Child’s future in hands of S.C. Supreme Court

Veronica Capobianco is carried by her biological father Dusten Brown escorted by his lawyer Shannon Jones after she was turned over to him by her adoptive parents Matt and Melanie Capobianco. A 1978 law that applies to Native American children is the reason the biological father was given custody. File Photo (Grace Beahm/

The fate of the little girl known as Veronica is now in the hands of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

The court must determine whether a lower court judge was correct when he ordered the 2-year-old removed from a Charleston couple who thought they had adopted her legally and returned her to her biological father, Dusten Brown, of Oklahoma.

It was not know when a decision would be made, but typically the court’s rulings come within a matter of a months.

After the brief hearing before the state high court, the Charleston couple, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, said only, “We’re hopeful.” The couple’s attorneys declined to comment.

Brown, who wore his Army uniform to the hearing, slipped out of the back of the courthouse with his attorney directly into a gold sport utility vehicle with the aid of court security officers. He offered no comment.

The court hearing was closed to the public on orders of the Supreme Court, to guard the child’s privacy. All parties also are under a gag order.

The Capobiancos are appealing a family court decision to transfer custody of Veronica to her biological father in Oklahoma. The judge did so based on a little known federal law designed to keep American Indian families together.

Brown is a member of the Cherokee Nation and objected after Veronica’s birth mother gave her up for adoption by the Capobiancos. Brown and the Capobiancos been battling in court for two years.

See this story for previous coverage.