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Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl: The Drama Of Baby Veronica

In a heartbreaking case that has drawn national attention, three-year-old Baby Veronica appears to be moving back to South Carolina and the home of the only parents she knew for the first two years of her life.

When her adoptive parents sought to finalize their adoption of Veronica, the birth father, Dusten Brown, reasserted parental rights he had formally terminated before Veronica was born. Since then, the case has moved through state court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

After a favorable ruling for Mr. Brown by South Carolina courts in 2011, Veronica was removed from the custody of her adoptive parents and given to Mr. Brown.

In the high-profile case before the Supreme Court, a majority ruled that Mr. Brown did not have parental rights, because he had abandoned the child prior to birth. Using the platform of Native American heritage, Mr. Brown, who is part Cherokee, sought relief from losing Veronica under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Responding to this claim, the high court found that there had been no breakup of an Indian family, given that no family had ever existed.

After the SCOTUS ruling, the South Carolina Supreme Court finalized the adoption of Veronica by Matt and Melanie Capobianco. The transition plan they hope to use soon includes the following:

  • Veronica will be given seven days to transition from the care of her biological father.
  • For the first two days of the transition, Veronica will spend half-days with her adoptive parents.
  • On the fourth day, Veronica will spend the night with her adoptive parents.
  • The biological father, Veronica and her adoptive parents will share a meal on days five and six.
  • On the seventh day, Veronica will depart for South Carolina with her adoptive parents.

Mr. Brown continues to file legal challenges to the removal, even though the adoption of Veronica was finalized. Not yet home, Baby Veronica remains the subject of litigation.

At the outset of any adoption matter, always seek experienced legal advice in Texas.

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Robert Reid McInvale
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Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Lubbock. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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