TULSA - The adoption of "Baby Veronica," a 3-year-old Cherokee girl currently living with her father in Nowata County, has been complete, according to her attorney.
Matt and Melanie Capobianco went before a family court judge in a closed-door transfer hearing Wednesday.
Lawyer James Fletcher Thompson said the adoption was finalized Wednesday afternoon and a plan was in place to transfer the child from the custody of her father, Dusten Brown.
RELATED: S.C. court orders 'Baby Veronica' back to adoptive parents (http://bit.ly/VeronicaSCruling)
Cherokee Nation issued a release following the ruling:
Today, a Family Court in South Carolina finalized the adoption of an almost 4-year-old Cherokee child who has been living with her unquestionably fit, loving, biological father and large extended family, for one year and seven months, half a continent away in Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation. This decision was made without a hearing to determine what is in Veronica’s current best interests and comes almost two years after the same Family Court found that Dusten Brown was a fit, loving parent and it would be in Veronica’s best interests to be placed with her father. Every parent in America should be terrified.
Dusten Brown is an honorable man and a good father. Cherokee Nation will continue to support Dusten, Veronica and the entire Brown family in their attempt to keep their family whole.
The transition plan calls for the transfer of Veronica to occur over a seven-day period. Veronica would then spend her first night with the Capobiancos after the fourth day.
About a month ago, South Carolina's Supreme Court ordered Veronica returned to the Capobiancos. Brown's application for a rehearing was denied.
RELATED: Court denies request for adoption rehearing (http://bit.ly/1bO3Eoa)
Baby Veronica has been living with Brown for more than 18 months.
The adoption case, revolving around the Indian Child Welfare Act, made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Brown is a member of the Cherokee Nation.
A 2011 South Carolina ruling stated Brown wasn't properly notified of the adoption under ICWA, resulting in Veronica's removal from the Capobiancos' custody.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled ICWA doesn't apply to this particular case because Brown was a non-custodial parent.
RELATED: U.S. Supreme Court rules on 'Baby Veronica' and ICWA case (http://bit.ly/1aKpgzF)
Meanwhile, Veronica's biological mother has filed a lawsuit of her own against the U.S. government, challenging the constitutionality of ICWA based on race (http://bit.ly/19l2PCi).
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