The U.S. Supreme Court will consider the case of a James Island couple’s seeking to overturn a ruling that returned their adopted daughter to her biological father under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, according to the Supreme Court of the United States blog.
An attorney for Matt and Melanie Capobianco filed the 142-page petition with the high court in October, arguing that the justices should accept the case to settle uncertainty over how the 1978 act should be interpreted.
From a family spokeswoman, the Capobianco’s said: “We are so incredibly excited that the U.S. Supreme Court has accepted our case. We have a renewed sense of faith in our legal system and a renewed sense of hope that Veronica will be able to come home.”
The Capobiancos have not seen 3-year-old Veronica since a family court ruling relinquished the girl to her father on New Year’s Eve of 2011.
The S.C. Supreme Court in July upheld Veronica’s forced return to her biological father in Oklahoma. Her father, a member of the Cherokee Nation, successfully challenged the adoption using the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law aimed at preserving American Indian families.
The federal law has been reviewed only once at the highest level. In 1989, Justice William Brennan sided with Mississippi’s Choctaw tribe, which challenged an adoption of twins.
“At issue in the case is the definition of ‘parent’ under the federal law, including whether that includes an unwed father who only belatedly claimed parental rights,” the blog stated.
The Veronica case is one of three newly granted cases that were considered among 30 petitions on Friday.
Read more in tomorrow’s edition of the Post and Courier.
This October 2011 photo provided by Melanie Capobianco shows her adoptive daughter Veronica trick-or-treating, in Charleston, S.C. The child has been the focus of a custody battle between her adoptive parents and her birth father. The adoption case involving little Veronica is one pitting the South Carolina couple who nurtured her since birth against her biological father who was recently awarded custody of the 2-year-old child and took her to Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Melanie Capobianco)×