June 26th, 2013
01:29 AM ET

Adoptive couple: It was huge for us

Matt and Melanie Capobianco spoke exclusively on AC360 about their reaction to the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Baby Veronica's adoption. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 the adoption was proper and did not intrude on the federal rights of the father, a registered member of the Cherokee tribe.

The Capobiancos have only heard their adoptive daughter's voice once since the courts ruled in favor of her biological father. The couple transferred custody to Dusten Brown in 2011 on New Years Eve. "Just not knowing you know how she was doing. We don't know how she was feeling. It's been pretty awful," Melanie said the pain of being cut out of Veronica's life has been terrible.

The couple has only had minimal contact with Brown about how Veronica's adjusting in a new home, and said "The only thing we've ever known is what's been put in the papers, thats the only pictures or information we've ever gotten."

The president of the National Congress of American Indians released a statement on the ruling: "While we are pleased the court has upheld ICWA, we’re very disappointed for Dusten, Veronica, and the Brown family that the court has ruled to send the case back to the South Carolina courts on a technicality. However, the courts in South Carolina have previously affirmed that Dusten Brown is Veronica’s father and that he is a fit parent. We are confident that his parental rights will be upheld, and that Veronica will stay with her family."

Melanie said her family still has some way to go but that today's ruling was a "huge win." The couple intends to finalize Veronica's adoption in South Carolina court. They have not made any homecoming plans yet, but Melanie and Matt said they want her home with friends and family.

Read more about case Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, a Minor Child Under the Age of Fourteen Years (12-399)

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Supreme Court
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Padme

    If it had been my child, after three years, I would have understood clearly how cruel and traumatic it would be to take her away from her adoptive parents. She was adopted legally. As the childs' biological father, he clearly didn't do his due diligence to ensure she wasn't adopted. He waited WAY to long to suddenly decide to care for her and take action. He has now caused immeasurable pain to all parties – especially to a child who was suddenly ripped from the arms of her adoptive family after being raised and loved by them for a 3 years. Race has nothing to do with this issue and is only being used as a tool.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  2. Guy Archibald

    Worst case of one-sided reporting I have ever witnessed. Poor white people experiencing the pain of their daughter being taken away at 3 months without any sympathy for the father having her taken away after 3 years? 150 years history of Native children being taken to forced boarding schools, adopted out to white parents because of the raciest notion that white parents can provide a better environment. If that were true then why all the problems when these children grow up and look for their identity?

    This is not just a historic problem. Why don't you do a story about how the 248 Alaska Native Tribes were exempted from the Violence Against Women's act during the recent renewal?

    June 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Sean

      Guy, you must be new to this case; some of us have been following it for over two years. The biological father signed away his rights to contest any adoption prior to the birth. He wanted nothing to do with parenthood, and more specifically, wanted to be free of any financial obligations.

      The reporting may seem one sided because it's difficult to defend child abuse and this incredibly poorly written law that has contributed to hundreds of cases of broken families and destroyed childhoods.

      June 27, 2013 at 11:51 am |
  3. Clare

    The ironic thing is that this woman is highly educated in the field of child development and (when Veronica was still with her) argued that uprooting her (at 27 months) would be traumatic. But clearly (if she can) she will gleefully take this almost four old child away from her father, stepmother, brother, sister, grandparents, home, school, friends and family, move her a thousand miles away, tell her Dusty is no longer her father and call it "adoption"

    June 26, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    • Debra

      This is something that her bio father should have thought about at the beginning. I believe what he did had nothing to do with loving his daughter and wanting what was best for her. He ripped her away from the only people who loved her from the very beginning. I guarantee that Mat and Melanie will do everything they can to make her transition smooth , if she is returned to them. Veronica will know how much she is loved and very much wanted by everyone involved.

      June 28, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  4. Petra

    I just watched your interview with the Capobiancos and found it extremely one-sided. You so openly side with their point of view, focusing only on their feelings, calling them parents and the child "your daughter", and you expressed how happy you were for them. Do you have no compassion for the father's side of the story? The biological father who never wanted his daughter to be adopted. She is his blood and he wants her. If the Capobiancos get her back, how can they expect that the girl will forgive them for this when she is an adult? I wish you could have interviewed the father as well, to give some balance to your program. I usually love your program and share most of the views you express, but this time you are off balance.

    June 26, 2013 at 2:50 am |