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OK Governor Issues “Baby Veronica” Extradition Order

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin today signed an extradition order for Dusten Brown, meaning he will be sent to South Carolina to face felony custodial interference charges. Brown is the biological father of “Baby Veronica,” the James Island child caught in the middle of a bitter adoption battle (for our previous…

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin today signed an extradition order for Dusten Brown, meaning he will be sent to South Carolina to face felony custodial interference charges. Brown is the biological father of “Baby Veronica,” the James Island child caught in the middle of a bitter adoption battle (for our previous coverage of the case, click here and here). Brown has refused to release Veronica to her adoptive parents even though the adoption was finalized by a family court here this summer. Fallin said she would speed up Brown’s extradition to the Palmetto State if he didn’t let the Capobiancos see Veronica, and according to a statement released by the governor upon signing the order, that was a large factor in her decision to move forward now:

“My goal in the Baby Veronica case has been to encourage both Mr. Brown and the Capobianco family to reach a quick settlement and come to an agreement that protects Veronica’s best interests,” Fallin said. “I said previously that I was willing to delay Mr. Brown’s extradition to South Carolina as long as all parties were working together in good faith to pursue such a settlement. I also outlined parameters for what I believe to be acting in ‘good faith:’ both Mr. Brown and the Capobianco family should be able to see Veronica; both parties should continue meeting to pursue a resolution outside of court; and both parties must obey the courts and the rule of law.

“Unfortunately, it has become clear that Dusten Brown is not acting in good faith,” she continued. “He has disobeyed an Oklahoma court order to allow the Capobianco’s to visit their adopted daughter and continues to deny visitation. He is acting in open violation of both Oklahoma and South Carolina courts, which have granted custody of Veronica to the Capobianco’s. Finally, he has cut off negotiations with the Capobianco’s and shown no interest in pursuing any other course than yet another lengthy legal battle.”

“As governor, I am committed to upholding the rule of law,” Fallin concluded. “As a mother, I believe it is in the best interests of Veronica to help end this controversy and find her a permanent home. For both of these reasons, I have signed the extradition order to send Mr. Brown to South Carolina.”

As I have argued previously, the goal of adoption law is to establish finality and permanency in the lives of children. That is what is in their best interests, as it is in the lives of children who are not adopted – a final, permanent, stable home. Gov. Fallin’s decision today is in line with that goal. Additionally, her decision makes clear to all involved that the rule of law applies in family court the same as it does in any other court.

Violating court orders and failing to find a good faith compromise in custody and adoption cases is not to be tolerated. Such flouting of the law by adults is not in the best interests of the children caught up in these battles, for it is the children who suffer most when these struggles continue unnecessarily.

The Tulsa World has an excellent report outlining where the Baby Veronica case – which has spanned multiple jurisdictions – has been.

Both the Capobiancos and the Browns agreed to enter mediation last month hopes of negotiating a settlement, but records in the contentious case have been sealed and there is a gag order in place, so it is not clear if any mediation talks have even taken place. Also unclear is the reason for a hearing at the Muskogee County Courthouse today at which Brown, his wife Robin, and the Capobiancos were present. All parties left the courthouse this afternoon without comment.

While her biological father will be extradited to face charges in S.C., Veronica will remain in Oklahoma until that state’s Supreme Court decides whether to keep her there while appeals filed by both sides play out.

amy lazenby

Amy Lazenby is the associate opinion editor at FITSNews. She is a wife, mother of three and small business owner with her husband who splits her time between South Carolina and Georgia. Follow her on Twitter @Mrs_Laz or email her at amy@fitsnews.com.

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20 comments

Jayhawk September 4, 2013 at 10:33 pm

leave her in O.K. ? Old Kansas? O Klahoma?

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Your Mama September 4, 2013 at 10:37 pm

That’s the abbreviation for Oklahoma, genius.

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The Colonel September 5, 2013 at 1:42 am

No Mama, the standard abbreviation for Oklahoma is OK.

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Reading Comprehension September 5, 2013 at 6:28 am

No, Mama and Colonel, the abbreviation for Oklahoma, according to the AP Stylebook, which should apply here – not the postal abbreviation – is “Okla.”
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/735/02/
Now that we have that settled, we can get to talkin’ ’bout Baby Veronica.

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jimlewisowb September 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm

In consideration of all of the above the correct abbreviation for South Carolina would be,

FU

Mike Hammer September 4, 2013 at 11:04 pm

She is definitely an OK Broad- I’m going to put her in my next adventure.

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Reading Comprehension September 5, 2013 at 6:32 am

Ha! I suspect Sic will see my correction below and fix this right on up, being as he’s the “Editor” here and all. As to the topic at hand, Fallin did the right thing in this case, so I will agree that she’s an okay broad.

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shifty henry September 5, 2013 at 8:11 am

Now that we can all get back on point, I’m wondering how many prospective adoptions are being reconsidered by folks. To invest one’s emotional and financial inventories into an adoption and not knowing if or when it could be invalidated would cause some deep thinking.

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nitrat September 5, 2013 at 11:27 am

This adoption was not ‘validated’ until a few weeks ago when the SC supreme court ordered a family court judge to do so without a hearing on terminating the biological parent’s rights. That really should bother people…such as any people who have a young son, adopted or biological, who might get a girlfriend knocked up someday and that girlfriend decide to sell the baby.
There are thousands of children in foster care across this country where parental rights have been lawfully terminated. Families like the ‘Boeings’ don’t want them. When you buy a baby, like in this case, I guess caveat emptor applies.
If you read the original SC supreme court order at sccourts.org sending the child to the father, you would see that either the Boeings made errors, intentional or innocent, in the required steps to notify this father and the Cherokees that they were taking the child out of Oklahoma. If they had followed the law, we would not be here today.

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Derp September 5, 2013 at 11:56 am

I think one good way to avoid having your baby adopted without your consent is to refrain from consenting. Too bad Brown didn’t do that.

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nitrat September 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Read the original SC supreme court order at sccourts.org giving him custody and be enlightened.

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Frank Pytel September 5, 2013 at 8:33 am

I’m not privy to all the court documents, but I have yet to see where he was found to be an unfit parent. The childs biological parent is always the best choice. He’s available. He wants her. Sup? I don’t get it. Typical family court liberal hot dogging. ‘You’re not perfect because you’re a man, therefore you’re not getting your child. Your child is better off without you because you’re a man.’

Frack that crap.

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Guest Poster September 5, 2013 at 10:53 am

“Family court liberal hot dogging.” Please. You have no idea what you’re talking about, Pytel. “The child’s biological parent is always the best choice.” That statement alone shows your ignorance. This has nothing to do with a man or a woman being a more fit parent. This is about a couple – a man and a woman – who legally adopted a child.

Reply
Frank Pytel September 5, 2013 at 11:21 am

Typical anti male sentiments. Therapy will help with that. When you decide to look at all the facts, and not just those that benefit your politics, holla at me biatch.

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gillon September 5, 2013 at 2:43 pm

“The child’s biological parent is always the best choice.”
What an ignorant statement. And to suggest that this decision has anything to do with a “liberal” family court is just further idiocy. I hope that you you do indeed seek therapy. And this is from a male point of view.

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nitrat September 5, 2013 at 11:25 am

Sorry, a biological parent who wants and is able to provide for their child IS INDEED always the best choice.
Only in the bizarro world of evangelical adoption corporations would anyone think differently.
And, this child was not “legally adopted” until a few weeks ago.

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Curious September 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Yes, the adoption process was obstructed for 18 months by the bio dad, and messed up by the SC courts, which have since been reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, hence the delay. But, as you admit, she was legally adopted. Just because Brown doesn’t like that outcome, he cannot flout the law. Veronica is the Capobiaoncos’ daughter.

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nitrat September 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm

The Boeings botched this by their ‘mistakes’ in Oklahoma.
Keep on believing what they tell you at church…

nitrat September 5, 2013 at 11:30 am

Amy, what kind of connections do you have to Nightlight Christian Adoptions? Their Greenville office has been involved in this case from the beginning.

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Honkey Whitebread September 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm

This is nothing that couldn’t be solved by all parties getting together and smoking a peace pipe.

Reply

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