Several American Indian groups are preparing to sue over a court’s decision to allow the adoption of a girl of Cherokee heritage by a Charleston-area couple.
The Native American Rights Fund, National Congress of American Indians and National Indian Child Welfare Association said Monday they want to try to protect the best interests of the now-3-year-old girl named Veronica.
With the backing of the U.S. Supreme Court, the South Carolina Supreme Court last week ordered a Family Court to finalize Veronica’s adoption by Matt and Melanie Capobianco.
The girl has been living in Oklahoma since 2011 when South Carolina justices said a federal law favored her being raised by her biological father, a member of the Cherokee Nation.
Her father has been pursuing custody of Veronica in Oklahoma.
Washington attorney Lori Alvino McGill, who represents the child’s birth mother, questioned how continuing the case would be in the child’s best interest.
The birth father and his supporters have consistently “taken the position that she must be transferred to his custody solely because of her slight Native ancestry, regardless of the fact that the South Carolina courts would otherwise have finalized this adoption years ago as ‘in her best interest,” McGill told The Post and Courier.
McGill added, “the fact is that only three people in the world have ever had any legal custody of Veronica — her birth mother, Christy, and Matt and Melanie Capobianco, whom she handpicked.”