Michael Overall, World Staff Writer, Tulsa World Discussion »
A family court in Charleston, S.C., plans to have a hearing Wednesday to decide how - not if - to transfer custody of Baby Veronica back to her adoptive parents. Matt and Melanie Capobianco, who raised Veronica from birth but lost custody when she was 2 years old, have consulted with child-welfare experts and have suggested that they might stay in Oklahoma for a while "to ease the transition."
"The Capobiancos have emphasized that no matter what, they intend to make sure the transition home is gradual," said Jessica Munday, a spokeswoman for the couple, "and sensitive to Veronica's needs."
But the Cherokee Nation and Veronica's Cherokee father, who has had custody of her for the past 19 months, haven't given up. And this week is likely to bring a flurry of legal action.
They've already asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the transfer of custody and give Dusten Brown a chance in family court to argue that his daughter would be better of staying with him in Oklahoma.
If that doesn't work, they could ask a court in Oklahoma to declare the South Carolina court order invalid here.
And Brown's wife could file her own court action to assert her rights as a stepmother with legal guardianship, according to court records that have outlined his strategy.
And the Cherokee Nation courts could assert jurisdiction, citing provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act that gives a tribe the right to intervene in the adoption of Indian children.
Meanwhile, the Native American Rights Fund has promised to bring a separate federal lawsuit on Veronica's behalf, alleging that her civil rights have been violated. Read More »
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posted July 30, 2013 7:40 am edt