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Toddler's guardian says visits by adoptive parents should be suspended

Aug. 26, 2013 at 6:11 PM   |   Comments

OKLAHOMA CITY, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Visits between a Cherokee girl and her adoptive parents should be suspended until further hearings can be held, an attorney representing the child said.

The request, contained in court document filed Friday, is the first acknowledgement the adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, have seen the child, Veronica, since they arrived in Oklahoma two weeks ago from South Carolina, the Tulsa Herald reported Monday.

The couple was not believed to have seen their adopted daughter since losing custody in January 2011. South Carolina's Supreme Court ruled last month the child should be returned to the Capobiancos.

While a gag order is in effect in the case, the Capobiancos reportedly objected to appointment of a guardian ad litem to represent Veronica's interests during a hearing Friday.

A court docket available Sunday said the judge overseeing the case, Special Judge Holli Wells, has removed herself from the case.

Angel Smith, the attorney appointed to represent both Veronica and Cherokee Nation, asked the court to suspend the visit, but she did not specify why.

The 3-year-old's biological father, Dusten Brown has had custody of Veronica since December 2011, when South Carolina courts stopped the adoption process. He has since been charged with custodial interference in South Carolina for refusing to return the toddler to the couple.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has threatened to speed up Browns' extradition to South Carolina if he doesn't cooperate with the Capobiancos.

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