Baby Veronica to Return to South Carolina - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Baby Veronica to Return to South Carolina

Posted: Updated:
Veronica with her birth father, Dusten Brown. Veronica with her birth father, Dusten Brown.
Veronica's adoptive parents, the Capobiancos. Veronica's adoptive parents, the Capobiancos.

The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that Baby Veronica must be returned to her adoptive parents.

The court's order nearly ends the saga between the South Caroline couple and Veronica's biological father, who lives in Oklahoma and tried to claim rights on the Indian Child Welfare Act.

"We are grateful. Grateful. Grateful. This is finally over," the Capobiancos said Wednesday. "She is coming home."

The family's spokesperson said the timeline on the transfer of Veronica will be done quickly -- likely within the next few weeks.

Lori Alvino McGill, the attorney for Veronica's birth mother, Christinna Maldonado, said she was thrilled at the court's decision, but had not yet spoken to Maldonado. She called the ruling "huge" and "gratifying."

The case has been remanded back to family court to be finalized. Veronica's birth father, Dusten Brown, and The Cherokee Nation will have five days to file for a rehearing in state court, or the adoption will be finalized.

"The family court shall promptly dispose of all such motions and matters so as to not delay the entry of the adoption and the return of baby Girl to the Adoptive Couple," the state Supreme Court writes.

According to court documents, Brown, in a motion to remand the case back to family court filed earlier this month, claimed jurisdiction of the case should be transferred to Oklahoma where Veronica has lived for 18 months, and cited her best interests because of her development over the last 18 months.

The Cherokee Nation issued a statement saying they are outraged by the ruling:

“We are outraged and saddened that the South Carolina Supreme Court would order the transfer of this child without a hearing to determine what is in her best interests, particularly in light of the fact that this very same court previously found “we cannot say that Baby Girl's best interests are not served by the grant of custody to Father, as Appellants have not presented evidence that Baby Girl would not be safe, loved, and cared for if raised by Father and his family.” Dusten Brown is a fit, loving parent and Veronica is, as the court previously defined, “safe, loved, and cared for." That should be enough.”

The state Supreme Court said the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in June paved the way for the state courts to finalize the adoption. The ruling explains that having ICWA abandoned, the precedent turns to state law, which states that the father's consent for adoption was not required based on the specifics of the case.

"There is absolutely no need to compound any suffering that Baby Girl may experience through continued litigation. As it stands, Adoptive Couple is the only party who has a petition pending for the adoption of Baby Girl, and thus, theirs is the only application that should be considered at this stage," the ruling reads.

The Capobiancos have not had contact with Veronica since New Year's Eve 2011 when she was 27 months old.

The case began as Maldonado was working to finalize the adoption to the Capobiancos. The James Island couple went through the entire birth process with her in preparation of the adoption.

Then Brown pushed to retain his rights as father, citing ICWA, a federal law with which the state Supreme Court sided by a 3-2 margin, which sparked a legal battle that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Top Videos

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Friday Night Blitz coverage lineup for Week 1

    Friday Night Blitz coverage lineup for Week 1

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:25:25 GMT
    See the Game of the Week and other notable matchups to be covered on Friday Night Blitz...More >>
    See the Game of the Week and other notable matchups to be covered on Friday Night Blitz...
    More >>
  • Nearly 14,000 Alabamians waiting on state tax refunds

    Nearly 14,000 Alabamians waiting on state tax refunds

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:51:41 GMT
    Nearly 14,000 Alabamians are still waiting to get overdue tax refunds. Alabama's Revenue Commissioner blames the delay on a computer system designed to catch thieves.The delay is a bad thing for some taxpayers, but state leaders believe the delay is worth it.More >>
    Nearly 14,000 Alabamians are still waiting to get overdue tax refunds. Alabama's Revenue Commissioner blames the delay on a computer system designed to catch thieves.The delay is a bad thing for some taxpayers, but state leaders believe the delay is worth it.
    More >>
  • Tuscaloosa police officer arrested on domestic violence, sodomy charges

    Tuscaloosa police officer arrested on domestic violence, sodomy charges

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:34 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:34:49 GMT
    A Tuscaloosa police officer is on leave following his arrest in an alleged domestic dispute.More >>
    A Tuscaloosa police officer is on leave following his arrest in an alleged domestic dispute.
    More >>
  • Repair to 20/59 bridge near BJCC

    Repair to 20/59 bridge near BJCC

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:29 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:29:32 GMT
    The Interstate 20/59 bridge near the BJCC is living past its prime and the Alabama Department of Transportation is trying to keep up with its deterioration until a plan is put into place to replace the antiquated bridge. The 43-year-old highway carries twice the load it was designed to hold. Tuesday, August 26 ALDOT will conduct bridge repairs on I-59 southbound starting at 9:00 a.m. The road work on the Civic Center Bridge will be on the southbound side of Interstate 59, just north of the ra...More >>
    The Interstate 20/59 bridge near the BJCC is living past its prime and the Alabama Department of Transportation is trying to keep up with its deterioration until a plan is put into place to replace the antiquated bridge. The 43-year-old highway carries twice the load it was designed to hold. Tuesday, August 26 ALDOT will conduct bridge repairs on I-59 southbound starting at 9:00 a.m. The road work on the Civic Center Bridge will be on the southbound side of Interstate 59, just north of the ra...More >>
  • Ex-band director at T.R. Miller High arrested on charges he had sex with students

    Ex-band director at T.R. Miller High arrested on charges he had sex with students

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:14 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:14:07 GMT
    A band director who just started a new job in Georgia appeared before a judge Friday on charges he had sex with several students at his former high school in Alabama.More >>
    A band director who just started a new job in Georgia appeared before a judge Friday on charges he had sex with several students at his former high school in Alabama.
    More >>
  • Civil rights protesters march at state capitol

    Civil rights protesters march at state capitol

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:22 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:22:20 GMT
    More than 20 people, including civil rights leaders and ministers, have marched around the state Capitol and Statehouse in the first day of a seven-day protest that stretches across the Southeast.Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma says the marchers in Alabama are joining those in North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia to protest attacks on civil and human rights.The Alabama group marched around the Capitol and Statehouse in hot, humid weather Frida...More >>
    More than 20 people, including civil rights leaders and ministers, have marched around the state Capitol and Statehouse in the first day of a seven-day protest that stretches across the Southeast.Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma says the marchers in Alabama are joining those in North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia to protest attacks on civil and human rights.The Alabama group marched around the Capitol and Statehouse in hot, humid weather Frida...More >>
  • Alabama lands commitment from 4-star linebacker Joshua McMillon

    Alabama lands commitment from 4-star linebacker Joshua McMillon

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:12:39 GMT
    Alabama's recruiting class is getting crowded. Four-star linebacker Joshua McMillon committed to the Tide, which already has 21 verbal commitments for it's 2015 class.More >>
    Alabama's recruiting class is getting crowded. Four-star linebacker Joshua McMillon committed to the Tide, which already has 21 verbal commitments for it's 2015 class.
    More >>
  • World record-holding Paralympian visits Anniston High School

    World record-holding Paralympian visits Anniston High School

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:00:23 GMT
    Blake Leeper told Anniston students Friday about the troublesome news that doctors shared with his parents on August 31, 1989. "Mr. and Mrs. Leeper, I'm sorry, but Blake was born missing both of his legs. I'm sorry, but the chances for Blake to even walk are very low," he told the Anniston teens.  Blake Leeper is now a gold medal winning runner and holds a world record for the fastest time in the 4x100 meter relay.More >>
    Blake Leeper told Anniston students Friday about the troublesome news that doctors shared with his parents on August 31, 1989. "Mr. and Mrs. Leeper, I'm sorry, but Blake was born missing both of his legs. I'm sorry, but the chances for Blake to even walk are very low," he told the Anniston teens.  Blake Leeper is now a gold medal winning runner and holds a world record for the fastest time in the 4x100 meter relay.More >>