Supreme Court will hear the Baby Veronica case

Custody battle between adoptive parents and biological father heads to the U.S. Supreme Court Photo: the Capobianco family

CHARLESTON, S.C., January 4, 2013 — The United States Supreme Court announced today it will accept the Baby Veronica case.

Matt and Melanie Capobianco are the adoptive parents of Veronica, now a three year old girl. They are caught in the middle of a custody battle and hope to regain custody of their daughter. Since 2010 they have been in a legal battle with the child’s biological father, a member of the Cherokee Nation.

“It has been an extremely difficult year but we now have a renewed sense of faith in our legal system,” says Melanie Capbianco in a statement released this afternoon. “We remain hopeful that our daughter will finally be able to come home and to have a life where she can be surrounded by everyone that loves her. There is no way we could have gotten this far without the support from our family, friends and our supporters. We are beyond grateful and appreciate the continued prayers.”

The couple was ordered by a South Carolina court to hand over the toddler on New Years Eve of 2011 to her biological father, Dusten Brown, whom the child had never met, based on the court’s interpretation of a federal law known as the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

The Capobiancos are represented by Lisa Blatt of Washington, D.C. and Mark Fiddler of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Blatt heads Arnold & Porter LLP’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice. She has argued 30 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Fiddler, the founder of the Indian Child Welfare Act Law Center, has more than 25 years of experience with cases involving Native American children.  He first became involved in the case when the Capbiancos appealed their case to the South Carolina Supreme Court in April.

No date has yet been assigned for arugments in the case.


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Andrea Poe

Andrea Poe is a veteran journalist, whose work has appeared in thousands of publications, including Town & Country, Marie Claire and Entrepreneur.  She is the author of several books and her work has appeared in many others, including anthologies and college textbooks. 

Andrea serves as editor of the Travel & Food section at The Washington Times Communities.  Her love of travel has led her to cover everything from remote villages in the Andes to her hometown of New York, from Paris to Pittsburgh, from Beijing to the Bahamas.  No matter where she travels, she likes to uncover the unusual and share with readers those often-overlooked aspects of a place and its people.  She dubs her column Raven’s Eye as a nod to her illustrious (and, yes, infamous) relative, Edgar Allan Poe, a writer who knew more than a little something about the quirky and unique.  

Andrea is also mother to Maxine, who was adopted from Vietnam in 2006, and is the inspiration for The Red Thread column on adoption at The Washington Times Communities.   Andrea is currently at work on a book on international adoption.

In addition to her work as mother, writer and traveler, she is the founder and president of Media Branding International, a consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations craft and promote their image in media outlets around the globe.

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