Biological father fails to return girl to adoptive parents

COLUMBIA, S.C., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A Cherokee man said he refuses to return his biological daughter to her adoptive parents despite a South Carolina Supreme Court order to finalize the adoption.

Police in Oklahoma arrested Dusten Brown Monday after he failed to return daughter Veronica, 3, to Matt and Melanie Capobianco, who raised the girl for the first two years of her life, CNN reported Tuesday.


Amanda Clinton, a spokeswoman for the Cherokee Nation District Court, said Brown posted a $10,000 bond, but as of Monday evening it wasn't clear where he and his daughter were.

The South Carolina court in 2011 ordered the girl removed from the Capobiancos when she was 27 months old and sent her to live with Brown, a registered Cherokee.

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Brown had given up his parental rights before the child was born but later changed his mind. He argued before the South Carolina court the Indian Child Welfare Act, which established criteria for adoptions outside the tribe, stated the child should be with him.

Veronica's birth mother never married Brown and she had chosen the Capobiancos to raise the child. The child has lived in Oklahoma with Brown and his wife for the last 18 months.

In a 5-4 vote last month, the U.S. Supreme Court said the federal law does not apply when "the parent abandoned the Indian child before birth and never had custody of the child."

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"I'm going to fight till I have no fight left in me and till they say you can't fight no more," he said. "This is my daughter. It's not a yo-yo that I can just say, hey, I borrowed it for two years and here's it back."

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