The father of a four-year-old girl, who has been at the center of a child custody battle pitting her adoptive parents on the one side and her part- native Indian father on the other, has decided to end the child custody struggle.
Dustin Brown is the father of baby Veronica, who he fathered with a woman he was a relationship with. That relationship did not end in marriage, but did result in the child. When the couple separated, Baby Veronica’s mother gave Brown the choice of giving up custody over the baby, which he did.After the baby was born, she was put up for adoption, and was ultimately adopted by a South Carolina couple. However, Brown insisted that he had never been properly notified about the adoption proceedings.
He filed a child custody lawsuit, claiming custody under a federal law that protects children born to Native Americans, from being adopted. The federal law is called the Indian Child Welfare Act, and it specifically requires that the biological fathers of Indian children be notified before adoption.
A long custody battle over Baby Veronica then ensued. There were several legal decisions made in favor of each party, and Baby Veronica was passed from her adoptive parents to her biological father and then back again, while the legal process went on.The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in favor of Brown, but then the case went to the Supreme Court, which decided against Brown, ruling that he never had custody of the child in the first place.
Brown says that he has decided to end the child custody battle in the best interests of his daughter. The child will now be handed back to her adoptive parents. The parties involved are currently discussing ways to have Brown play a role in Veronica’s life.