Law | National

Cover Story: Non-Indian couple not giving up on ICWA dispute





"Matt and Melanie Capobianco spent their adopted daughter Veronica's third birthday 1,200 miles away from her. They wrote their wishes for her on purple balloons and released them into the sky. The day before, the local newspaper ran a story quoting the lawyer for Veronica's biological father, who said the girl no longer recognized the Capobiancos in photos. The couple says they find that hard to believe.

But so much of the past 10 months seems barely imaginable. The Capobiancos are private people, but the story of how they lost custody of their adopted daughter to her biological father has run in publications around the country and on national television, including CNN and Fox News. Their story will air on Dr. Phil's show later this fall. Melanie's cousin, a Merchant Mariner, even saw them on military television on his way to Singapore.

"We keep telling ourselves, it's not about us, it's about Veronica," Matt says.

Veronica's biological family worries that the media exposure puts the girl at risk, emotionally and physically. However, Melanie, a developmental psychologist, worries how the move away from the only parents she has ever known will affect their adopted daughter. Veronica spent her entire life in a home on James Island, a five-minute drive from Folly Beach. Then, one night, she made the long drive to Oklahoma with a father she had never met."

Get the Story:
Broken Home (The Charleston City Paper 9/26)

South Carolina Supreme Court Decision:
Adoptive Couple v. Cherokee Nation (July 26, 2012)

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Couple wants rehearing in ICWA case of Cherokee Nation girl (8/14)
Court supports return of child to Cherokee father under ICWA (7/26)
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