COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The attorney for a South Carolina couple says a judge has finalized their adoption case, which reached all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lawyer James Fletcher Thompson said Wednesday that the adoption was now complete and a plan was in place to transfer the child from the custody of her father. He did not share details, and the hearing was closed to the public.
Matt and Melanie Capobianco have been trying to adopt 3-year-old Veronica since her birth. They raised the girl for two years, but Veronica moved to Oklahoma in 2011 after a South Carolina court ruled that federal law favored her being raised by her father, a member of the Cherokee nation.
But the fight may not be over. Several American Indian groups filed federal lawsuits.
The Cherokee Nation released this statement:
“Today, a Family Court in South Carolina finalized the adoption of an almost 4-year-old Cherokee child who has been living with her unquestionably fit, loving, biological father and large extended family, for one year and seven months, half a continent away in Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation. This decision was made without a hearing to determine what is in Veronica’s current best interests and comes almost two years after the same Family Court found that Dusten Brown was a fit, loving parent and it would be in Veronica’s best interests to be placed with her father. Every parent in America should be terrified.
“Dusten Brown is an honorable man and a good father. Cherokee Nation will continue to support Dusten, Veronica and the entire Brown family in their attempt to keep their family whole.”
Dusten Brown released this statement:
Our family is shocked and deeply saddened that the SC Supreme Court has refused to allow Veronica's best interest to be considered. Even worse, that Court issued an Order they acknowledge will cause my daughter to suffer harm. The Court gave its blessing to the transition plan offered by the Capobiancos that says upon transfer to them, Veronica will be "fearful, scared, anxious, confused." They say she will likely become quiet and withdrawn and may cry herself to sleep. That the transfer will cause her to suffer "grief" and "loss" and she will feel "rejected" by me and her family. They say it will leave her with many, "unanswered questions." I will not voluntarily let my child go through that, no parent would. I am her father and it is my job to protect her. My family and I continue to pray that the justice system will bring justice to Veronica.
To Matt and Melanie Capobianco I want to say this, Please, for Veronica's sake, just stop. Stop, and ask yourself if you really believe this is best for her.
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