Late last Thursday, Matt and Melanie Capobianco filed a writ of Habeas Corpus in the Cherokee County court. The judge then ordered all parties including the Capobiancos, Dusten Brown and his wife and parents, and Veronica herself to be present in court 9 a.m Friday morning. All were present except for Veronica, who has yet to see or speak to her adoptive parents since she was taken from her home 19 months ago.
Though the judge has ordered that none of the parties talk about what happened in court and the records have been sealed, court records show that a mediation agreement was agreed to on Friday.
Directly after the Cherokee County court hearing, the Cherokee Nation Courthouse held another hearing in order to determine “special guardianship” over Veronica. She had been under the guardianship of her grandparents and stepmother. The Capobiancos and the birth mother were excluded from this hearing.
Brown still has options. The case must be determined in both the Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation courts before the order to return Veronica to the Capobiancos can be enforced.
Brown has said that Veronica does not remember the Capobiancos and does not miss them. He also said it would devastate her to be removed from his home. The second half of this statement may be true, but according to research regarding this issue in children the same age or younger than Veronica was taken from her adoptive home, he is most likely dead wrong about the first half of his statement.
Veronica was taken from the Capobiancos when she was 27 months old, long after she had developed a strong emotional bond with the Capobiancos. According to research, this is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a child.
Further, research shows that they particularly miss the mother figure. When they finally see her again, even after a long period of time, they rejoice in seeing her, then become angry that she was gone.
Dr. Peter Ernest Haiman has some interesting insights into this subject. The linked article is well worth reading.
A little editorializing—this writer's opinion
Whatever Veronica's fate is, she is destined to have at least some loss. However, if the adults in charge of her life can put aside their own issues and do what is best for her, the damage may be minimized and she may be able to keep all the adults who love her in her life.
These yo-yo adoptions are horrible for children. Agencies need to be sure that everything has been done right before the child is placed in the home. To suddenly take that child from their adoptive home once the child is attached amounts to horrendous emotional abuse. If they are returned to the birth parents home, it should be immediately after the adoption rather than hung up in courts for months and years. No adult's parental rights should come before protecting the child from being bounced from home to home. The child should come first.
License for use of photo