by Sam Spence
The City Paper first covered Veronica's story in-depth as part of a September 26, 2012 cover story, Broken Home: The Save Veronica story.
Veronica is coming back to Charleston, according to an order issued late today by the South Carolina State Supreme Court. After winding its way from local family court to the Supreme Court of the United States for more than 18 months, the emotional Charleston case which thrust a James Island couple and a cute baby named Veronica into the national spotlight appears to be at its end today, according to a South Carolina Supreme Court order which calls for a "prompt" order "finalizing Adoptive Couple's adoption of Baby Girl, and thereby terminating Birth Father's parental rights."
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court remanded the case to the S.C. high court to determine final legal custody of "Baby Girl," as Veronica was identified in the federal documents to protect her identity. In the ruling issued today, the court denies a July 3 motion by birth father Dusten Brown of Oklahoma calling for several observances in light of what Brown calls "new issues" before the final custody ruling. Rejecting Brown's requests, the court opted to retain jurisdiction, saying that "nothing would be accomplished" by the prolonging the case, "except further delay and heartache for all involved—especially Baby Girl."
The order continues, explaining that the SCOTUS' ruling last month reversed the S.C. court's holding that the Indian Child Welfare Act granted custody to Veronica's birth father, leaving the justices to rely only on South Carolina law. Under the conditions existing before Brown's objection to Veronica's adoption, state code would have awarded custody to the Capobiancos.
Reacting to the case through a spokesperson, the Capobiancos said, "We are thrilled that after 18 long months, our daughter finally will be coming home. We look forward to seeing Veronica’s smiling face in the coming days and will do everything in our power to make her homecoming as smooth as possible."
The Cherokee Nation also reacted in a statement, saying the tribe is "outraged and saddened" by the ruling, taking issue with the South Carolina court's earlier opinion which said the court could not say that Veronica's best interests were not being served while with her father.
Thanking those who stood by them throughout the ordeal, the Capobiancos added, "Our prayers have been answered."
Any petition for rehearing of the case must be filed within five days.