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Baby Veronica Returns To Her Adoptive James Island Parents

8:32 PM, Sep 23, 2013   |    comments
Left: Veronica with her biological father, Dusten Brown. Right: Veronica with Matt and Melanie Capobianco (photo provided by KOTV)
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TULSA, Oklahoma (KOTV) -

The adoptive parents of 4-year-old Veronica took custody of the girl from her biological father Monday evening.

Mediation talks in a Tulsa courtroom between Matt and Melanie Capobianco and Brown ended without an agreement after the two sides could not agree on a plan for Brown to visit Veronica. So, the case went back to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

The state Supreme Court declined to take jurisdiction over the adoption dispute and voted to lift the emergency stay issued by the Nowata County district court on August 30, according to court records.

The emergency stay was keeping Veronica in Oklahoma with her biological father. The Oklahoma Supreme Court's decision to lift it cleared the way for the Capobiancos to take Veronica back to South Carolina.

The vote was not unanimous, with Vice-Chief Justice John F. Reif and Justice Norma Gurich dissenting, and Steven W. Taylor abstaining. Chief Justice Tom Colbert concurred in part and dissented in part.

Veronica was staying here on tribal land with her biological father, Dusten Brown.

Special Coverage: 'Baby Veronica' Case

Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree said the Supreme Court's order conflicts with a Cherokee Nation order.

Hembree released this statement Monday:

"This order, just like any other order from a foreign jurisdiction needs to be filed for domestication with the Cherokee Nation District Court. There is a conflicting Cherokee Nation order concerning a Cherokee Nation citizen on Cherokee Nation land. We are a sovereign nation with a valid and historic court system. As Attorney General, I will require that our court system be honored and respected. I took an oath when assuming this office to uphold the laws and constitution of the Cherokee Nation and the United States. Nowhere in that oath is it required that I defend the laws of South Carolina."

Matt and Melanie Capobianco and Brown have been fighting for four years over who should have custody of Veronica. After the United States Supreme Court ruled last summer that the Indian Child Welfare Act didn't apply to Brown's case, a South Carolina court finalized Veronica's adoption.

The Capobiancos have had the opportunity to visit with Veronica while they've been in Oklahoma, over the past few weeks, according to their representative. Their representative sent pictures of their visits to News On 6, despite a gag order in the case.

Dusten Brown's representatives also released photos from Veronica's birthday party on September 22.

Brown handed over custody of Veronica to the Capobiancos Monday evening.

9/20/2103 Related Story: Mediation Hearings Continue In 'Baby Veronica' Custody Case

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