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.