Justices deny requests to rehear adoption case

The Associated PressJuly 25, 2013 

South Carolina’s highest court on Wednesday refused to rehear a case involving a Charleston-area couple’s attempts to adopt a girl of Cherokee heritage, setting up a family court action — and potentially a federal lawsuit.

The girl’s biological father and the Cherokee Nation had asked justices to reconsider their earlier order that a family court finalize the adoption of Veronica, now 3, by Matt and Melanie Capobianco. Present at her birth, the Charleston-area couple raised the girl for the first 27 months of her life and have been seeking to adopt her ever since.

South Carolina courts originally said the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act favored Veronica living with her biological father, Dusten Brown, a member of the Cherokee Nation. That federal law seeks to keep Indian children from being placed with non-Indian adoptive or foster parents.

American Indian groups said they planned to file a lawsuit to protect Veronica’s interests if the state court denied the request.

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