Former Glasspro Employee Closer to Regaining Custody of Adoptive Daughter
June 26, 2013

by Jenna Reed,

Matt Capobianco posted this photo to the public on Facebook June 16. He set it as his profile picture.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court gave new hope to Matt Capobianco , a former longtime employee of Glasspro in Charleston, S.C., and his wife, Melanie, that they could regain custody of the little girl they have sought to adopt since birth. The court ruled 5-4 that the couple's adoption of baby Veronica was proper and did not violate the rights of the biological father, who is a registered member of the Cherokee tribe.

In the case, the biological father had successfully argued in the lower South Carolina courts that the termination of his parental rights was invalid under the Indian Child Welfare Act.

The biological father was not married to the Hispanic mother of baby Veronica.

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court and sent the case to lower court for further proceedings. The Capobianco couple now may proceed with their efforts to adopt Veronica.

Veronica has been with her biological father for almost two years.

Justice Samuel Alito writes in the majority opinion for the Supreme Court, "This case is about a little girl (Baby Girl) who is classified as an Indian because she is 1.2 percent (3/256) Cherokee. Because Baby Girl is classified in this way, the South Carolina Supreme Court held that certain provisions of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 required her to be taken, at the age of 27 months, from the only parents she had ever known [Matt and Melanie Capobianco] and handed over to her biological father, who had attempted to relinquish his parental rights and who had no prior contact with the child. The provisions of the federal statute at issue here do not demand this result.

"Contrary to the State Supreme Court's ruling, we hold that 25 U. S. C. §1912(f )—which bars involuntary termination of a parent's rights in the absence of a heightened showing that serious harm to the Indian child is likely to result from the parent's 'continued custody' of the child-does not apply when, as here, the relevant parent never had custody of the child. We further hold that §1912(d)-which conditions involuntary termination of parental rights with respect to an Indian child on a showing that remedial efforts have been made to prevent the 'breakup of the Indian family'—is inapplicable when, as here, the parent abandoned the Indian child before birth and never had custody of the child. Finally, we clarify that §1915(a), which provides placement preferences for the adoption of Indian children, does not bar a non-Indian family like Adoptive Couple from adopting an Indian child when no other eligible candidates have sought to adopt the child. We accordingly reverse the South Carolina Supreme Court's judgment and remand for further proceedings," Justice Alito wrote.

According to a CNN report, the Capobiancos have only talked to their daughter once since the lower courts ruled in favor of the biological father.

"We are very happy with the ruling that came down today," the Capobiancos said in a statement, according to NBC News. "The Supreme Court did everything we asked it to do."

Earlier today Matt updated his Facebook page with a photo of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz wearing her ruby red slippers. The couple has set up a website called to support their adoption efforts.

The Capobiancos had not yet responded to request for comment at press time. Matt spent time as a replacement technician with Glasspro in South Carolina.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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