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August 15th, 2013
12:09 PM ET

Should 3-Yr.-Old be with Biological Father or Adoptive Parents?

A resolution maybe in the works for a bitter custody battle over a three-year-old that has spread from Oklahoma to South Carolina and back again.

Melanie and Matt Capobianco adopted and raised baby Veronica for two years, before losing her over in a bitter custody dispute. Wednesday, they arrived in Oklahoma to try to regain custody.

"As soon as we arrived, we requested a visit with our daughter,” Melanie Capobianco said. “As a mother, my heart broke when our request was denied.”

"It's time for this to be over,” Matt Capobianco said. “With each passing day we lose another day with our daughter.”

Four years ago, Veronica's biological father Dusten Brown waived his parental rights.

“A member of the Cherokee nation, Brown later changed his mind, arguing federal law protects Native American children from being separated from their families,” reports CNN’s Zoraida Sambolin.

He was awarded custody in December 2011, but the case didn’t end there.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Capobiancos and South Carolina ordered the baby be handed back to them.

Even Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin weighed in via Twitter Wednesday, saying “Mr. and Mrs. Capobianco deserve an opportunity to meet with their adopted daughter.”

Another tweet read, “They also deserve the chance to meet with Mr. Brown and put an end to this conflict."After failing to show up to a court appearance Monday, Brown turned himself in to Oklahoma authorities.

“He was freed on $10,000 bond, but he still faces an extradition order to South Carolina,” Sambolin reports, “an order the Oklahoma governor promises to expedite if Brown fails to cooperate.”

Brown’s attorney told CNN, at his client’s request, and Governor Fallin's suggestion, that he reached to the Capobiancos’ representative to discuss a resolution with in the best interest of baby Veronica, including an offer to meet personally with the adoptive parents.

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Filed under: Adoption • Children • Parenting
August 13th, 2013
09:41 AM ET

Biological Father Won't Give Daughter to Adoptive Parents

In an adoption battle spanning nearly 4 years, the adoptive parents of three-year-old Veronica are demanding her biological father return their child to them as ordered by the Supreme Court.

But the father, Dusten Brown, is refusing and has now been arrested. Now Veronica’s legally adoptive parents Matt and Melanie Capobianco want answers.

"We prayed the courts would do the right thing and they did,” Melanie Capobianco told the press. “Now we pray that those who are holding Veronica will do the right thing."

The Capobiancos adopted the little girl in 2009. “They raised Veronica for two years before a court forced them to return to her biological father,” reports “Early Start” Anchor Zoraida Sambolin.

“Brown had initially waived his parental rights during the adoption proceedings, but later changed his mind, and filed suit using a little known federal law that protects Native American children from being separated from their families,” Sambolin explains. “Brown is part Cherokee.”

When the case reached the Supreme Court in June, however, justices ruled that “the federal law does not apply in this case since Brown waived his parental rights," Sambolin reports.

Brown, who was charged with failing to show up last week to a court hearing which was meant to ease Veronica back into the home of the Capobiancos, turned himself in on Monday.

“The Capobiancos say they how understand how Brown feels, but they urge him to do the right thing and return Veronica,” Sambolin says.

Veronica’s location is still undisclosed. Brown’s wife Robin says she is safe and with her grandparents.

“Brown wants the case brought back to Oklahoma, the state where Veronica was born and where she has been living,” Sambolin reports.

“The Capobiancos just want Veronica back in their home in South Carolina.”

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Filed under: Adoption • Custody battle
July 2nd, 2013
06:30 AM ET

Ape gets new mom, with help from humans – Jeanne Moos reports

“Early Start” brings you a sweet story of adoption with a very happy ending. It features humans, and a 5-month-old ape.

Jeanne Moos tells you more.

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Filed under: Adoption • Animals • Ape • Gorilla
February 20th, 2013
10:19 AM ET

VIDEO: Russia wants to stop all internation adoptions after boy's death in Texas – Phil Black reports

CNN's Phil Black on Russia's response to the suspicious circumstances in the death of an adopted Russian boy in Texas.

Filed under: Adoption • Russia
February 19th, 2013
06:58 AM ET

Texas officials investigating suspicious death of adopted Russian boy – David Mattingly reports


(CNN) - Officials in West Texas said Monday they are investigating the "suspicious" death of a 3-year-old boy, adopted from Russia, and a Russian official blamed the death on "inhuman abuse."

The boy was born on January 9, 2010, and died on January 21, 2013, according to Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative for human rights.

"I would like to draw your attention to another case of inhuman abuse of a Russian child by U.S. adoptive parents," he said in a statement.

Dolgov claimed the child suffered injuries to his head and legs, as well as to his abdomen and internal organs. The wounds, he said, "could only be caused by strong blows."

Kim Herrington, an investigator with the Ector County Medical Examiner's Office, said the case was referred to his office because of the "suspicious" nature of the child's death.

Patrick Crimmins, of Texas Child Protective Services, said his office is investigating. The allegations include physical abuse and neglectful supervision, or neglect, he said.

This morning on "Early Start," CNN's David Mattingly details more in the investigation.

READ MORE: Russia decries death of adopted boy in Texas

Filed under: Adoption • Russia
December 31st, 2012
10:56 AM ET

Kendra Skaggs on bringing her daughter home in the face of a new Russian law banning U.S. adoptions

Many American families are in a painful limbo this morning because of a new Russian law that goes into effect tomorrow banning U.S. adoptions. For the past 13 months, Kendra and Jason Skaggs have been in the process of adopting a five year old girl with special needs named Polina. A Russian judge granted the Skaggs' adoption petition on Christmas Eve but it requires a 30 day waiting period. The Skaggs family already considers Polina a part of the family but the new law has them feeling unsure as to whether they will be allowed to bring their daughter to the United States. This morning Kendra Skaggs joins “Starting Point” from Los Angeles to share her story.

Filed under: Adoption • Russia