Veronica's Biological Father Files Oklahoma Adoption Request - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

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Baby Veronica's Oklahoma Family Files Adoption Requests

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NOWATA COUNTY, Oklahoma -

Baby Veronica's biological father, stepmother and paternal grandparents have reportedly filed paperwork to adopt the now 3-year-old girl.

For most of her life, Veronica Brown has been at the heart of an emotional custody battle.

"It's something you really can't explain to them, because they're not going to grasp it," said her biological father, Dusten Brown.

South Carolina courts first ruled the Indian Child Welfare Act favored Veronica living with her father, Brown, who is Cherokee. He took custody in 2011, even though she spent her first 27 months with a couple in South Carolina, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, who had hoped to adopt her.

6/25/2013 Related Story: Custody Fight Over Cherokee Girl Not Done, Despite Supreme Court Ruling

When the Supreme Court ruled the act doesn't apply, Brown vowed to do whatever he could to keep his daughter.

"Now that I've got her, I'm fighting for every bit of it to stay with me," Brown said.

Brown has now filed to adopt Veronica in Oklahoma, which is basically a safeguard in case a court terminates his parental rights.

Chrissi Ross Nimmo, Assistant Attorney General for the Cherokee Nation, is the lead counsel representing Brown.

"I think there is no doubt that both sides were going to be filing documents the minute we got the decision on this case," she said.

Since the Supreme Court left open the possibility that other family members could be considered as adoptive parents under the Indian Child Welfare Act, Dusten Brown's parents also filed for custody in Cherokee tribal court. And Brown's wife filed a step-parent adoption petition in Oklahoma.

7/2/2013 Related Story: Father Of 'Baby Veronica' Talks About Supreme Court Decision

Nimmo said jurisdiction will likely be the first issue addressed.

"There's definitely a legal question as to whether or not South Carolina can continue to exercise jurisdiction over this child," she said.

The attorney for the Capobiancos says the filings will further delay proceedings in South Carolina.

Nimmo said, no matter where the case is heard, she expects it to be given high priority, but it's no certainty the fight and Veronica's future will be resolved quickly.

"There's no finite timeline on when we will have a final, binding, non appealable decision in this case," Nimmo said.

There is one more interesting possibility in the case. Although it's not likely, it is possible for Veronica's birth mother to revoke her consent to relinquish her parental rights and she could seek custody of her under the Indian Child Welfare Act.

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