News |   Obits |   Sports |   Business |   Opinion |   Things to Do |   Life |   Blogs |   Photos |   Video |   Data |   Jobs |   Homes |   Autos |   Buy/Sell


Warrant issued in SC adoption case

  • Follow Metro

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The father of a Cherokee Indian girl at the center of an adoption dispute that has reached the U.S. Supreme Court faces arrest because he hasn’t turned over his 3-year-old daughter to the adoptive parents in South Carolina, as ordered by a family court last week.

Dusten Brown faces a charge of custodial interference, according to a statement from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday.

Cherokee Nation spokeswoman Amanda Clinton called the action “morally reprehensible” and “legally questionable.”

“The attorneys, the courts and the adoptive couple in this case were keenly aware of Dusten’s commitment, but clearly chose to ignore it,” Clinton said in a written statement. “This case is still not yet fully litigated. So to take these steps when there are pending legal actions in South Carolina, Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation courts is appalling.”

Brown, who is Cherokee, is training with the National Guard in Iowa. The sheriff’s office said he is expected to turn himself in to military authorities today when he returns for duty.

“Not only is the adoptive couple asking this child be ripped from her father while he is serving our country, they are also endangering his military career in the process,” Clinton said. “This is outrageous conduct.”

Matt and Melanie Capobianco have been trying to adopt 3-year-old Veronica since her birth in 2009 and raised the girl for two years. She has been living with Brown in Oklahoma since 2011, when South Carolina’s Supreme Court ruled that federal law governing the placement of American Indian children favored him as her custodian.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that South Carolina courts should decide who gets to adopt Veronica. South Carolina courts had originally said the federal Indian Child Welfare Act favored her living with her father, and Brown took custody in 2011.

Last week, South Carolina Family Court Judge Daniel Martin finalized the Capobiancos’ adoption of the girl. As part of that proceeding, he approved a transition plan detailing a gradual process for reintroducing the girl to the couple.

According to the court, Brown didn’t show up with the girl for the first of those scheduled gatherings Aug. 4 – a date the couple says was set by the judge and to which Brown’s attorneys did not object.

On Monday, Martin ordered that Veronica be turned over immediately to the couple.

The girl’s biological mother, Chrissy Maldonado, who is not Indian and favors the adoption, has filed a lawsuit against the federal government claiming the Indian Child Welfare Act is unconstitutional. She has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to declare some parts of it illegal.

Maldonado has claimed that the law uses race to determine with whom a child should live, and therefore is a violation of equal-protection laws.

Several American Indian groups are also pursuing a federal civil rights case, saying a hearing should be held to determine if it is in Veronica’s best interest to be transferred to South Carolina.

Comments (3) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
soapy_725
43555
Points
soapy_725 08/11/13 - 10:29 am
0
0
And Solomon said, "Lets cut the child in two parts...." The End
Unpublished

And Solomon said, "Lets cut the child in two parts...." The End

soapy_725
43555
Points
soapy_725 08/11/13 - 10:30 am
0
0
Where is "The Dreamer" when we need him?
Unpublished

Where is "The Dreamer" when we need him?

soapy_725
43555
Points
soapy_725 08/11/13 - 10:32 am
0
0
Why did Yusan make so many white eyes and so few Apache?
Unpublished

Why did Yusan make so many white eyes and so few Apache?

Darby
23672
Points
Darby 08/11/13 - 10:44 am
2
0
Has anyone considered what's best

for the child? If so, I can't find any mention of it in the above article.

KSL
122171
Points
KSL 08/12/13 - 01:26 am
0
1
How much Indiian do you have

How much Indiian do you have to be? Elizabeth Warren comes to mimd.

Darby
23672
Points
Darby 08/12/13 - 11:05 am
1
0
"Elizabeth Warren comes to mimd."

Let's not ever, forget Ward Churchill.

Liberals/progressives have such wonderful, productive imaginations.

Most especially when it puts other folks money into their pockets.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs