UPDATE: Baby Veronica is now back with her adoptive parents. She is the child of Cherokee descent caught in a custody battle that has garnered national attention.
Veronica went back to her legal adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco around 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Cherokee Marshal’s building.
It was just steps from the home that Dusten Brown, Baby Veronica’s biological father, had recently stayed in with his wife Christina Maldonado, according to Cherokee County undersheriff Jason Chennault.
The Browns, having said goodbye from behind closed doors, watched from the house’s front window as a deputy and marshal led the 4-year-old girl to the nearby building.
Supporters of the Cherokee family stood outside the home signs in hand in the hours prior to Veronica’s transfer, prompted by the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s lifting of the emergency stay in the case earlier in the day.
That order was made shortly after custody negotiations broke down between the Capobiancos and Dusten Brown.
UPDATE 6:32 p.m. - Christina Maldonado, the biological mother of Veronica Capobianco (aka Baby Veronica) spoke with a reporter. Ms. Maldonado received no compensation of any kind and she spoke candidly about the entire ordeal from pregnancy and adoption to the current status of the custody battle over Baby Veronica.
Ms. Maldonado addresses the moment she received a text from Veronica’s biological father, Dusten Brown, where he stated he wanted to sign away his rights as a father. She also sends a direct message to Dusten Brown asking him to turn Veronica over.
UPDATE 5:51 p.m. – With today’s decision of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the Capobianco family’s long legal nightmare finally has come to an end. Matt and Melanie cannot wait to bring Veronica home and begin the healing process as a reunited family. Their hope now is that the Brown family and Cherokee Nation will return Veronica peacefully and voluntarily, rather than following through with their previous threats to continue to ignore court orders and place Veronica in a dangerous and traumatic situation.
UPDATE 3:56 p.m. – The Oklahoma Supreme Court has lifted a ruling that was keeping 4-year-old Veronica here in Oklahoma with her biological father, Dusten Brown.
However, since Veronica is on tribal land near Tahlequah, a tribal or federal court order would be required to take her from there.
The case will now go back to the Oklahoma Supreme Court but Veronica may not be in Oklahoma for the process.
When the court order was lifted Monday afternoon, that cleared the way for Veronica’s adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, to take her back to South Carolina.
It is unknown whether she will go or not.
TULSA, Okla. – The custody battle over baby Veronica, who is now 4 years old, is headed back to the state Supreme Court.
The Tulsa World reported the families have not reached a settlement in the case so the settlement judge is sending the case back to the state’s highest court.
Monday the settlement judge released a statement:
“The settlement conference ordered by the Oklahoma Supreme Court began last Monday morning and was concluded this Monday morning with no settlement agreement being reached. All the parties negotiated in good faith in my opinion and have been represented by lawyers of competence, skill and diligence. It is a procedurally and substantively complex case, which we simply were unable to resolve by a settlement agreement. As a consequence, the settlement conference was adjourned this morning, and the parties and their attorneys instructed that all gag orders remain operative and in effect.”
Previously, the Okla. Supreme Court assigned the case to a Tulsa appeals court where the families have been for the last five days but they have not reached a settlement.
The question at the center of this legal battle, will Veronica return to her legal adoptive parents in South Carolina with who she spent the first 27 months of her life?
Or will she stay in Oklahoma with her biological father, Dusten Brown, who gave her up before she was born, where she has been for the last two yeas?