After a nearly four-year legal battle through the Supreme Court and beyond, on September 23, white South Carolina couple Matt and Melanie Capobianco removed Veronica, 4, from her biological father Dusten Brown, a Cherokee, with whom she has lived with in Nowata, Oklahoma, for almost 2 years.
Sorrow echoed throughout Indian country for the loss that has devastated a loving father and his tribe, and over what will surely cause Veronica to suffer from homesickness and trauma, child experts say.
Throughout the trials the Capobiancos, the pre-adoptive couple, have relied on a high-profile public relations firm to exploit the media to support their fight for Veronica. Camera crews swarmed the initial handoff of Veronica to her father in December 2011. The Capobiancos then turned to TV stars like Dr. Phil and Troy Dunn to sway public opinion.
Dusten Brown, on the contrary, has done his best to shield his daughter from the cameras and ensuing media war. Nor does he have the means to hire a public relations firm to promote his right to raise his daughter, and the Cherokee Nation’s right to keep its citizens’ families intact whenever possible.
Support for Dusten Brown has emerged through grassroots efforts, like a Facebook page, Standing Our Ground for Veronica Brown, and the website KeepVeronicaHome.com. The Facebook page has more than 12,000 followers and growing, but more support is needed for Brown, who is now being sued by the Capobiancos’ attorneys for nearly half a million in fees.
KeepVeronicaHome.com links to a page to contact elected officials to voice your opinions. Previously, a link to a White House petition was active, but unfortunately the petition is no longer operational because it failed to meet the signature threshold. But you can create a new petition to the White House. Most recently, a Change.org petition was created to call "on the State of Oklahoma and the U.S. Department of Justice Eric Holder to fully investigate Matt and Melanie Capobianco's 'adoption' of Veronica Brown without the constitutionally protected right and due process to obtain consent from her fit and loving father Dusten Brown, a Veteran of Iraq."
On the Facebook page Standing Our Ground for Veronica Brown, there is an outpouring of support for the Brown family and words of encouragement offered to Veronica, who has been removed a loving home surrounded by family and extended relatives immersed in their Cherokee culture.
On KeepVeronicaHome.com, Dusten Brown expressed the following in happier times:
“My daughter Veronica is a happy, bouncy, joyful and much-loved child. She is not a baby anymore. She's a little girl who looks forward to running to greet me when I get home from work, riding with her papa on his tractor and eating her grandmother's good cooking. She has a big sister she looks up to and adores.”
Visit KeepVeronicaHome.com and like the Facebook page Standing Our Ground for Veronica Brown to voice your support, and contact your local, state and federal representatives (listed below). Sign the Change.org petition if you would like to support "an investigation up to and including South Carolina's attempt to forcefully remove Veronica Brown from her 'fit' and loving father."
Oklahoma Attorney General
313 NE 21st Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
OKC 405.521.3921| Tulsa 918.581.2885 |
Find Your Oklahoma Legislator
US House of Representatives