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.
Editor's note: Watch the video of Drew Griffin's original report, then read his update to the story.
St. John, Indiana (CNN) – Amidst hundreds of emails I get each day, Bill Keith’s stood out for its subject line: CNN viewers are the best.
I couldn’t agree more. Because when we told you about his plight, how bureaucrats in Washington were close to shutting down his homegrown solar attic fan business, you responded. And today Bill is out of his jam.
You may recall the story. Bill Keith is an Indiana roofer who came up with the idea of creating a solar powered attic fan. The fan cools off your attic during hot summer days, lowers your electric bill and requires absolutely no power source other than the sun to do it.
SunRise Solar was a perfect U.S. born “green” company. So perfect that during the 2008 election the Obama campaign took notice. And shortly after the election, Bill Keith and his company became the poster child for the president’s green jobs, green manufacturing initiatives.
A report from a human rights organization goes into graphic detail with horrifying claims about what’s happening at a school for students with severe behavioral and developmental issues. They call it torture. Anderson spoke with Michael Flammia, an attorney for the Judge Rotenberg Center and Dr. Louis Kraus, a board member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
A Massachusetts school for special needs students uses a controversial method for trying to control the children's behavior. They administer electric shocks. The number of shocks and the reason for using the device is at the discretion of the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) staff.
JRC has students as young as 3-years-old. Their website says they've provided "very effective education and treatment to both emotionally disturbed students with conduct, behavior, emotional, and/or psychiatric problems and developmentally delayed students with autistic-like behaviors."
One graphic video, that school officials didn't want the public to see, shows Cheryl McCollins' autistic son Andre receiving 31 electric shocks in a seven hour timeframe. McCollins was distraught about the treatment and wants JRC shut down.
A plaintiff in the Murfreesboro mosque case explains why she's in a legal battle with the Muslim community.
A North Carolina pastor's anti-gay sermon sparks heated protests, but his supporters aren't backing down.
Can zapping emotionally challenged children with painful electrical shocks - like cattle - actually help them? The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Massachusetts claims it does. But as Anderson Cooper reported last week, there’s a new push to close the school.
The renewed effort to shutdown JRC comes after a graphic video surfaced that school officials didn't want the public to see. The video shows Cheryl McCollins' son, Andre, receiving 31 electric shocks from school staff in a seven hour period. His family’s attorney says he was later treated for post traumatic stress disorder.
However, another mother, Marie Washington, said JRC saved her son's life by using the shocks to treat him, instead of medications. Washington calls the program a "godsend."
JRC is a special needs school for children as young as 3-years-old. Their website says they've provided "very effective education and treatment to both emotionally disturbed students with conduct, behavior, emotional, and/or psychiatric problems and developmentally delayed students with autistic-like behaviors."
Critics disapprove of the method used by the school to change students' behavior. JRC calls the shocks "aversive therapy," opponents call it torture. They invented the device used to administer the shocks, and they're the only school using the technique.
Tonight, Anderson explores the medical research behind the shock therapy. He'll speak with one of the top autism researchers in the country, Kevin Pelphrey, who’s the Director of Yale’s Child Neuroscience Laboratory, and Nathan Blenkush, Director of Research at JRC, who has worked at the school since 2006. Tune in to AC360 at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
Editor's note: Watch Gary Tuchman's 2011 report and read about the recent update in the Demiraj's fight to stay in the U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security has granted asylum to an Albanian immigrant, his wife and teenage son after a years-long deportation battle.
According to a letter from the Department of Homeland Security, Edmond and Rudina Demiraj and their teenage son, Rediol, were all granted asylum "for an indefinite period." The letter also said that asylum status for each person may be terminated if the family "no longer has a well founded fear of persecution because of a fundamental change in circumstances."
CNN first reported on the Demiraj case last fall. The Department of Justice was then threatening to deport the family to Albania even after Edmond Demiraj promised to testify in a human trafficking case.