Cherokee Nation Chief, Governor Fallin respond to Baby Veronica's adoptive parents' news conference

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Updated: 8/14/2013 4:24 pm Published: 8/14/2013 8:48 am

The South Carolina couple who want to adopt three-year old Veronica are in Tulsa and held a news conference on Wednesday.

A South Carolina court awarded custody of Veronica to the couple, but her biological father, Dusten Brown, has filed suits in both Oklahoma and Tribal courts for custody and has not turned the girl over to the Capobiancos.  

Matt and Melanie Capobianco were joined by a family friend and spokesperson, Jessica Munday and adoption facilitator Troy Dunn. 

Brown turned himself in to Sequoyah County authorities on a warrant for custodial interference on Monday.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker released this statement in response to the Capobiancos press conference:

“The Capobiancos have requested the Cherokee Nation and Dusten Brown to follow the South Carolina court's order, but they forget that Dusten Brown has the same rights to have his arguments heard before our Oklahoma courts and Cherokee Nation Tribal Court. We respectfully ask the Capobiancos to allow that due process. The Cherokee people throughout time have stood our ground and for the rights of our people, and this is no different. We will continue to stand by Dusten and his biological daughter, Veronica, and for what is right.”

Governor Mary Fallin also released a statement about the Capobiancos press conference, saying they should meet with their adopted daughter and should meet with Brown:

“Mr. and Mrs. Capobianco deserve an opportunity to meet with their adopted daughter. They also deserve the chance to meet with Mr. Brown and put an end to this conflict. It is important for Veronica’s sake that Mr. Brown and the Capobianco family resolve this matter quickly and grant closure to all parties. If Mr. Brown is unwilling to cooperate with these reasonable expectations, then I will be forced to expedite his extradition request and let the issue be settled in court.” 

Dusten Brown's lawyer, Clark Brewster, released this statement:

We are in agreement with the Capobiancos that the best interest of Veronica is the most important consideration. The South Carolina court’s determination of this issue was based upon facts as they existed almost two years ago. We are fully in favor of a present day determination of Veronica’s best interest to be made by a court in the state where Veronica has lived for the past 19 months.

We will reach out to counsel for the Capobiancos to see if a resolution in Veronica’s best interest can be reached by the parties. In that way, we hope the present impasse can be quickly resolved.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

fairisfair - 8/15/2013 10:35 AM
0 Votes
You people that are on here saying that they "the cappobionco's" need to go back home and have no rights to the child are ABSURD. Where was this FATHER throughout the 9 months of the pregnancy? Where was this FATHER during the birth of this beautiful child? Where was this FATHER for all the 3am feedings and well baby visits and first tooth, first step, first word, etc???? Oh that's right.. This FATHER had already signed away his rights stating he didn't WANT this very same BEAUTIFUL CHILD that is LOVED so much by the Capobionco's. Saying that they need to go away is like telling ANY mother or father that has been there from DAY ONE, in good times and bad, sick times and happy times, to just go away and forget about the child that you have loved for almost 5 years. Get a grip people. This is unfair. To say that "SC has no jurisdiction" is ridiculous. I haven't heard any complaints about SC's jurisdiction when the rulings were in Mr. Brown's favor. Mr. Brown has about as much Cherokee in him as I do. The Cherokee law needs to apply where applicable and this case folks, is certainly NOT applicable and the SUPREME COURT AGREES!

Disgruntled - 8/14/2013 6:28 PM
0 Votes
Kyllein and the others that are saying he didn't know what he was signing. What is the saying in the law: IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE!! He should have read or had a lawyer explain it to him completely before he signed the papers. It is his fault that he didn't make sure what he was signing. This is another case of someone not wanting to take responsibility for his own actions. This whole thing is absolutely absurd. The baby was legally adopted and that legality should be honored. Why does everyone want the laws to apply to them only when it's convenient? Send the baby back to her parents, and Governor Fallin, you of all people should follow the laws you were elected to uphold and honor the extradition request. Let them settle it in the South Carolina courts where it started. And I am really tired of the "I'm Indian (or black, or hispanic or any other ethnicity) to get by and try to get special treatment when it comes to the laws of this country. I am Cherokee, and I am ashamed of the actions the tribe has taken in this matter. If you're going to live in the United States of America, you should be ready to support all their laws. If not, leave; but quit complaining when the law doesn't favor you. And take responsibility for your actions, in this case, SIGNING AWAY YOUR RIGHTS. He should have made sure he knew what he was signing before he signed. Give the baby back to her legal parents and be done with all this.

Kyllein - 8/14/2013 6:02 PM
0 Votes
Methinks these two people are playing to the Media now. South Carolina is NOT Oklahoma (been in both places, and no they aren't the same). Veronica is a Cherokee Citizen, and while there may once have been Cherokees in South Carolina, ever since Andrew Jackson's time there haven't been any Cherokees in South Carolina. As has been pointed out in other posts: 1: The State of Oklahoma needs to weigh in on this matter(legally) and then, 2: The Cherokee Court has to decide on the matter too and it hasn't. 3: There are a LOT of white, Italian children in need of adoption. Why don't these people try for one of them? It seems to me this has moved into the Soap Opera stage where the Law takes second place to "Feelings". The Capobiancas need to go home and adopt a nice South Carolina baby.

Noxianah - 8/14/2013 3:46 PM
0 Votes
There is one thing that has not been brought up. Since Veronica is a Cherokee Nation Citizen, by law her adoption is only legal if it goes through the Cherokee Nation adoption process. It appears that this is not the case. As such, the so-called adoption is null and void.

MyLife1969 - 8/14/2013 12:01 PM
1 Vote
S Bean - you need to read the reports. He didn't sign away his rights nor were they terminated by the courts. On January 6 2010, he signed an Acceptance of Servie and Answer of Defendant just days before he was to deploy to Iraq. Since he was being deployed, he thought, in the best interest of the child, he should relinquish his rights to the mother. He did not realize the papers he was signing were for potential adoption. When he did, he tried to retrieve them. When he couldn't, on January 11 & 14 2010, he started court proceedings to stop the adoption and to establish paternity & child custody. The adoption was never finalized. I feel sorry for the adoptive parents but this child should be in the custody of her father unless he is found unfit to care for her.

hjohnson1122 - 8/14/2013 11:46 AM
1 Vote
If you sign away your parental rights then you have to live with that decision. No other person that does that gets to change their mind after they see how cute the child is or whatever their reason is. Signing away your rights should never be done frivolously because it is forever. I feel for this guy but he made his decision. Just because he's Native American doesn't turn back time.

Anonymous - 8/14/2013 10:24 AM
1 Vote
These people need to GO BACK HOME! This little girl belongs with HER BIOLOGICAL FATHER. If the federal government can storm the home of Elian Gonzales' family's home and take him BY FORCE with TROOPS to send him back to his BIOLOGICAL FATHER in a communist country then they should step up and stand by this little girls BIOLOGICAL FATHER. There are HUNDREDS and THOUSANDS of other children that need adoptive homes. STAND STRONG DUSTEN AND DO NOT BACK DOWN!!

pammio53 - 8/14/2013 10:21 AM
0 Votes
every parent that has a child being up for adoption has so long to change his or her mind... or if the child is being put up for adoption without his knowledge he should have a right to fight for his child...i truley believe that Baby Veronica is right where she belongs right now with her daddy and step mommy... she is so loved now if she wasnt it would be a whole different story

kylenoe - 8/14/2013 10:08 AM
0 Votes
wheres the real mom

S Bean - 8/14/2013 9:36 AM
0 Votes
Maybe someone shouldn't have signed away their parental rights in the first place.
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