Children are a true blessing. Some couples try for years to have children, and when they are not successful, adoption becomes the best way to have a family. In the case of Matt and Melanie Capobianco, years of trying unsuccessfully to have a biological child led them to their beautiful 3 year old adopted daughter, Veronica, only to have her taken away because of issues in the court – not the loving home.
Biological father, Dusten Brown and Cherokee Native American, was engaged to his ex-finance when they were found to be pregnant. The relationship ended and he said he would give up parental rights so he wouldn’t have to pay child support. She in turn put the child up for an open adoption knowing full well she would not be able to take care of well a third child on her own. With a good relationship with the Capobianco’s and both parties being there from the beginning of little Veronica’s life, the father was nowhere in the picture. However, once he found out she went up for adoption, he then fought to have his daughter back using the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 to support his actions. Because federal law trumps state law, the Capobiancos were forced to give Veronica to her biological father, even though he never was in her life to begin with, at the age of 2, by the South Carolina courts after his deployment to Iraq. Of course, the Capobiancos are appealing and the U.S. Supreme Court will hear and decide on the case.
The issue remains if a non-custodial parent can gain parental custody after the mother who is not Native American wanted adoption outside of the tribe. The United States and the Native Americans are sensitive to making sure children of Native American tribes are not adopted out of the tribes to make sure they are in the tribes and fall under the Interior Department jurisdiction giving tribes unique benefits and rights.
If you are in an adoption fight, contact a family lawyer who will be able to stand up for your family rights. An attorney in the Illinois area will be able to work with you.
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos