On June 25 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision in the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl that validated the rights of adoptive parents.
But it wasn’t until Monday night in Oklahoma that the girl at the center of those legal proceedings — 4-year-old Veronica — was reunited with the Capobianco family of Charleston, S.C.
“Veronica, whose biological father (Dusten Brown) is a member of the Cherokee Nation and whose biological mother in not Native American, had lived with the Capobiancos from birth until she was 27 months old, when Brown was awarded custody under the Indian Child Welfare Act,” the Associated Press reported Tuesday. “But a U.S. Supreme Court decision later went against Brown, and a South Carolina court finalized the Capobiancos' adoption of the girl earlier this year.”
NBC News’ Gabe Gutierrez and M. Alex Johnson wrote, “Dusten Brown said goodbye to Veronica at Jack Brown House, the tribal headquarters where they have been living in Tahlequah. As Brown (watched) from a window, a Cherokee County sheriff's deputy and a Cherokee Nation marshal led Veronica to the nearby marshal's building, where the handover occurred about 7:30 p.m.”
For more background on the Baby Veronica case, listen to the poignant longform story Radiolab first broadcast back in May — after the Supreme Court had heard oral arguments, but before a final decision was rendered.
“(It) is a legal battle that has entangled a biological father, a heart-broken couple, and the tragic history of Native American children taken from their families,” Radiolab reported. “ This case puts one little girl at the center of a storm of legal intricacies, Native American tribal culture, and heart-wrenching personal stakes.”