Cherokee Child: Baby Veronica Goes Back to SC

    September 24, 2013
    Erika Watts
    Comments are off for this post.

The years-long case involving the adoption of a Cherokee child finally seems to have an ending. Baby Veronica, as the 4-year-old child is commonly referred to, is back with her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco. The Capobiancos are thrilled to have their daughter back in their arms and are heading back to their home in Charleston, South Carolina. Baby Veronica lived with her biological father, Dusten Brown, since the end of 2011.

“She’s safely in her parents’ arms,” said Jessica Munday, a spokeswoman for the Capobiancos. “It was smooth. There wasn’t any danger. Hopefully everyone can focus on healing now,” said Munday. The Capobiancos have been waiting to get Baby Veronica back since July, when the United States Supreme Court said that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) law used by Brown to get custody of his daughter didn’t apply.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court granted an emergency stay for the Cherokee child to remain with her father at the end of August, but the stay is now dissolved. According to Tulsa World, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office received the court order at 5 p.m. to transfer Veronica over to the Capobianocs, and Veronica was with them within two and a half hours.

“The court order was directed to us, so we served it,” undersheriff Jason Chennault said. “We gave the Browns time to say goodbye and pack some things for Veronica, some clothes and things.”

Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree said that the transfer of Veronica was difficult on Brown, but that everything went peacefully. Hembree also said that the case, which has went on for years, isn’t over and that more appeals may be filed. “We will assess our legal options in the morning,” Hembree said. “Is this over? I would say not.”

This case has been particularly divisive, as most people are firmly pro-biological father or pro-adoptive parents.

Baby Veronica was given up for adoption by her mother when she was born, and lived with the Capobiancos for more than two years. Veronica’s father, Dusten Brown, signed away his parental rights just as he was about to be shipped off for the Iraq War. Brown said that he didn’t know that his daughter was going to be given up for adoption when he signed the papers and fought to get her back for more than two years.

Veronica was turned over to him because of an issue with the ICWA. Brown is a member of Cherokee Nation, and according to the ICWA law, the Cherokee Nation must be notified of adoptions, which never happened. After Brown took custody of Veronica, the Capobiancos began fighting to get her back and eventually won after the U.S. Supreme Court said that the ICWA law didn’t apply since Veronica’s biological mother is Hispanic.

Image via YouTube

  • Kathy

    This is just wrong on so many levels, the father should have custody of her. Another slap in the face by our government against Native Americans. Just my opinion.

    • Nikki

      He signed away his rights – forever. Period.

    • http://Yahoo Linda

      Mr. Dusten Brown didn’t want anything to do with this child, because he was free wheeling dick sticken worthless piece of trash. He signed over his parental rights. NOW…what if an African American did the same thing? What are we talking….what would happen then? A riot in the town where it happened?

      Piss on ethnic background and realize this is the US and if you don’t like it then move to the Middle East. They will take care of your ethnic background.

      • http://Yahoo Linda

        You are Native American. So be it. Have you ever thought of having the African Americans who have descents of slaves claim the same right?

        How many kids do you have running around that the government is paying for?

      • http://Yahoo Linda

        Do the Native Americans think about the African Americans?

        NOT…read about..well that would be if you can read, we know you can breed and live off the government.

        Great idea..since your find yourself as “one of a kind” in the US…then maybe your should not have any government funds such as food stamps, housing, etc. Live as an Native American…off the land.

      • L C WHITE MAN

        Linda same word for you as Iris and Kay = “C” -word!

    • http://Yahoo Linda

      Why are Native Americans so different than African Americans?

      Ohh I get it the African Americans at one point were slaves and have no claim to fame, however, the Native Americans think differently. May the Native Americans should have been slaves. Color does not matter and ethnicity doesn’t either. If Mr. Native American relinquished his rights–then hell no Dusty boy…be on your way. Color doesn’t matter but that is what old Dusty boy is up to. Maybe he can government assistance and live on dope in a rat infested apartment with her. Sorry, blacks don’t have that defense. Maybe they should all cry slavery!!!!!

      I am as white can be. But I know the game that is played.

      • http://Yahoo Linda

        Ok you are Native American and what gives you any more rights in the US than anybody else. Can I work at your Casino since, I am unemployed and make $65,000 plus extensive benefits?

        • adarc

          So the child 4 year old child has been in the care of the biological father since 2011 (that is 2 years people – half her life), and he fought for her since she was born.

          This is awful – imagine finding out on the Internet when you are say 10 that your REAL dad wanted you, and the people who raised you wouldn’t let him have you.
          Good luck with Veronica’s teen years Capobiancos. You are going to need it.

          • http://yahoo nikki

            I hope the child gives the aopted parents all the grif they deserve for being so selfish and taking her away from her father.Children are better off with own parent who loves them enough to fight for them

    • http://Yahoo Linda

      So you are Native American? What if you were African American…you know your background of slaves in your family?

      He is a worthless dude and needs to go back to Irag or Afganistan to find a woman that will put up with his shit.

      • Chelsea

        Calm the heck down angry white woman!!

  • Kay

    Bottom Line: He shouldn’t have relinquished his parental rights. Whether or not the biological mother had planned on giving the child up for adoption or not, if he had wanted to be a parent to the child, he shouldn’t have signed away his parental rights.
    He needs to take accountability for his actions. He didn’t give any thought to his daughter and what the outcome of her life would be when he signed away his rights. For example: If the biological mother had kept the baby, yet the mother died, the baby would have been put up for adoption. His “adoption” argument is very weak.


      He wasn’t given the straight story – he had not been told the Mother planned to give the child away. If this was a WHITE BB, YOU would be on the other side of the argument – BIGOT!

  • furaflyin333@yahoo.com

    Linda, you’re obviously closed minded. You’re not listening to anyone. You’re having a conversation with yourself. Take a break.

    • furaflyin333@yahoo.com

      And good luck to the baby and everyone involved.

  • Candi

    This is so wrong…the father must be devastated…If she were in a battle and was black…the courts would have sided with the biological parents…with the lame reason that they need to have that pride of Afro-American heritage….THIS IS JUST WORNG…

  • Cathy

    As being a person who was adopted I would be very angry to find out that my bilogical father wanted me but I was adopted any way, unless there was some reason that he wasn’t capable of caring for a child I think she should be with her father. I hope those adoptive parents are going to be ready to deal with that some day.

    • Iris

      He signed his rights away. If he wanted to fight it, he shouldn’t have relinquished.

      • Megan

        Hello , He did fight! Do you have any inkling what so ever that going to war in Iraq has on your psyche? He probably did not know if he was going to make it home. He tried to get her back. I just hope that she will know where she comes and not just a fun place to visit. If they really loved her they would move to the Indian Reservation and raise her there, to ensure she grew up in her heritage. But then again that would require real sacrifice and that is what Dusten Brown showed when he sent her back was real sacrifice, real love and from a parent. My great grandmother was a native amercian removed from her home by the government, never to return and as her descendents we have no idea what the customs are and what traditions to follow. So maybe her adoptive family will live long enough to see the wrong they have caused to her.

      • L C WHITE MAN

        “C” – Word!

  • Iris

    To all those who say this was wrong. Guess what, the father SIGNED his rights away and they probably have a transcript of it somewhere. They will ask ON THE RECORD if this is what he wants to do and if he is of sound, mind, and body when he does it. If they got that on a record, then that’s it. He had no more rights. He DID sign his rights away and they ask if he’s under duress or anything like that. There’s no going back on it. Relinquishment is final and he could’ve fought them at any step. Courts FIND the father and give every effort to locate them. If he was overseas, they would’ve found out or found his next of kin. He HAD to have notice or they would have to prove efforts to locate him.

    Native American children in the court systems are treated special and so MANY steps have to be taken and a record has to be kept. Period.


      One Word for You, Iris = ‘C’-word!

  • Marilyn


    • Marilyn Yamamoto

      for the commenters who assume that V. lived with the adoptive couple for 2 years while Dusten was twiddling his thumbs, that is not correct. He filed for custody immediately after he discovered that waiving his rights was a go-ahead for Mom to approve an adoption. He objected, but the court took the 2 years to reverse the custody. While he should not have relinquished his rights, he tried to correct that when his daughter was only 4 months old. Young enough to have been spared all this trauma to HER simply because an adoptive couple can’t foresee what this child is likely to suffer when she understands the truth and has to deal with it.

  • http://facebook chantal govender

    Considering the fact that mr brown had no knowledge that he was signing over adoption .one has to consider the circumstances from the way this all took off. Why wasn’t the father sitting in for interviews of the adoption and counselling both parents to make sure they no what they are doing all adoptions the parties was suppose to meet and have their say. In this case the father had no knowledge that the mother was giving their baby for adoption. Irrespective if the parents are not legally married or living separate lives the father still has rights over his child. He had no knowledge of the mothers decision although the mother at that time was the advocating parent for veronica the father should have been giving consent in respect of the adoption both mother and father should have equal rights of their baby if the mother didn’t want to raise the baby then the next of kin is the father did any law officials approach MR Brown to advise him what was going on with his child NO even social workers didn’t advise him the courts took it upon themselves to to make a decision on returning the baby to the adoptive parents and failing MR broqn his rights over his child. Mr Brown has his right to his child before any other person be it court social services or adoptive parents. The law needs to be amended this is not right NR brown was robbed of his child coz no officials explained him from day one what the wifes intention was. So now we the people want what’s best in the interest of the child to be given back to her father. The man is telling url loudly he didn’t think he’s signing the baby off to strangers so he should b given a chance to claim his child considering the circumstances of this case MR brown pleez appeal the courts decision ur child belong to u if the mother didn’t want her u are the next of kin and not strangers

    • Alice

      It looks like he signed the paperwork because he was being deployed to Iriq and it appeared to be the best for the child in case he did not come back. He was never notified of the adoption and thought what he did was best for the baby at the time. Not fair. this is the first time I have seeb an explanation of his reason for giving up his parental rights. Come on guys, people have been known to sign away their rights to a child just to keep from pauing child support this man had a good reason and makes sense.

      Amen. Men have signedd away their rights becasuse they did not want to pay child support and gotten their rights back after the DHS has become involved and guess what still had to pay child support. So, why were these people able to get by the Indian law by treaty of the US Government. Still eradicating the tribes arent they? I find this rul9ing disgusting. But why am I surprised, afgte all the Federal Government has broken every treaty they ever made with the Indians.. Sorry , politically correct: Indiginess American People.


    This Country put the Native Population into Prisoner of War Camps, calling them “Reservations” to dissuade you from actually admitting THE FACT THAT “MANIFEST DESTINY” is “CHRISTIAN SPEAK” for GENOCIDE.
    MURDER the Old, the Women and the Children while the Men are away hunting. Dishonor Treaty after Treaty, impose rules on them AFTER Stealing the Land from them AND place MONUMENTS to people responsible for all this action ON LAKOTA LAND (Mount Rushmore).
    Then, with all THAT as a Foundation, have the Raw Unencumbered HUBRIS to dare and tell another country how to behave towards those around them.

  • Keismi Rosa

    Excellent! I’m so sick of all the pandering to the Indians. Get over it, guys. The stronger people prevailed and you should be happy you weren’t eradicated by the conquerors, as has happened to so many populations all over the world. If this guy had been able to read beyond the 2d grade level, maybe he’d have understood that he was signing away his rights to the kid.