirai case, instead of a South Carolina court demanding that a child be sent back from Oklahoma, an Oklahoma court has demanded a girl back from South Carolina, according to sources familiar with the litigation. Otherwise, the story stays pretty much the same.
A couple breaks up after a pregnancy has begun. The birth mother arranges an adoption, allegedly without telling the father. But as soon as he finds out, he gets an attorney.
By then, however, the baby is already out of state.
“We’ve been saying all along that Veronica wasn’t a unique case,” said Nicky Kay Michael, who has helped organize Stand Our Ground protests in both adoption cases.
“This is happening over and over again, and it’s going to keep happening until something is done about it.”
With a gag order in place and all records sealed at the Oklahoma County Courthouse, it’s not clear what Tuesday’s hearing was about.
Officials won’t even confirm where Desirai is, although she apparently remains in South Carolina.
Based on the birth mother’s heritage, an Oklahoma judge gave custody to the Absentee Shawnee tribe last summer, but South Carolina courts haven’t enforced the decision, according to sources who are familiar with the court rulings.
Jeremy Simmons’ ex-girlfriend arranged the private adoption with Bobby and Diane Bixler, who apparently came to Oklahoma for the birth, May 13 in Stillwater.


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