Veronica's birth mother calls for end to custody fight - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Veronica's birth mother calls for end to custody fight

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Two days ago, the state Supreme Court ordered the custody battle for little Veronica to come to a speedy end in family court. Now the girl's birth mother is speaking out.

Not everyone is happy with the decision by the Supreme Court. Brown, the Cherokee Nation and the National Indian Child Welfare Association all have expressed outrage over the decision.

The only person who has not issued a statement in the case is Veronica's birth mother, Christinna Maldonado. On Friday, she spoke through her attorney.

"On Wednesday, the South Carolina Supreme Court cleared the way for a speedy resolution of an adoption that should have been finalized long ago," she said. "That decision serves Veronica's interest in being reunited with her family - her adoptive parents who raised her literally from before birth until age two and a half and her biological mother, who has an open adoption arrangement with them - "a family that she was torn from 18 months ago with no transition period whatsoever, solely because of a mistake of law and the Cherokee Nation's belief that a tribal member was entitled to possess her because of her 1 percent Cherokee ancestry."

"The Cherokee Nation, through its Assistant Attorney General Chrissi Nimmo, is now decrying the South Carolina Supreme Court decision as "outrageous" for not ordering a brand new best-interests inquiry before finalizing this adoption. The Cherokee Nation's newfound interest in Veronica's best interests is cruelly ironic.   

"Just 18 months ago, Ms. Nimmo and Mr. Brown's attorneys told that same court that Veronica's critical bonding with Matt and Melanie from birth to 27 months, where she indisputably thrived and happily grew into a walking and talking toddler, were totally irrelevant – they stood up and argued that the courts simply could not consider that, or consider Veronica, at all – because in their view her father had an absolute right to her because of his 2% Cherokee ancestry.

"They argued that the best interests of this multiracial girl were beside the point, and took her from the only family she had ever known -- with no transition period whatsoever.  They stood up and argued that the court could not consider undisputed expert testimony that taking Veronica from her home on James Island and transferring her to Mr. Brown — whom she had never met — would cause her severe trauma and lasting psychological harm.  They told the court it must disregard the fact that the child's primary and most significant parental attachments happen between 12 and 18 months old. They repeated these arguments just a few months ago at the U.S. Supreme Court. 

"Now that the United States Supreme Court has held that they obstructed this adoption over Veronica's birth mother's objection without any right to do so, they are suddenly claiming concern about disrupting her life. Despite repeated pleas from the Capobiancos during this heartbreaking period in which the child they raised from birth was completely deprived of their care, contact, and comfort, Brown has selfishly refused to allow Veronica to have even phone contact with them. And they are now trying to use that as leverage, arguing that Veronica probably doesn't remember her first family.  

"Without appreciating the hypocrisy of this new position, the Cherokee Nation and Brown now argue that everyone should just forget the law – and that time she has spent with Brown should trump everything, regardless of the fact that he coldly cut her off from the only family she knew at the tender age of 2 ½  and has absolutely no parental rights under state or federal law.

"It is outrageous and unfortunately totally indicative of the Cherokee Nation's view that nothing matters in this case except the fact that Veronica is 1 percent Cherokee.

"Veronica's birth mother believes that Veronica remembers and has missed her parents — Matt and Melanie — and that she will be happy to be home.  But if the transition to come is at all bumpy, it will be because of Dusten Brown's unconscionable decision to immediately sever all contact between the two families."

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