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The Custody Tale of Baby Veronica

The biological parents of Veronica, Christy Maldonado and Dusten Brown, were unwed when Veronica was conceived and they soon split as a couple. Prior to Veronica’s birth, Brown terminated his parental rights in writing and provided no support to Maldonado or her unborn child. 

Seeking a good family environment for her child, Maldonado chose Matt and Melanie Capobianco to adopt Veronica. Present at her birth, the Capobiancos became the only parents Veronica knew. 

Shortly thereafter, when finalizing the adoption, Brown changed his mind and initiated a lengthy custody battle with the Capobianco family, eventually winning custody of Veronica in South Carolina. Brown removed the 2-year-old Veronica from the only parents she had known and refused to allow the Capobianco family and Veronica to communicate even by phone. 

On appeal, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed and remanded the decision of the South Carolina court in late June 2013. Since then, the following has occurred:

  • Given the opinion of the Supreme Court, South Carolina reversed its custody decision and finalized the adoption of Veronica by the Capobiancos.
  • Brown refused to relinquish custody of Veronica.
  • South Carolina ordered the immediate return of Veronica to her adoptive parents, and Brown was arrested and released.
  • Oklahoma lifted an emergency stay requiring Veronica to remain in the state, and Brown returned Veronica to her adoptive family.
  • In early October 2013, Brown stated he would not pursue the matter further. 

Veronica Capobianco is home for good at a very high emotional and financial cost. When custody battles play out in courts, everyone loses. 

When you have questions about difficult custody situations in New York, speak with our firm for experienced legal counsel.

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