A James Island couple fighting to get their adopted daughter back from her Native American biological father who reclaimed her when she was 2 years old will share their story with a national audience on the “Dr. Phil” show today.
The case has gained national interest because it’s based on the Indian Child Welfare Act, a 1978 federal law that aims to keep Native American families together.
James Island residents Matt and Melanie Capobianco adopted Veronica when she was born Sept. 15, 2009.
Four months later, the couple’s attorney told them that Veronica’s biological father, 30-year-old Dusten Brown of Oklahoma, had filed for paternity and custody as a member of the Cherokee Nation.
The Cherokee Nation got involved in the case, claiming the adoption failed to comply with the Indian Child Welfare Act.
The Capobiancos lost the custody battle. On Dec. 31, 2011, Veronica was taken back to Oklahoma. They have had not contact with her since then.
On July 26, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled that Veronica should stay with her biological father. The court rejected an argument that being taken from her adopted parents would harm her. The couple appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1. They hope to find out by January whether the court will hear the case.
The show will air locally today at 4 p.m. on WCBD Channel 2.
Guests on the “Dr. Phil” show will discuss why the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed and how it has affected families, according to a news release.
Chrissi Nimmo, the assistant attorney general for the Cherokee Nation who has fought against the Capobiancos, also is scheduled for the show.
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