She was known as "Baby Veronica", the young child at the center of a fierce custody battle. Today she is back with the couple who adopted her as a newborn, Matt and Melanie Capobianco. Nearly two years ago, "Veronica" was returned to her biological father who invoked a law meant to keep Native American children with their Native American families. Anderson spoke with Jessica Munday, who is a close friend of the Capobiancos and discussed the healing process.
Rare face-to-face meetings in two courts today for the biological father and adoptive parents fighting for custody of nearly four-year old Veronica. This is a legal battle that has been going on so long, when it started she was known as Baby Veronica. She was not in court today, despite a judge's order that her biological father Dusten Brown bring her. 360's Randi Kaye reports from Tulsa.
When this custody battle first began she was known as baby Veronica. Now she is almost four, and she is still the center of an intense legal standoff. Veronica's biological father Dusten Brown challenged her adoption using a federal law aimed at keeping Native American families together. But tonight, her adoptive parents the Capobiancos are in Brown's home state of Oklahoma demanding her return, as a court has ordered. 360's Randi Kaye is in Tulsa with the latest.
Another painful chapter in the bitter custody battle over "Baby Veronica." Her biological father Dusten Brown was arrested today for failing to show up to a court appointed hearing, which was meant to be the first step in handing over the now four-year-old girl backto her adoptive parents. 360's Randi Kaye has the latest.
Editor’s Note: We’ll have more tonight at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Supreme Court’s rulings. Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin will join Anderson, as will columnist Andrew Sullivan and Jean Podrasky, Chief Justice John Roberts' gay cousin will react to today's rulings along with her partner.
Today, voting 5-4, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that denied hundreds of federal benefits to same-sex couples. The high court said legally married same-sex couples must receive the same benefits provided to heterosexual couples. The act had defined marriage as only between a man and a woman, but the court said the law violated the rights of same-sex couples by demoting their marriages to second-class status when compared to their heterosexual peers.
In another landmark case, the justices, in a 5 to 4 decision, also handed a victory to same-sex proponents when it cleared the way for gay and lesbian couples to marry in California, dismissing an appeal to the state's voter-approved Proposition 8 that banned such marriages.
The Supreme Court sided on Tuesday with adoptive parents in a divisive custody fight over a Native American child after the biological father asserted his parental rights. The justices, by a 5-4 margin, said the adoption by a white couple was proper and did not intrude on the federal rights of the father, a registered member of the Cherokee tribe, over where his daughter, Veronica, 3, would live. The court said the father could not rely on the Indian Child Welfare Act for relief because he never had legal or physical custody at the time of adoption proceedings, which were initiated by the birth mother without his knowledge.
Here’s the AC360 411 on the U.S. Supreme Court: FULL POST
Editor's note: In an interview on AC360, Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke with an attorney, Paul Clement, representing the adoptive parents.
A custody battle involving the "best interests" of a 3-year-old Cherokee girl will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court, an issue spanning the rights of adoptive parents and the desire to preserve Native American families within tribes.
The justices announced Friday they will hear an appeal from Matt and Melanie Capobianco, who legally adopted little Veronica in 2009, shortly after the birth mother agreed to give up the child. Oral arguments in the case will likely be heard in April with a ruling by late June.
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3-year-old Veronica may be too young to realize she's at the center of a contentious legal battle between her biological father and the parents who thought they had adopted her. She was taken from Matt and Melanie Capobianco's home on New Year's Eve 2011 after they had raised her for two years.
Since then they've been fighting a South Carolina court's decision. They appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court, but the justices upheld the ruling. Now, they're petitioning the United States Supreme Court to overturn the verdict.
The couple had arranged to adopt Veronica from her birth mother before the child was born. They were told the father, Dusten Brown, waived his parental rights and he signed a document saying he would not challenge the adoption.
In a surprising turn of events, when Veronica was 4 months old, her father filed for paternity and custody citing a federal law from 1978 called the Indian Child Welfare Act.