On Monday, September 16, the custody battle for Veronica moved to a downtown Tulsa courtroom. Previously the Oklahoma Supreme Court had ordered that Veronica stay in Oklahoma with her birth father while the birth father's appeals are heard. This hearing seems to be related to that decision.
At this point, however, no one knows exactly what is going on. The court records are sealed, the courtroom is closed to the public, and there is a gag order in place. It seems, however, that the adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco and birth father Dusten Brown, are in mediation attempting to reach an agreement regarding the long term custody of Veronica.
Whatever is going on, it is being held on the sixth floor of the Kerr building, where the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals meets in Tulsa. The hearing Monday started at 9 a.m. and ran for three hours. They returned at 1:30 p.m. and continued until 5 p.m.
Both parties in the conflict returned to the courtroom all week long. It was thought at one time that the parties had reached an agreement on Thursday, but that did not come about. An unnamed judge appointed by the Oklahoma Supreme Court said that negotiations are ongoing, but not settlement has been reached.
As to what will happen if an agreement is not reached soon, it is unknown. A South Carolina court gave legal custody of Veronica to the Capobiancos this summer and ordered her to them. Brown has so far refused to comply, even though two Oklahoma courts also ordered the girl returned to the adoptive parents.
If mediation does not settle the issue soon, the Oklahoma Supreme Court might allow Veronica to go home with the Capobiancos or they might all stay in Oklahoma until it is finally settled.
Family Examiner is covering this story because the outcome may affect future adoptive families.