The Supreme Court has decided to take on the case of Baby Veronica, a 3-year-girl caught up in the custody battle between her Native American father and adoptive parents.
Matt and Melanie Capobianco witnessed the birth of their adoptive daughter and for two years were the only parents she knew. The child's biological mother gave up rights to the baby upon birth and told the Capobianco's that the father had given up his paternal rights as well. But when the father, Dusten Brown, received the papers regarding the adoption he decided to fight for custody instead.
Brown claimed that he had offered to marry the mother of his child and she refused. Brown was in the army and serving in Oklahoma at the time, according to the Washington Post. He was granted custody of his daughter just over a year ago, at the end of 2011.
The Capobianco's are torn over losing the little girl that they had raised for two years as their daughter. They had made their case on national television and even appeared on Dr. Phil to tell their side of the story. The birth mother had stated that Brown refused to provide child support.
Further complicating the matter is the Indian Child Welfare Act, which made it possible for Brown to regain custody. The act was created in 1978 due to the high removal rate of Indian children from their traditional homes; it was an attempt to protect the culture of the children within the community.
Brown is a member of the Cherokee Nation, making baby Veronica also of Native American heritage.
The Supreme Court adopted the case of baby Veronica on Friday. The case will decide whether or not the rightful adoptive parents can invoke the same Act used by Brown, despite the fact that they are not of Native American decent.