CNN aired a segment on its “Anderson Cooper 360” show last night about the adoption battle that pits two James Island adoptive parents against a 2-year-old girl’s biological father in Oklahoma.
Matt and Melanie Capobianco connected with Veronica’s birth mother in Oklahoma in 2009 after seven failed in vitro fertilizations. Four months after they brought her home to Charleston, Veronica’s father, 30-year-old Dusten Brown, filed for paternity and custody.
Brown, a registered member of the Cherokee Nation, won the court case nearly two years later. A Charleston family court judge ruled in his favor under the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law designed to preserve Native American families.
The judge ordered the Capobiancos to turn over Veronica, and Brown and his parents drove the toddler back to Oklahoma on New Year’s Eve. In the weeks that have passed, the Capobiancos’ friends have gathered more than 20,000 signatures on a “Save Veronica” petition, which they delivered to federal lawmakers’ offices and to Gov. Nikki Haley herself last month.
The Capobiancos took their case to the state Supreme Court in mid-January in hopes of overturning the family court ruling. Supreme Court officials sealed all documents related to the case until the higher court reaches a decision.
Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/allysonjbird.