September 4th, 2013
12:13 PM ET

"Baby Veronica" Stays With Her Biological Father For Now

An Oklahoma state court goes against the decision of the United States Supreme Court and decides the biological father of "Baby Veronica" can keep custody of the girl for now.

CNN's Randi Kaye reports.

Dusten Brown, the biological father, has always said the fight for his Cherokee daughter Veronica, 4, should take place in Oklahoma, because that is where she's been living the last year and a half or so.

When he was told he had to give his daughter back to her adoptive parents who live in South Carolina, he went to the Oklahoma court and they've now issued an emergency stay, defying the ruling by the higher court regarding Veronica's adoption.

Four other courts have ruled in favor of Veronica's adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco of South Carolina.

But Brown has been fighting hard to keep his daughter since the adoption was finalized this summer

He says, "I'm going to fight till I have no fight left in me and till they say you can't fight no more. This is my daughter. It's not a yoyo that I can just say, 'hey I borrowed it for 2 years and here it's back.'"

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  1. pcf

    The Supremes said that ICWA did not apply to the FATHER's bid but did not disallow ICWA for the grandparents, the Cherokee Nation or the child herself.

    September 16, 2013 at 9:59 am | Reply
  2. JD

    Sorry, but this article ignores several significant factual findings and legal points.
    1. SCOTUS only said the ICWA did not apply to the case. They didn't make any determination about who should have custody.
    2. The initial trial court judge in SC found that the Capo's didn't meet their burden for proving Brown was an unfit father, nor that his rights should be terminated.
    3. Whether the adoption was even lawful under Oklahoma law is still an open legal question, considering the SC judge found as a fact that Brown did not voluntarily relinquish his parental rights, and that the testimony of the birth mother was not credible. (These are facts on the record. The more recent quibblings have been about how the law applies to those facts.)
    4. There are collateral 14th Amendment questions: Was Veronica denied her right to due process when the SC Sup. Ct. did not vacate and remand the case to the family court for a new best interests hearing, when it instead simply awarded custody to the Capo's? Does the family law in SC and OK that enabled the Capo's to attempt adoption in the first instance violate Brown's 14th Amendment rights to substantive due process and/or equal protection as a biological father? Those are just two unsettled questions I can think of off the top of my head.

    Your site's blogger/copywriter may want to bone up more on legal process and what exactly it is that appellate courts vis-à-vis trial courts do before publishing this kind of laughable news analysis/commentary.

    September 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Reply

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