Aug 10, 2013

Capobianco Adoption

Capobianco Adoption, Years into their attempt to adopt a Cherokee girl, Matt and Melanie Capobianco say they can empathize with any sadness the girl’s biological father might be feeling after being ordered to turn her over to them.

In late 2011, the Charleston-area couple was in a lawyer’s office, tearfully handing over Veronica – whom they’d raised since birth – to the father, Dusten Brown, who lives in Nowata in northeastern Oklahoma.

“It was the worst day of our lives, but we also knew then and we know now that it isn’t about the adults. It’s about her,” Melanie Capobianco told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “We had to follow the rule of law. And if we were going to have a chance to get her back, we had to hand her over.”

The Capobiancos relinquished custody of the girl after a South Carolina court ruled in 2011 that federal law governing the placement of American Indian children favored Brown, a member of the Cherokee Nation, as her custodian.

That ruling was upheld by the state Supreme Court, which based its ruling on the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, a law seeking to keep Indian children from being taken from their homes and placed with non-Indian adoptive or foster parents.