CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Veronica Rose will not be coming home to Charleston. The state Supreme Court ruled 3-2 in favor of Veronica staying with her biological father in Oklahoma.
It's a case that has captivated the Lowcountry after Veronica was taken from her home on James Island in January and from her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court announced it ruled in favor of Veronica's biological father, Dusten Brown, and the Indian Child Welfare Act, which protects Native American children from adoptions.
"It is almost easier to lose a child to death than this type of situation," said Capobianco family spokesperson, Jessica Munday. "The two people who have raised her for the first two and a half years of her life have been shut out of her life."
The SC Supreme Court stated the following in the conclusion of the ruling:
"We do not take lightly the grave interests at stake in this case. However, we are constrained by the law and convinced by the facts that the transfer of custody to father was required under the law. ...It is with a heavy heart that we affirm the family court order."
Munday said the Capobiancos do not agree with the ruling, or the Indian Child Welfare Act.
"It ultimately came down to the Indian Child Welfare Act, which is a federal law that was meant to preserve families. It really is destroying family, and it's creating unnecessary heartbreak, pain and suffering," Munday said. "We are very devastated. This was not the outcome that we expected. We love her, and she is always going to be in our hearts."
The Capobiancos appealed to the SC Supreme Court in February, just a month after Veronica's biological father was granted custody.
Her father, Dusten Brown, is a member of the Cherokee Nation and has claimed that he didn't know Veronica's mother was going to put her up for adoption when he signed away his parental rights.
"We're very pleased with the results," Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree said. "This is a victory not only for the Cherokee baby and her father, but for all of Indian Country. The Cherokee Nation has done a great job to ensure the Indian Child Welfare Act is enforced to preserve Indian families."
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