Baby Veronica heading to South Carolina, court denies father’s rehearing
OKLAHOMA CITY- A major decision was made Wednesday by the South Carolina Court of Appeals in the custody case of Baby Veronica.
Baby Veronica was given up for adoption by her mother here in Oklahoma.
She was adopted by a couple in South Carolina and her biological mother was granted open adoption privileges.
When Veronica was 2-years-old, her adoptive family was forced to hand her over to her biological father, Dusten Brown.
Brown used his status as a Cherokee Indian to argue that federal law guaranteed him the right to raise her.
Authorities say Brown had given up his rights to the child before she was born but later changed his mind.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Veronica should never have been returned to her biological father.
It said the Indian Child Welfare Act should not have applied to the case since Brown abandoned her before she was born.
Last week, the South Carolina Supreme Court ordered that Veronica should be given back to her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, and the adoption should be finalized.
Shortly after that ruling, Brown filed for a rehearing.
He claimed there was no hearing to determine if the court’s ruling was in Veronica’s best interest.
However, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals of South Carolina decided to deny that request Wednesday.
In the court’s ruling, it says that since Brown did not take any steps to be a father prior to her adoption, they did not have to consider his parental rights in the case.
It said, “We have consistently held that under state law, the Birth Father’s parental rights (because of his irrefutable lack of support, interest and involvement in the life of [Baby Veronica) would be terminated.”
Therefore, the court approved the finalization of the adoption by the South Carolina couple and terminated Brown’s rights.
Custody of Veronica will now be transferred to the Capobiancos.