Baby Veronica Handed Back to Adoptive Parents But Is This Right?

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Baby Veronica, the adorable curly-haired 4-year-old who has been at the center of one of the country's most contentious custody battles, has reportedly been handed over to her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco. The couple had been fighting to get back custody of the little girl they adopted ever since, at 27 months old, she was taken away from them and handed back to her father, Dusten Brown, a member of Cherokee Nation. Veronica's birth mother put the girl up for adoption while she was still pregnant. The mother and her fiance at the time, Dusten, began arguing and cut off communication with each other, but apparently not before Dusten text messaged her that he gave up his parental rights. Courts would later say this is not binding. At any rate, very shortly after Veronica's birth, Dusten began fighting it.

The legalities of what happened here are complex and there are plenty who side with Dusten, plenty with the Capobiancos. But I can't help wondering what it is going to be like for a little girl who has now lived with her biological father and his family for two years to suddenly be wrested away from them.

She does not understand legalities. Adults can barely understand them.

At least from what media reports were showing, Veronica was blossoming in her home and doing well. I certainly understand that having raised her from the time she was an infant, the adoptive parents must have been a tremendous bond with her and simply wanted their little girl back.

But in a country with so many fathers who slack off on their parental duties, or who don't even do them at all, here we have a man who is willing to do anything to keep his little girl. Should that not be commended and rewarded somehow?

No word on whether the adoptive parents will even let him visit. It would be understandable that they'd have some negative feelings toward him and not want him having a relationship with her. But how is she going to feel about all of this when she's old enough to understand it -- old enough to understand that she had a father who wanted her, wanted her badly, and she was taken away from him? Something about this doesn't sit right.

There are so many children in the world who aren't wanted at all. I'm going to ask the obvious question as to whether or not the Capobiancos could have found it in themselves to let go of Veronica and to find another little girl or boy who desperately needed a home.

It will be interesting to see what kind of relationship Veronica has with her parents when she's older.

What do you think of this decision?

Image via CBS News

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jrphelps jrphelps

He relinquished his rights when he thought the mother was going to be the one raising her.  He didn't want to pay child support.  Once he found out he wasn't going to be screwing the mother over financially & that the baby would have a great life THAT is when he started fighting.  The baby should have never been taken away from the adopted parents in the 1st place.

nonmember avatar Sindy Walker

The Capobiancos won the battle but they didn't win the war. Yes they may have won in the courts and they will have another 14 years until she is 18 to raise her. But all over the internet, on news sights and in newspapers it will be recorded how much he wanted her and fought for her.

There will come a day when Veronica asks her biological parents, "If my dad loved me why did you take me away?"

Great article!

Robin McLain Smith

He never gave up his rights to be in his daughter's life. He gave custody to bio mom as he was leaving to serve our country in IRAQ.. He never intended to be out of his daughter's life, but the C's and bio mom had a plan that did not include him... A very sad situation for this child who has lost not only her real parents, but also her very large extended family and even her beloved pets. The C's are scum of the earth in my opinion...

fave82 fave82

They adopted her as their own and had custody of her for the first two years of her life.. They can't just run out and pick another kid up like shes a puppy!

nonmember avatar Sarah

Jrphelps, way to twist the facts. You cannot relinquish your rights via text message. Conveniently, the birth mother will not reveal what she said in that conversation, but his text indicates he is responding to something she said ("I see you have thought a lot about this").

Regardless, the text message had nothing to do with this case. That's a red herring the media likes to throw around. It boils down to whether or not her supported the birth mom during her pregnancy. He says he tried and she says he didn't. The truth is anyone's guess.

The most shocking thing about this case, regardless of who you side with, is the failure of South Carolina to conduct a best interest hearing. On what planet can an adoption be finalized without a best interest hearing? The GAL told the U.S. Supreme Court that there needed to be a hearing based on current circumstances. But, after they made their decision and remanded to SC, the GAL flip flopped and said that a hearing was unnecessary. That doesn't strike everyone has weird? No matter who you side with, adoptions should not be finalized without a hearing to determine whether adoption is in that child's best interest. That did not happen here because Veronica's best interest has never been the true focus of this case. The adults are more focused on what they "deserve" and who is entitled to her. The courts have simply encouraged this behavior.

nonmember avatar Tonya

This makes me sick. Adoption is intended to find a home for a child, NOT a child for a home. This child HAS a home. And a FAMILY. The Capobiancos are baby buyers. Period.

fave82 fave82

UM, and if you give up your rights, then you GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS. You don't "just give up rights to the bio mom" ... you give them up, then you have no rights, they are gone, poof.

nonmember avatar Holly

This whole thing makes me sick. Poor, poor baby. I sympathize with the adoptive parents but I think she should stay with her dad.

jrphelps jrphelps

Right fave82!  She gave him the option of child support or giving up his rights.  Guess which one he chose...give up his rights because he didn't want to SUPPORT his child (not child & mother...HIS child!).  He wanted her to be a single mom doing it on her own.  When that didn't work, he changed his mind.  He wanted the mom to suffer.

nonmember avatar Sarah

Fave82, have you read the court decisions in this case? The court decisions have nothing to do with him "giving up his rights." 1. Saying "I think I will sign my rites away" in a text message is not legally binding." 2. the TPR he signed was presented to him 6 days before he deployed in a parking lot without legal counsel. The bio mom admittedly had never mentioned adoption to him so he did not think that the papers were for an adoption. The courts did not base their decisions on the TPR. The issue is whether he "abandoned" the baby. Under SC law, if you do not provide financial support during the pregnancy, you have effectively abandoned the child. He says he tried and the birth mother says he didn't. That is the issue.

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