' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Dusten Brown continues to fight for his daughter; the Capobiancos dig in deeper

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dusten Brown continues to fight for his daughter; the Capobiancos dig in deeper

Veronica and her father, Dusten Brown
Oh, pity the poor Capobiancos. Practically weeping on camera how they want "their daughter," to "come home." The girl is question is Veronica Brown, otherwise known as Baby Veronica in the media.

Then Chris Cuomo on CNN is arguing the "legal rights" in this case this morning, and how it has been settled--thus, the father of Baby Veronica (now Toddler Veronica, as she will be four next month), Dusten Brown ought to just get with the program, and turn over his child to the would-be adopters. He nods to the another member of the New Morning show, Michele Pereira, whose family "has embraced" adoption. (How, I do not know.)

Then CNN's legal analyst Ashley Banfield is talking about how the law that presumably should apply in this case, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), is an "old, old law." Since since the girl in question is merely "three hundred and fifty-six percent Indian," Banfield dismisses the old, old law, implying it shouldn't apply anyway--though she does offer a soupcon of sympathy for Brown, noting that he was about to ship off to Iraq when he signed the papers. But give the girl to the parents, the court has decided is the overall message I heard this morning. That old law Benfield is talking about? It's from 1978. As for the percentage of Indian blood? That is not the issue. However it was the only legal loophole Brown had after he was tricked into signing off on his daughter's adoption. Human compassion on the part of the adopters, the Capobiancos, did not enter the equation, or presumably, their self-righteous minds.

A month ago Anderson Cooper said something to the effect--when the Capobiancos were on his evening show--that he "couldn't even imagine" what it would be like to "lose your child"--as if Matt and Melanie Capobianco were not the adoptive parents fighting to take a child from her natural father, as if Brown were the bad guy.

We are not going to argue the points of the ICWA law--that's been done earlier and elsewhere--but discuss the bulk of the media coverage which has been biased in favor of the people who want to take a child from her natural, biological father because they can. Because we live in a society that favors adoption, almost without question and nearly whenever possible. Because an addled Supreme Court gave the Capoibiancos their unholy blessing. 

What Dr. Phil and Anderson Cooper and now Chris Cuomo (brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo*) fail to acknowledge is that when the girl's natural father signed an "Acceptance of Service" form, he thought he was giving his daughter's mother, Christy Maldonado, custody. Brown was presented the form in a parking lot shortly before he was to deploy to Iraq. His story--and I believe his story--is that as soon as the Capobianco's laywer made clear that that "Acceptance of Service" papers he had just signed would allow her daughter to be adopted, he tried to grab them back and rip them up. The next day, Brown began his legal fight to regain custody of his daughter.

Yet if you were to listen to the general media hype about this story, he comes across as someone who changed his mind about wanting to raise his daughter. He did not, not once he learned that her mother was not planning to raise her. What Dusten Brown did not want is that his daughter be given to genetic strangers.

The Capobiancos knew from the beginning that there might be an issue with this adoption, but they ignored that. They have said something vague about letting Brown be "involved" in his daughter's life, without promising anything concrete. We know from hearing from first mothers promised "involvement" in their childrens' lives after adoption, how often and how easy it is to ignore that prescription.

The Capobiancos want what they want, and what they want is Brown's child. Veronica has been living with her natural father and his wife for 19 months. With Brown, she has an older sibling (being raised by Brown's first wife) who would continue to be part of her life. Veronica's maternal grandmother is also a factor in her upbringing. We are not going to argue here that she has to stay with her natural family because she has been there for so long--we've seen cases of father's rights drag on for years before the child is returned to the father and his family, and we've argued that is the right decision.

What matters here is the right on an individual to grow up with a natural parent who wants to raise that child, and the right of a father who was, in effect, tricked into agreeing to her adoption. That the Capobiancos have turned their backs on these basic human rights is the great crime here. Every individual, no matter the legalistic issues, or how a particular court decided, should not be denied the right to be with their own people, folks who look like them, and whose carry traits they will soon find in themselves. As soon as Brown made his desire known to raise his own daughter--and by all accounts he is a good father--the Capobiancos should have had the heart and compassion to bow out, and let the child go home to daddy. Her real daddy. That would have happened when she was four months old, not when she was two. And though these cases do not usually make the news, it does happen. We included a blog recently by one such adoptive mother. I once read the story of the food writer Ruth Riechl returning a child to the birth mother. Certainly there are other examples.

We have noted before the inherent bias of Justice Roberts in this case. Not only is he an adoptive father through suspicious means though, strictly speaking, probably legal, he is a friend to the lawyer, Lori Alvino McGill, representing the girl's mother, Christy Maldonado. We presume McGill, who has posted some very nasty things about Brown on Facebook, is presenting Maldonado pro bono, as Ms. Maldonado is not a woman of means. McGill, who works for a top-drawer law firm in Washington, DC. (Latham & Watkins), is a former clerk of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and her husband clerked for Justice John Roberts when he was with the U. S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. District. One website, Above the Law, has them competing with another couple for the October 2006 "Couple of the Month" designation during the month they married. We read elsewhere that Roberts attended the wedding. Ginsburg, no matter her connection to Lori McGill, signed the minority opinion in this case, which would have allowed Veronica to remain with her father. Roberts signed the majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito. Perhaps both Ginsburg and Roberts, if they have continued close ties to the case through Maldonado's lawyer, should have recused themselves. To be clear, McGill, though not the lawyer for the Capobiancos, or the adoption agency, represents Maldonado and filed an amicus brief. We'd love to know how McGill, who should be 37 now, got involved in the first place. Is she hoping to adopt from Oklahoma herself? Or use the same agency? Was her place in line moved up if she would do this little favor, i.e., represent Maldonado?  All right, I'm suspicious, but sometimes paranoia is knowing all the facts.

Others elsewhere have argued that Roberts, as an adoptive father, thus has a bias for adoption, and should have recused himself on that ground alone. I am going to let that be an open question. However, it is worth noting that in the many decades I have been involved working to unseal original birth certificates, and if necessary, adoption files, to adoptees and their original parents, the staunchest foes of open records often turn out to be attorneys who are also--adoptive fathers. 

As for Christy Maldonado, Veronica's biological mother, while we have not heard much about her, she comes across as a woman who only wants to do best by her child--and that is, give her to someone other than the her father. She wrote a heavily edited piece for The Washington Post claiming that. In fact, according to Indian Country, a review of court documents in Oklahoma, and in interviews with those who knew Maldonado before and during her relationship with Brown, she has a less than stellar history. Her previous liaisons indicate lots of turmoil, featuring restraining orders, lawsuits, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and ongoing custody and child support disputes with her two older childrens' father:
“All along, she has been painted by the adoption team as this saintly, Thomas Kinkade-hued single mother who was raising two kids and selflessly gave her child to an infertile couple,” says a former friend. “That's been the narrative. But the reality is that it's common knowledge in Bartlesville (OK) that Christy Maldonado does not have custody of her two other kids. They are living with their paternal grandmother in Oklahoma. She's actually the one who pays child support and has visitation.”
We have yet to see how this case will finally turn out. After the Supreme Court decision, Veronica's adoption by the Capobiancos was finalized in South Carolina, where they live. The couple has traveled to Oklahoma, where Brown lives, and as I write their attorneys are meeting. Since Brown failed to show up at a court-mandated appointment with them, a warrant for his arrest was issued Saturday for felony "custodial interference." Brown turned himself in to Sequoyah County (OK) authorities on Monday and was released on bond. He refused extradition unless ordered by Oklahoma authorities. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin initially said she would give Brown until Sept. 12, allowing him a chance to fight the legality of his arrest. But after hearing Brown denied what the Governor called a "reasonable request" from the Capobiancos to visit Veronica on Wednesday, Fallin said she would have no trouble speeding up extradition. And another similar case involving a child with Indian blood in Oklahoma being illegally whisked to South Carolina has cropped up. Raymond W. Godwin--who was the original adoption attorney for Matt and Melanie Capobianco--is the very same South Carolina attorney involved in this case. Something is indeed rotten in Godwin's office, and it's not rotting fish.

It is almost certain that the heartless Capobiancos will not do the right thing by the daughter they claim is "theirs": allow her to stay with her natural father and grow up with people to whom she is related, by kith and kin. The Capobiancos are dug in too deep. As for the deeply flawed decision of the Roberts Supreme Court? Anybody remember Dred Scott? That 1857 decision of the Supreme Court held that African Americans, whether slave or free, could not be American citizens and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court. This decision, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, falls in the same category. A little girl, and her father, will pay the price.--lorraine
*And if anybody wonders, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has done nothing to repeal New York law dating from 1935 that sealed the original birth records of all adopted individuals, despite heavy lobbying and many many supporters in the legislature. See Letter to the Editor: Adoptees deserve greater access to records | Brooklyn Daily Eagle 

"Baby" Veronica Is Growing Up: ICWA, 2 Families, & Now an Arrest
Media Failures Lead to Flawed Understandings in Cherokee Adoption Case
Some Disturbing Facts About Baby Veronica's Birth Mother
Your October 2006 Couple of the Month 
WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Lori Alvino, Matthew McGill
Matthew D. McGill
Second Indian Infant Whisked to South Carolina for Quickie Adoption

Adoptive father John Roberts: Not impartial in the Baby Veronica case
'Baby Veronica' adoption will go forward
Supreme Court rules against Indian father, limits Indian Child Welfare Act
Adoptive parent shares thoughts on having returned a girl to her mother

One Small Sacrifice: A Memoir (Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects) Award-winning Native American journalist Trace A. DeMeyer has published her updated memoir, an exposé on generations of American Indian children adopted by non-Indian families. Known for her exceptional print interviews with famous Native Americans such as Leonard Peltier, John Trudell and Floyd Red Crow Westerman, DeMeyer started research on adoptees in 2004, which lead to this fact-filled biography that includes congressional testimony, evidence of Indian Adoption Projects and how the Indian Child Welfare Act came to exist. Her long journey to find and meet her father and other relatives offers the reader a glimpse into the struggle of an adoptee and how to never give up hope. --Amazon (Order by clicking on title or book jacket above.)


  1. Great piece, Lorraine. I have been doing a lot of research on this case and it was determined by both the South Carolina Family Court and the South Carolina Supreme Court that Mr. Brown did not intend and did not consent to having his daughter given up for adoption. If the C's do prevail, I will truly be in fear for our country. If one parent, in this case the father, did not consent to adoption and the child is adopted anyway, then I don't believe that any unmarried parent, whether male or female, can truly feel secure in having custody of his/her child.

    There has been so much mudslinging at Mr. Brown. But to me he is a hero. He has repeatedly been called a sperm donor and a deadbeat. But what kind of sperm donor is willing to go to jail in order to keep his child (as Dusten said he is willing to do)? Did he make mistakes at first and act like a jerk? Yes, but who amongst us hasn't? And he doesn't deserve to be, and certainly little Ronnie doesn't deserve to be, punished for those mistakes forever. Certainly not when Dusten has shown himself to be a fit, loving and devoted father who only wants the best for his daughter.

    I fear for Veronica's future. I think she will be petrified, terrified actually to have to leave her home with her father and extended family and move to a different part of the country. South Carolina has a different culture than Oklahoma. And while they are both in the same country, Veronica has a right to grow up with her own roots.

    I also worry that in the long run, she could end up with essentially no family at all. That she will be disconnected for over a decade from her biological family and that she will not bond enough to her adoptive family. I cannot stand how our culture refuses to acknowledge that being adopted is very different that being raised in one's natural family.

    It is in Oklahoma's hands now. And we need to keep the pressure on that state's Governor and Attorney General. Veronica is Dusten Brown's child. She is NOT the Copabianco's daughter.

  2. I still think 35 days to "change your mind" about an adoption is ridiculous- you can't even drive for two weeks if you have a c-section. Anyway, why won't these adopters back off?? Family preservation should Always be at the heart of adoption, pre adoption therapy and I have all kinds of crazy ideas. I got involved in adoption and as a dumb birthmother thought people "better" than me shpould "have" my child. I'd take the whole thing back if I could. Cappanos or whater your name is- adopt an orphan or foster. Leave this family alone. Maybe they will send you pictures and a yearly update.

  3. Well done, Lorraine. I have been following the case since the very beginning and have reviewed the court cases. What I don't understand and that needs to be pointed out again and again...is that the interstate adoption approval certification to move Veronica from OK to SC was filled with mis-information. Christy told the agency that Dusten was an enrolled Cherokee. They filed the paperwork with the Cherokee Nation for confirmation of his enrollment with a his name spelled incorrectly and the wrong DOB. The Nation replied they could not confirm membership with the information provided. The C's then filed the interstate transfer with Veronica being listed as being Hispanic- even when her mother told them that Dusten was an enrolled Cherokee. Rather than looking into the issue further, the C's proceeded with the transfer of custody to SC. They knew from the beginning that there was issue with the adoption, ICWA and Dusten wanting to parent. The SC Supreme Court even indicated that there was wrongdoing on part of the C's and the agency. I don't doubt that Nightlight encouraged Christy NOT to have any contact with Dusten, and at the end only to text requesting he turn over custody. Its been done often when they send mother's to give birth in Utah- text the father that you plan to give the child up for adoption and that's the notice. In this case- because SC law doesn't require father's permission in adoption when he has not lived for 6months with the mother and supported her during pregnancy, they were covering all bases to defraud him of his paternal rights. How can legislator's expect father's to support the mother when she refuses... is beyond common sense. But adoption is about the money... and they do this to make it easier to get adoptions thru the court process. When will the US Gov't wake up and realize that they are allowing US children to be trafficked across state lines? Probably when the son of a powerful politician is in Dusten's position.

  4. Veronica Capobianco belongs with her parents, Matt & Melanie Capobianco in South Carolina. You can make all the excuses you want for Veronica's sperm donor but the fact is he signed away his parental rights and HE ADMITTED it himself when questioned by the justices. He himself admitted he refused to provide financial support to the bio mother or Veronica unless the woman married him. He was also $11,000.00 delinquent in child support to another child and had to be sued for child support. Clearly...this man is not Veronica's father and quite frankly...in my opinion he doesn't deserve to be anyone's father.

  5. "Anonymous," stuff a sock in it.

    1. The lawyer didn't tell Dusten what he was signing until after he signed it. Soon as the lawyer told him what he signed, he tried to snatch it back, and the lawyer told him he'd have him arrested if he did. So Dusten turned around and gave his father power of attorney and arranged for legal action to be taken while he was deployed.

    2. You are confusing DustEn Brown with a DustIn Brown. DustEn has two children and is on good terms with the mother of the older child, and either gets frequent visitation or has joint custody. If he were in arrears with THAT child, believe you me, it'd be all over the papers. There are no others besides her and Veronica, to anyone's knowledge.

    We have the same access to the Internet as you do. You could have gotten away with this 20 years ago but those days are GONE, sucka.

  6. Hey, Anonymous, August 15, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Apparently you didn't learn what a father factually is. Allow me to attempt to educate you in the hopes you will learn and respect.

    A father is:

    any male ancestor, especially the founder of a race, family, or line; progenitor.

    a man who exercises paternal care over his children - providing for them

    a male person who has originated something.

    a male parent.

    What is a parent?

    A parent is:

    an ancestor, precursor, or progenitor.

    a source, origin, or cause.

    any organism (a living being) that produces or generates another.

    So you see, Dusten Brown IS a father in every meaning of the word. For him to be simply a "sperm donor", he'd have to have taken the sperm of another man, and with that other man's permission, donated the sperm on that other man's behalf, and then if that other man's sperm resulted in a new life, then guess what, that other guy would be a father too.

    You people who want to debase biology as if it's equal to adopters, or less than, are demented, and that's the truth. We don't exist without the biological process of procreation, in which whether it's via doctor mixing it up in a lab, or sex, it still requires the biological parts from a man and a woman, in order for a new human being to even become a possible result!

    That is why parents, the ones whom without, none of us would exist, have precedence, and it should be honored, respected, not violated nor nullified.

    Parents, by most sane, intelligent people are known to be fallible, since they are still a human being. Parents shouldn't have their kids taken from them and treated as if they're no longer the parents and their children no longer their children, just because they make some mistakes!

  7. Anonymous August 15, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    You need to know the facts before you form or express an opinion.

    Dusten wanted to be a family with him Veronica and Christy. Christy became vengeful because due to Dusten's busy military career she felt neglected, and like a selfish spoiled immature child, she decided to eff him over AND profit materially and financially, by selling THEIR daughter, Christy and Dusten's!

    He offered her support on various levels, she refused, repeatedly! Til she cut off all contact, with no warning no explanation! You think for a guy in love with a woman, for her to do that, it wouldn't be a harsh blow and leave him wounded? Guys have feelings too! So yeah, he acted out in his hurt, WHO HASN'T! The point is, it wasn't that he didn't want his daughter, didn't want to take care of her, he was desperate and confused, wanting and hoping, for Christy to knock it off and come back to him, with THEIR daughter, so they could all be a family!

    He signed what he thought were papers of relinquishment of custody, to HER, Christy! Based on her negative and inexplicable behavior, he didn't want to make matters worse! Which he likely thought was a very real possibility if he tried to force himself into her and his daughter's life! He like most normal people, hoped that if he just stepped back, wasn't intrusive, that eventually things would change, and they could at the least, co parent! Him making statements in moments of righteous anger over how she was treating him, about him not going to pay child support, are typical heat of the moment comments, and one he in his rejected state, likely thought might make her come around, and let him in, if she wanted financially support! Basically what he was saying for people like you, clearly lacking intelligence was "I'm not just going to be an ATM machine to my daughter. I'm not going to just be a financial contributor, when I want to be in her life as the father I am"!

    To fault him for:
    1. What amounts to less than a year of uninvolvement, not out of choice, but because of Christy's rejection, and shunning
    2. Disregarding his stepping up IMMEDIATELY, upon learning that not only was his ex wanting to shirk her responsibility, but she was wanting to execute his right to do so
    3. The fact that he stuck it out for a grueling and hellish, over 2 years fight to get back HIS daughter
    4. The 20 months (on top of the previous 2 years) he's been taking exceptionally good care of her

    Is to err hugely, and it is EVIL, because it shows a complete disregard for the truth, and a complete lack of understanding, empathy, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and love!

    Fathers who take care of their children, and whom do it well, because they want to, not just out of obligation, should be praised, not punished! Their rights should be not just upheld, they should also be protected! Dusten's rights have been violated from the get go, and now, people want to tear down the only legal leg he was fortunate enough to turn to, to regain what he never should have had STOLEN from him EVER!

    Lastly. Even IF, the c's were to recapture Dusten's daughter, they wouldn't have her for long. I know this as fact. She isn't going to grow up with them. She isn't going to have to endure the hell of the realization that as a human being, she was fought for and held hostage, by strangers, who wanted to deny her father in her life as her father, raising her, as meant to be, that they violated her right to him, and his right to her and through it all they participated in, and condoned, all the slander and libel, all the defamation of his character, the stress and heart ache, on him and the rest of her paternal family. No child, if they were truly raised up right, would ever appreciate such an affront on them, AS A CHILD, and on their fit and loving parent!

    Veronica, an innocent child whom even if she said "I want to stay with my daddy", would be denied! That IS EVIL!

  8. Lorraine, you've written an excellent piece. I've been following this story and every time it pops up on Yahoo news, I respond in support of Veronica's right to be with her Dad, Dusten. I've also been referring people to your blog since many seem to have the facts about the story wrong. I think that the very fact that the Capobiancos would take Veronica from her father should raise a huge red flag and immediately disqualify them from parenting any child, let alone one who is not even related to them.

  9. Thank you Lorraine for posting the facts. The lies circulated by the other camp have been trumpeted far and wide and anything that Dusten has said or admitted to has been misconstrued and taken out of context.

    Anonymous (or sheeple - sounds like a perfect name for you), if you represent those supporting the Capobiancos it makes me question the IQ of many of you. It is hilarious that you take something like Dusten supposedly "threatening" not to support the biological mother if she didn't marry him as some sort of concrete proof that he didn't want to raise his daughter. I actually had a giggle when I read that as it makes your argument sooo weak and pathetic it is almost enough to feel sorry for you.

    Thing is, even if Dusten admitted to threatening to cut off his support, what does that actually mean? Logically have you thought about this? Suppose he was desperate to keep her in and his child in his life and it came out in a heated argument? I take it you are so perfect you have never said anything out of turn in an argument? Like say, someone ending an engagement not long before you are being deployed to serve your country?? Taking with her your child and then cutting off contact? So you have been through that experience and handled it perfectly have you? Or are you so devoid of empathy you are unable to place yourself in his shoes you cannot for one second think how desperate he must have felt?

    Do you think if he had that much in debt the army wouldn't have had something to say about that? Do you know what the so called deliquent child support payments are about? Have you lived Dusten's life right along side him? How does that even have a bearing on his desires to RAISE his daughter Veronica? Paying child support for a child you won't get to see and raising a child and having involvment in their life is two totally diffent things and you cannot write him off because you believe the crap in the media.

    On top of all that, who are you to judge him? Again, are you perfect? I imagine if we put your life on display there are many things people could take nad believe about you - wrongly or rightly - that were none of their business.

    At the end of the day, no matter what happened, this needs to be about Veronica now and even if the Capibianocos were suitable (dubious given their actions)candidates to adopt, this child is NOT AVAILABLE for adoption and she has a father who has shown for the last two years he is willing to parent. She is happy and attached and settled and because you and others like you care more about the Capibiancos and what THEY want, you are happy to traumatise her further by ripping her from her family. That says so much more about you, the adopters and anyone else supporting them than it does about Dusten. Read the facts, educate yourself and stop giving a damn about these people who are only in it for themselves. If they cared a drop for this little girl they would realise she is happy and safe and to disrupt her now would harm her so they can just walk away.

    I say this as a mother who lost my own daughter in a corrupt adoption and after a year of fighting, despite it was found in my daughter's best interests and welfare to be returned to me, I lost and chose to walk away so as not to disrupt HER. Despite the fact her adopters are not good people and there were holes in their social welfare report about them and I was found to be fit, I knew continuing the fight for MY daughter would cause her harm if I got her back at 3 or 4 and so I chose heartbreakingly to walk away and I was her REAL mother, not strangers like the adopters aka the Capobianocos. Veronica is NOT their daughter and they are persuing this at great risk to her. Shame on them and anyone who cannot see through the blinkers to see the little girl at the middle of this.

  10. There is going to come a time when Chrissy Maldonaldo and the Capobiancos will pay a price for what they have done to this family. I can not believe the total misinformation that is being put out by these folks. Shame on both of them for doing this to a little girl.
    Chrissy you should not lie on the ICPC form. That will catch up with you.

  11. As usual, great piece, Lorraine.

    LOL @ Anon. 7:18 PM

  12. Lorraine--

    Thanks for this post. All of us involved in exposing adoption scandal, etc. really must do whatever we can right now to help share the facts of this case. W

    Last night, I actually visited the Cap's Facebook page. I posted the following, now deleted of course, but luckily I had already saved it elsewhere:

    When Dusten first contested the adoption, did anyone recommend that all parties sit down together at that time? Or did the lawyers take over on both sides?
    My husband and I were in this same situation. We had a baby girl at home. Her father contested the adoption. Both the birthmother and the attorney claimed he gave up his rights bc he did not support her during the pregnancy. But I could not fight a biological parent for his child. I would not. It was not my place to judge what went on between the bio-parents--my husband and I asked ourselves, "What will we tell her as she grows up when she wonders why she was placed for adoption? That we used our resources against the father who wanted her?" We refused to participate. We will never try to adopt again because we witnessed terrible corruption in the adoption industry. We do not trust the process anymore.
    I am sure you have suffered greatly. I do not doubt that. I am trying so hard to not judge a course of action that is so opposite of my own. But I do wonder:
    If Veronica returns to your home, what are you going to tell her when she asks why she was adopted? Perhaps you guys have thought of something that my husband and I completely missed.
    Our country has a long history of a pro-adoption culture. I've learned too much now from our story, and from my experience blogging about it and thereby connecting with other adoption "victims"--whether adoptive parents, bio parents, or grown adoptees. The reality of adoption is so much more multi-dimensional than our popular media and culture portray.
    I do not deny that I am supportive of Veronica staying with her biological family. At the same time, I can feel empathy for you and Veronica's birthmother. The whole situation is terrible.
    I do not envy your victory. I do not envy that you will bear witness to another degree of trauma that little girl will endure. I may not know the most intimate details of this case, and I admit it has intrigued me in addition to breaking my heart. I am fascinated by your choice to fight a biological father who contested a pending adoption so early on. Help me to understand...
    Author of "Where's Baby Lily, Mommy?"

    Not surprisingly, someone immediately checked my blog and offered an explanation: Since I am not infertile and already have bio kids of my own, I simply could not understand the sheer hell of infertility. This person tried to explain that The Caps chose to fight because of all they endured, etc. etc.

    I can assure everyone who knows me that my decision not to fight a biological parent had nothing to do with my fertility status or status of already having children. I have not gotten to that part of our story yet--and there were many reasons we were being told we would be horrible if we did NOT keep Lily--I can assure everyone--our decision was fueled by empathy, integrity, and a true philosophical examination on many, many levels.
    I know you and others here are long tired of the infertility sympathizers, but I must say, it was the first time it was used against me personally and I am furious.
    I think about Veronica every day. It's probably not good for my mental health. The degree of powerlessness I felt over Lily was intense (as she did not end up with either bio parent either). Now, watching this story unfold, and seeing the public reaction--I am devastated. Really and truly devastated.
    What can we do? Does anyone know anyone in a position to really make an impact here?
    If Veronica does go to live with the adoptive couple, she should grow up to sue the USA for denying her her basic rights.

  13. I feel so sad for Veronica. I wonder how she will view her "adoptive parents" claim that the respect her culture and her heritage.......as long as her father is not part of her day to day life and she is ripped from his arms. Will they tell her they loved her so much and the father that she loved was just a "sperm donor?" That should make her feel important in this life. After all we want our children to feel loved and cherished, don't we?

    Next I do not envy her PAP's. My wise father once told me "Be careful what you want, you may get it". They get to be victorious....for whatever that is worth. Maybe they can dry Veronica's tears with the miles of legal papers they have created.

    All in all poor Veronica. I cannot fathom the pain this little girl is going to endure as the "prize" in an unecessary adoption. The adoptive parents can tell her "We loved you so much, we fought your dad and we won!" Can you imagine her confusion of what love is?

    Adoption....it's all about the poor unwanted children.

  14. Wow, you all don't tolerate dissenting opinions much, huh? Name calling, bullying and even veiled threats? I worry about the future of America due to the people I see "parenting" our future. So you all think Dusten should have been given three opportunities to deny his child before it counted? Do you all think that he can't read, therefore he should not be held accountable for signing the legal documents that he signed? What kind of person signs their child away twice without knowing? He knew what he was doing but his parents apparently did not, and when they found out they clearly wanted the child for their own. Too bad he didn't apprise them of the situation before he signed Veronica away, twice. Dusten has been ruled against twice by the Supreme Court, but what could they possibly know about the case or the law, right? My money is on the Capobiancos, sucka!

  15. I am SO SICK of the C's (and their supporters) relentless sense of entitlement to this poor child. SHE HAS A FATHER! One that gave himself up to be arrested to hold onto his daughter! THAT is not a "sperm donor." He has taken excellent care of her for the last almost 20 months of her life. Resort to name-calling when you have nothing else to back your case...typical.

    I would guess that the adoption agency told Christy not to speak to Dusten or take any support from him because that would make it much easier to terminate his rights. They could use that as him not stepping up to support the mother of his child, where as if she took anything from him, that might indicate he did indeed offer help and establish paternity. Birthmommy purposely hid from him, and accepted thousands of dollars from the C's in exchange for Veronica (under the guise of support)...even though she was on the taxpayers dime for doctor/hospital bills. She gives "birth"moms a bad name...thanks a lot, Christie.

    If the C's actually *do* take custody legally, we should be in deep fear because it will set a terrible precedent. Adoption is already a dirty, corrupt BUSINESS and this will only help it to continue as such. When did it become acceptable to take a child from a perfectly capable natural parent and turn him/her over to genetic strangers??!! When did this become OK??? Veronica should have been turned over when she was 4 mos. old, but the C's hung onto her. "Possession is 9/10ths of the law." Well, now that poor child will probably pay the price for their selfishness. On the "Standing our ground for Veronica Brown" fb page, there are numerous adoptees expressing their opinions that they would have preferred to be raised by their natural family, despite having good adoptive parents. That they would be extremely angry to learn that they were forcibly removed from a natural parent. These adoptee voices reflect what Veronica may very well feel in the future! This will, one day, come back to haunt the Capobiancos. I'm just so sorry it will probably be at innocent Veronica's expense.

  16. Dear Anon,

    Unfortunately for you and the Cappos, Veronica will be the one who ultimately decides whether Dustin Brown deserves to be her father. When she learns that her father fought for her all the way to the supreme court, and how her adopted parents fought against him every step of the way, it will be an easy decision. The Cappos won the battle. In doing so, they lost the war.

  17. I had a thought today when Lorraine was IMing me about the supposed "Dustin Brown" who is in arrears for child support in Oklahoma. Well, a few thoughts actually, one of which I had already entertained.

    First thought: "Dustin Brown" is an extremely common name. I know of someone who looked up the name just to see what was out there and she found quite a few Dustin Browns, Dustin-with-an-I, some of whom were indeed in legal trouble, as might be expected in a diverse American population.

    Second thought: Veronica's father's first name is DustEn with an E. I sincerely doubt the state would have screwed up the spelling of DustEn's name, as that would render their legal documents invalid.

    Third thought: Veronica's father is in the National Guard and has gone on active duty several times since this debacle began. Has anyone bothered checking whether he has gotten paid by them? Because if he really were in arrears with child support, all the mother had to do was go to his commander and Brown's paychecks would be garnished. And the military, unlike other employers, can garnish your entire check if need be, since they provide all your food, uniforms, shelter, and medical care while you are on active duty. (You don't even have to pay premiums or co-pays for the latter.)

    If Dusten Brown is getting paid, that means he's not in arrears. Which means lies are being told about him--but I rather suspected that anyway. People can't tell the truth about Cherokee membership despite their access to Google; they insist it's determined by blood quantum. They lie about Dusten and his family trying to stay in touch with Christy Maldonado. Why wouldn't they lie about this too?

  18. Something else that concerns me is how thuggish the C's supporters seem to be. The more facts are presented, the more they threaten people and namecall. These are the people the C's call friends?
    Also, they seem to be misinformed on the SCOTUS ruling. It did not give Veronica to the C's, it simply handed the case back to the lower courts.
    I am still trying to figure out how the C's got the adoption finalized with an expired home study.

  19. Dusten Brown has made it crystal clear to the ENTIRE WORLD that he never intended to give his child up for adoption. If he had intended to, he would simply have followed the necessary legal steps and gone away. Ever since he learned that adoption was in the works, when Veronica was four months old, he has fought tirelessly for the right to raise his OWN CHILD.

    In most cases, the only two people who have any right to a child are the woman who gave birth to the child and the man who fathered the child. These rights were affirmed by Justice Scalia in his opinion.

    As Mr. Brown said, we are not dealing with a toy here, a yoyo, we are talking about his CHILD, his flesh-and-blood daughter.

    If the C's succeed in STEALING this child (and stealing is exactly what it is) then, imo ,the United States has legalized kidnapping.

    Oh, and it has also been reported in the news media that Mrs. Copabianco was cited for underage drinking and has a DUI.

  20. Thank you for writing this, Lorraine! I've been hearing about this case nightly on the local news, and it's wonderful to see someone finally taking the father's side for a change. That this is even a debated case seems silly, to me.

    All things considered, I think Dusten is handling all this remarkably well. Being charged when his duty in the National Guard prevented him from showing at a hearing was an especially frustrating moment - I don't think I'd have kept it together nearly as well.

    -An Oklahoman.

  21. " You can make all the excuses you want for Veronica's sperm donor"

    Sentence fragment pretty much perfectly sums up the arguments of most Capobianco supporters I've come across. He is not a sperm donor, he is a father who was tricked into signing a document that meant he wasn't contesting the adoption at that time, and he's been fighting that ever since. That the Capobiancos knew that early on, and continued to keep the child from her father who wanted to raise her, suggest to me that they are the unfit parents, not Dusten Brown.

  22. Warning: this could be triggering. As a "birth"mom, I could hardly get through this "transition" document. What this is asking Dusten Brown to do would take the strength of a super-human. I read this through tears, but this needs to be revealed. The C's are heartless, bottom line.


  23. Anonymous, just above, You are right...it is painful to read. And so unnecessary. Where does it tell Dusten how to tell his daughter that the court is taking her away, even though she is happy living with him and Robin? That these other people love her so much that they are going to take her far away because they won her as a prize? You would think that they would have the compassion to let her be with her father and her family.

    This is beyond sick. Thank You Justice Alito, Roberts, Breyer, Thomas, Kennedy. It is hard to wish you well.

  24. Anon 1:14pm wrote:"I am still trying to figure out how the C's got the adoption finalized with an expired home study."

    I am, too. I also don't understand how the adoption could be finalized without a best interests hearing for Veronica. And why was everything handled in SC when the child is domiciled in OK?

    Dusten Brown has dedicated his career to serving and protecting our country. And what does he get in return from his country? We steal his kid.

    Now that another case, Baby Deseray has come to light, is anyone else thinking that these cases may be part of a larger child trafficking operation?

    Please sign the petition at change.org.


  25. The majority of people who are commenting on this sad situation don't even know the full story. I am not claiming to either. The point I would like to make is that Little Veronica is 4 years old. At that age my kids sure did know who their Mommy and Daddy was. Where is Veronica's attorney? Who is fighting for what is good for her and what she wants? I KNOW if you ask her who her Daddy is, she will most definitely tell you. Now lets get some of those media idiots who have their own talk shows merely to give a one sided story, interview Dusten and Veronica and get their side of the story. I would love to see just the adoptive couple and Dusten sitting in a courtroom when the judge asks, "Veronica, who is your Daddy?" CASE CLOSED!!!!!

  26. Myst has a great post up at 'Living in the Shadows'. I can't add a comment because of how her blog is set up, so I'm adding it here.

    I agree with Myst that the C's are not capable of love for Veronica. They are showing their self-centeredness and need to 'win'. Adoption is not for the purpose of stealing a child from a perfectly fit natural parent who wants to parent. And for Veronica, adoption will give her a different status in the family. In my personal opinion, it is considered a lesser status of "you're not quite one of us." Are all of the Copabianco's extended family on board with considering Veronica a member of the family? Or will some family members thinks "she's not blood, she's not one of us?" That happened to me in my adoptive family and I know it has happened to many others.

    If the C's had any concern for Veronica's well-being, they would leave her where she is. They would stop their ridiculous "Save Veronica" media-fueled campaign. The only thing Veronica needs to be saved from is the Copabianco's themselves. If they would leave her alone, I think she would be just fine.

    Also, with V's 4th birthday less than a month away, I think she should no longer be referred to as 'Baby Veronica'. She is a child or little girl now, no longer a baby.

  27. So many Americans, including lawyers (and Supreme Court justices not to mention US Presidents) are woefully ignorant of American Indian law. At best, they get maybe one class in law school - often times, one lecture. That is why Justice Thomas can glibly claim to want to overturn ICWA altogether (isn't that objective?!). They just don't get it. It is an important law and was completely ignored by the Capobiancos and their attorneys. The attorneys for the pre-adoptive parents deserve to be disbarred. Second, Veronica and Dusten Brown are legal members of the Cherokee Nation. Blood quantum is a none issue for the Cherokee Nation. Membership is determined based on lineage. He and Veronica not 'half Cherokee' they are simply Cherokee. Identity is not determined using measuring cups and fractions. It is also evident many people are ignorant of fractions too or how blood quantum works (or why it is a fundamentally racist concept introduced in order to "breed" American Indians out of existence). I initially had empathy for the Capobiancos, I thought they were dead wrong but I can imagine the pain of giving up a child one has raised from birth. However, the more I learned about this case, the angrier and more disgusted I became. I see their hound dog faces everywhere and not a shred of responsibility do they take for the mess they and their lawyers made of this situation. I have had more than one man tell me he did not want to be a father to his child, people say really stupid things in the heat of a moment. The important thing is not the stupid thing Dusten Brown said but the actions he took from the time his child was an infant to the present. Many people fear parenthood but step up to the responsibility. At any rate, a remark, taken out of context and spoken in haste is a weak claim to a child with no genetic relationship. They need to walk away and find a child that actually needs them. I was once a young, unmarried woman and pregnant. People suggested my child would be better off being raised by a 'real' family - I elected to marry his bio father. It did not work out but I raised my son. Today is his 31st birthday and he is an outstanding person and a college graduate. We were poor, we struggled, we faced hardships but we prevailed as a family. People need to really question why this country is so quick to encourage giving children away. Many of our great leaders began life as poor kids. It is not a crime to be poor or unprepared for parenthood. With kindness and support, people can learn to parent and care for their families. I think adoption is fine but not when it becomes about hunting for other people's babies.

  28. I'm a 52-year-old woman who was adopted as a bady and I have to tell you what a shame it is to see such a group of selfish people. There is no more unselfish act than to give a child up for adoption when you're not in a position to raise him/her. Making an about face because you are unable to let go causes destruction and heartbreak to the child and his/her real parents - the ones who are raising her, not the genetic donors. Your rights are not as important as that of an innocent child. Children are not property to be given away, then taken back when the emotional going gets tough. I am so grateful for the amazing people who raised me - my REAL parents - and Veronica will, too. It's disgraceful that none of you show any respect for the love the Copabiancos have for this little girl, regardless of your opinions on the case. It just shows how far people will go to justify their own selfishness and identity with other selfish people, including those, like Dusten Brown, who are $7,000 behind in child support to another child he fathered.

    Since this is a moderator-approved blog, I doubt my post will see the light of day. The truth hurts.

  29. Anon 12;50

    I am a 57 year old adoptee and wondering what you have been drinking? Either you are not really an adoptee or so far into the brainwashing your not seeing straight.

    It is NOT ok to give babies to strangers just because they want one...wanting a baby as a married couple does NOT make the superior parent over the bio family. The only time its ok is if the child will be harmed in any way by staying with bio and the stranger parents have been vetted enough to be worthy of raising this child. ALL children belong with bio unless there is a compelling reason not to. In Veronica's case there is no compelling reason to remove her from her fathers care. He has proven to be a wonderful father and has lots of support with veronicas step mother and her grandparents. SHE BELONGS WITH HER FAMILY...her wonderful caring blood family that has stepped up and wants to raise this wonderful child...Would you please tell me why she should go to strangers...there is not a moral reason to justify it! It is NOT a BRAVE thing to give away your kid....it might be necessary but it is not a HEROIC act. Thats the adoption agency's way of getting babies to give to others that need them. AND oh...making good money at the same time.

    The capobianco's might be Gods greatest gift to humanity(sarcasm) but they don't deserve veronica. There is not a person born that WANTS to lose biofamily..its unnatural and a very sad thing for the baby. ITS NORMAL to want to keep your biochildren...since when did it become abnormal? OH wait when there is an infertile saintly aparnet waiting in the wings....NO...wrong attitude.

    I had wonderful parents and consider them very real. Love and respect them. They brought me up to respect them AND respect my biofamily(closed adoption). They truly did it right for the most part in terms of my adoption. My bioparents are also very real and my bmom was a good woman I would never dream of hurting her by throwing the real card, nor would i dream of hurting my amom with the real card...they both understood I had 4 REAL parents. Bottom line I am not happy to have been adopted in the first place..its hurtful, confusing and has had an impact on my life and not always good. I get that, its reality, its not normal to have HAD to been adopted in the first place. If biomom had more help I could have stayed with her, if amom could have had her own she would have and i would not have been adopted by them. So really what you are saying is terribly naive...and i can say that because I was where you are many years ago.

    Veronica belongs with her daddy...not the capobianco's.

  30. Anonymous: Dusten Brown is not $7,000 behind in child support.

    Most people would prefer to be raised by their own biological families. You are the exception to the rule.

    The Capobiancos paid money to Christy Maldonado when she agreed to give them Veronica.

    If the Capobiancos had any real love or compassion in their hearts, they would see that "their" little girl belongs with her father and his family, as she is thriving there.

  31. It is hard to see a fellow adoptee who is so far gone with their adoption Kool-Aid drinking. To me this devastating case really boils down to the fact that Dusten never intended to, nor did he , in fact, relinquish his rights for Veronica to be given up for adoption. The South Carolina Family Court and South Carolina Supreme Court both came to that conclusion. Any one who supports the C's is, imo, supporting a kidnapping. This is one effed up country that we are so far gone with adoption mania that we can't see this situation for what it really is.

    I'm sick of the 'real' parents argument. The natural parents are always, first and foremost, the child's real parents. If, and this is a big IF, the child truly does need an adoptive family (and that is only when their is no bio-family who wants to and is able to provide a safe home for child) then the APs are real parents, too.

    From the research I have done, the information about back child support is actually regarding a different man named DustIn Brown, not the DustEn Brown who is Veronica's natural father. DustEn Brown's ex-wife has spoken out publically that DustEn is an excellent father to their daughter. He spends a lot of time with her and financially provides for her. Even if someone does get behind on child support payments that still does not justify STEALING his other child.

    The Copabiancos have absolutely no rights to this child. As one twitter said "Veronica is 100% Cherokee, 100% American, 50% Brown, and 100% happy." She has every right to be left where she is, to grow up in her own family and her own heritage.

  32. Robin, Agree totality!

    BTW...I am really *only* 56, don't know why i wanted to add an extra year!

  33. Jennifer, I am disappointed that the "Save Veronica" page decided to delete your very civil and rational questions to them. This was their opportunity to really make their case! Instead, they decided to minimize your principles by attributing them to your fertile state? How offensive!

    Unfortunately, not enough of an adoptive / prospective adoptive contingent who are supportive of Dusten Brown has posted on their page. Then they would see that there are many of us, fertile and infertile alike, who are floored by their fight for "Veronica's Rights" (Really? Children have a right to be in an adoptive home?!!)

  34. This link makes me hopeful that Dusten Brown will retain some rights out of all this and, more importantly, that Veronica will get to continue the happy existence she currently has with her paternal family:


  35. But anon12:50, Veronica is blooming in her father's care. It is undeniable. She is radiant. She is happy and loved. Even SVR must admit it, after all, they posted her glorious, smiling almost four year old face on their own page! Veronica IS with her REAL family.
    She is not property, she is not chattel and she is NOT an orphan.
    Now is not the time for shaming others who disagree with you. It is also not the time to cling to your antiquated beliefs on adoption and ownership. Now is the time to advocate for the well being of one little girl who is right now thriving with the biological family who loves her.
    Think about it.

  36. Thank you, Lorraine, for writing this article and for all the comments from the wise persons who see the reality of what the Capobiancos have been trying to do--steal another person's child so that they will have the child they always wanted.

    I am shocked that so many in the general public think that this adoptive couple is more entitled to Veronica than a biological parent who wants to raise his own child and is fit to do so.

    If the Capobiancos were moral and compassionate, they would have let Veronica go to her father when he first objected to the adoption, when she was still a young infant. They cheated Veronica and Dusten Brown and his family of the pleasure of two years together while they stubbornly held onto Brown's daughter, fighting him in court.

    Even after the father gained custody, they fought to get Veronica back and were more than willing to have the father of the child they supposedly love, arrested to enforce a dubious S. Carolina court order which states they should have her.

    And now, that child that they supposedly love, might be yanked away from her father and other blood kin--the people she dearly loves--so that they can take her home. They paid for her and feel she is a possession they deserve.

    She is not a possession. She is a human being with the right to be raised by her own blood kin. The Capobiancos are thieves and they must be stopped. If they "win" the case, ultimately they will be the losers, when their dream turns into a nightmare for them, Veronica, and the Browns, from the almost certain emotional fallout from the separation of father and child. If they win, it will set a terrible precedent that says people who have enough money and the right connections can take legally take children from their biological parent who wants to keep them.

    There is great hope that the Cherokee Nation will stand strong in defense of Veronica's right to be with her own blood family and put an end in tribal court, once and for all, to the shameless covetousness of the Capobiancos.

  37. I'm not taking either side, but I see absolutely NO reason why it is an issue with the child being referred to as "Hispanic".

    Her mother's last name is Maldonado, in my opinion the child should carry on the mother's lineage as you can't contest who your birth mother is or her heritage.

    IMO Veronica is more Hispanic than she is Cherokee...so how is the paperwork doctored or falsified?

  38. Nobody has issue with hispanic label, it is that it was choosen instead of awknowledging that the question was seeking to know if this child could be considered Native American. It was known that she would be considered Native American and birthmom and adoption agency wanted to decieve so the child could be placed out of state. Birthmom testified that she believes she has Native American blood,as well as dad. See standing our ground for veronica brown for direct links to testimony about birthmoms statements and actual testimony

  39. I've never read suck a litany of posts from people that have no true understanding of the law or what has happened in this case.

    As of today, 9-4-2013, it appears Mr. Brown is going to be extradited to SC to face a felony charge. good for SC. You can't go into court and decide you will abide by any decision that goes in your favor, and just completely disregard any decision that goes against you. Yes, he is a veteran, I thank him for his service. He's also an alleged felon, and I hope he does time. The baby lived with the adoptive couple for 2 years, where is your outrage for having her ripped from that home?

    This is without question the most obtuse collection of people I've ever come across on the internet.

    As to her "Cherokee" tribal heritabe and culture, the little girl is 3/256th Cherokee. Brown had little or nothing to do with the Cherokee culture until it became advantageous to him in this custody case, so why don't ya'll give that a rest? She'll see about as much Cherokee culture in SC as she will with Brown, who was in fact $7000 in arrears on child support before reaching an agreement to pay out the arrears, which is currently being forced by OK DHS. He's still in arrears, but he's working on it, but he's still in arrears.

    Why do you think he signed away his rights in the first place? He signed away his rights to keep from paying child support. Yeah, he's a stand up guy. He signed the child away because of money. Nothing more, nothing less. If he signer her away, he didn't need to know the mother was going to adopt her, that is irrelevant, period. Once he signed his rights away, to avoid paying child support, the mother, was fully within her rights to adopt the baby out. If he wasn't smart enough to know that, then he should have lawyered up prior to signing the paper.

    He only wanted the child, for the government assistance she will being his family, and because he could get that without paying support. If he wins custody, which he won't, he'll likely ask for support from the mother, which again, OK DHS would likely award. He signed her away over money, and now he wants her back because of money. He's a far sight from the hero you people are making him out to be.

    I'll check back in a few days to see if you allow dissenting commentary, or if you just complain about others not allowing yours on their site.

  40. @ Anon, September 5, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Of course the blog owners allow dissenting commentary. They also allow commenters who support unethical child trafficking to make complete asses of themselves with their incessant yammering and distribution of completely fabricated dys-info in a public forum. Also, *yawn*

  41. I think it is very sad, and a disservice to your goals, to demonise the Capobiancos. She lived with them for longer than she has lived with her birth father and their love for her is not "less than" his - of course their going to fight for the daughter that they regard in every way as "theirs" - Isn't that what birth parents WANT, that adoptive parents fiercely love and protect their children?? And yet now all these judgmental comments about how they should back off, etc. You cant have it both ways - adoptive parents that in every way regard your surrendered child as thier own to the degree that they are willing to beggar themselves to fight for them - but yet expect them to say "Oh Sorry, I'll just get another" when some late-to-the-game parent decides they want them back. It's a tragic situation all around, including for the Capobiancos - have some respect for the love of adoptive (and in every sense, REAL) parents.

  42. Ms. Baylie, have you read anything at all that the Capobiancos have said on their page about Dusten Brown?

    He is not a "late in the game" father; as soon as he realized what was happening--that Maldonado was giving away their child--he began fighting for the right to raise his own child. His own child.

    If adoptive parents loved their adopted children as much as biological parents loved their children, and felt responsible for them, you would not be reading about the huge volume of "re-homing" that is going on. You can't "re-home" your own child the way these people are doing. Take a moment to read

    The Capobiancos may love Veronica, but if they loved her fully, they would let her be raised by her own daddy, and not demand that she be returned to them like a piece of furniture.

    Adoptees More Likely to commit suicide

    Being raised in an adoptive family is not the same, no matter how much love there is, as growing up in your biological family with your kin, who look and to some degree, act like you. While you probably will not change your mind, you might read some of the links at the bottom of the post--both FMFs and the outside sources, especially Truth Out. And read the posts from David Smolin, adoptive father. The link I believe is still on the sidebar. And read:

    Adoptive parent shares thoughts on having returned a girl to her mother

  43. This is an old post. To find the newer one on Brown and Veronica, go to the current page of the blog and scroll down.

  44. @Diana B,
    You are misinformed about most of the facts of this case, which as a Capobianco supporter, doesn't surprise me.

    First of all, Dusten Brown never agreed to adoption so he was not looking for adoptive parents who would be there through thick and thin for his daughter. He planned to be the one to love, provide for, and protect his own child. I read an article that said in Native American culture it is the norm when a couple are separated for the mother to get custody and the father to have visitation. So it is certainly understandable that Dusten would give primary custody to the mother. That does not, however, imply in any way, shape or form that the mother can then give the child to complete strangers without the father's consent.

    Also, DB began fighting for his daughter the minute he learned about the potential adoption when Veronica was 4 months old. He did not go away for two years and then just show up like a bad penny. The only reason Ronnie was with the C's for so long was because they refused to return her to her natural father despite knowing that he was not relinquishing her.

    I understand your point that it is hard hearted to say that the C's should just find another child, when it is obvious that they have attached to Veronica. I do understand that one child is not interchangeable with another. With that said, however, it is absolutely the Capobianco's fault that they find themselves in this predicament. They knew from the beginning, from the birth mother, Christy Maldonado, herself, that the natural father would not agree to adoption and that the child was a member of Cherokee Nation. The C's thought that they could use legal chicanery to bypass a natural father's rights and her rights as a native American.

    At one point, I would have had some compassion, some sympathy for the C's, but not anymore. They tried to circumvent the law and have only themselves to blame. They are NOT Veronica's real parents. Dusten Brown IS her REAL parent. And the sooner Matt and Melanie realize that, the better.

    It does dishearten me to hear a fellow adoptee throw out the 'real parents' argument over a child who was never available for adoption in the first place.

  45. Diana B: Would it surprise you to know that the most ardent commenters here are adoptees and adoptive parents?

    I think that may put a different spin on the comments you read. Robin and dpen, for instance, are adoptees; Jay Iyer is an adoptive parent.

  46. Diana Baylie, I am among those who never would question the Capobiancos' love of Veronica. They raised her from birth to 27 months and that bond created a parental love. I know because I am an adoptive parent who will stand up to anyone who suggests I do not love my son like a "real" parent. Parental love is intangible, impossible to fully characterize or quantify. All I can say is my love for my adopted son feels like honest to goodness parental love.

    There is another child whom I love with the same parental intensity I feel towards my son. Nina is a girl my husband and I once thought would become our adopted daughter, certain in the belief that our home and love was best for her. Until we got to know her biological mother, Rayna, over the course of more than a year while Nina lived with us. That’s when we realized that if Rayna was able to rehabilitate to a point where the courts deemed her fit to raise her daughter, it was their fundamental right to be together that we could never fight to take away.

    Unfortunately, those of us who consider adoption are fed the notion that ANY child who is placed with you is better off with you. It is the feeling that you can do better for a child that allows an adoptive parent to justify their desire for a child. That feeling was manifest in Melanie Capobianco's testimony, when she characterized her "want" of Veronica as greater than that of anybody else's. I am sure she and her husband believe that their “want” should win because they are “saving” Veronica from a parent who is too flawed to raise her and, therefore, “wants” her less. No amount of evidence to the contrary would convince them otherwise. Dusten Brown’s fitness as a parent would not be doubted under family court standards – yet thousands of “Save Veronica” supporters applaud the Capobiancos’ view of him as the “lesser” parent.

    The night before my daughter Nina (always the daughter of my heart) was to return to her now rehabilitated mother, I slept with her in her toddler bed. I wrapped my body around her, wanting to keep her safe forever, believing nobody, not even her mother, could protect her as I could. Yet I handed her over - from a two parent family living in a nice home with lots of toys and clothes and books, to a single mother who at the time was still struggling, on welfare, with an unstable living situation.

    It was the right thing to do. Why? Because Nina would get back the family of her roots, a biological mother who loved her and was able to keep her safe. Family courts agree that you get to keep your biological children if you can keep them safe. Any higher standard and you will erode the fiber of society, the feeling of continuity that we human beings get from our origins, the fundamental right of people to marry, to procreate, to be together as a biologically connected family, a right that is acknowledged in various ways by our Constitution and the United Nations. My very strong, very real love for Nina is not enough to deprive her of that right, not when she has a fit biological mother. Unfortunately, this standard often is ignored in so-called “voluntary” adoptions that are contentious, leaving fit biological parents like Dusten Brown hounded by legal maneuvers, condemned to a broken family on lesser grounds.

    It is tragic that the Capobiancos did not establish a friendly connection with Dusten Brown early on, when Veronica was four months old and he objected to the adoption. The Capobiancos were not Veronica's legal parents then or indeed throughout the 27 month period that they had her. It behooved their social and moral conscience to find a way to secure, for this girl Veronica whom they love so much, her fundamental right to be with biological family - and I am willing to bet than in the process, Dusten Brown would have made them a part of his family, just like Rayna did with us. What the Capobiancos have instead are a string of legal victories, loads of acrimonious history with Veronica's loved ones and a big loss for Veronica.

  47. Thanks for your comments, Jay, Robin, all of you who have written in support of Dusten Brown.

    Once we begin transferring children from fit parents to others who appear more fit, we have lost our humanity. This is a message which we need to keep sending.

  48. Mr. Brown changed his mind when the Biological mother decided she didn't want the child. Just like the Biological mother changed her mind on whether to keep her when Mr. Brown refused to pay child support. Obviously these two could not formulate an arrangement that was mutually agreeable in a rational manner while keeping the baby’s welfare as the central focal point. I did not know about the Birth date and name confusion. This whole case reeks! “And another similar case involving a child with Indian blood in Oklahoma being illegally whisked to South Carolina has cropped up. Raymond W. Godwin--who was the original adoption attorney for Matt and Melanie Capobianco--is the very same South Carolina attorney involved in this case. Something is indeed rotten in Godwin's office, and it's not rotting fish.”
    “We have noted before the inherent bias of Justice Roberts in this case. Not only is he an adoptive father through suspicious means though, strictly speaking, probably legal, he is a friend to the lawyer, Lori Alvino McGill, representing the girl's mother, Christy Maldonado. We presume McGill, who has posted some very nasty things about Brown on Facebook, is presenting Maldonado pro bono, as Ms. Maldonado is not a woman of means. McGill, who works for a top-drawer law firm in Washington, DC. (Latham & Watkins), is a former clerk of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and her husband clerked for Justice John Roberts when he was with the U. S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. District. One website, Above the Law, has them competing with another couple for the October 2006 "Couple of the Month" designation during the month they married. We read elsewhere that Roberts attended the wedding.”


  49. For the sake of Veronica couldn't these parents come to a compromise living and working near each other so that they can both care for and have Veronica in their lives. I think developmentally that is the best thing for her. If all these people really care about her and love her then surely they should be able to do it together instead of fighting each other over who gets sole rights.

  50. Who should move? The Capobiancos? The Browns? And one family has to have custody of a child, not two. This could never be a shared custody arrangement for the families would have to agree on everything. Shared custody only works with divorcing parents who are ready to agree on schools, summers, camps, doctors, etc.

    Veronica was originally returned to her real father at two, after a trial in which the ICWA was invoked; but the testimony of the birth mother is also riddled with lies, as has been shown from the testimony itself. There were so many violations of how a proper adoption should have been done that the adoption proceedings could have been overturned on those grounds alone--forget the ICWA.

    Veronica was given to her biological father after a lengthy court fight. That is quite different from now returning her to people who may be good caretakers but will never replace her true daddy, with whom she shares not only a likeness, but traits, preferences, a way of doing things.

    My daughter came up the steps one day with her usual heavy footfall--just like the one shared in my family. When she got to the top of the steps, my husband (not her father) said to her: You have a step just like Lorraine. Jane said to be later: That's when I knew this was my home. You can't get that sense of belonging in a household of genetic strangers.

  51. @deller,

    I think Dusten would be out of his mind to agree to a joint custody arrangement with the Capos. The minute they got their hands on Veronica they would whisk her away to South Carolina, never to be heard from again. In a perfect world what you suggest might be possible and even beneficial to Ronnie. But the Cs have proven time and time again that they can't be trusted.

  52. To Anon, on September 5th, you wrote:
    "If he signer her away, he didn't need to know the mother was going to adopt her, that is irrelevant, period. Once he signed his rights away, to avoid paying child support, the mother, was fully within her rights to adopt the baby out. If he wasn't smart enough to know that, then he should have lawyered up prior to signing the paper."

    You cannot just simply "sign away" your rights to get out of paying child support. That's not the way the law works. Dusten's intention was to give the bio mom sole physical and legal custody...this does NOT relinquish a father from his financial obligations to his child! Dusten never had those intentions.

    Dustin Dale Brown, born in 1983, is the one with child support issues. Dusten Brown, born in 1981, has a wonderful relationship with his older daughter. The older daughter and Veronica have a very strong bond, yet another family member this little girl's being ripped from.

    Get your facts straight.

  53. Reading all this makes me long for the good old days of closed adoption.



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