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Adoptive couple of baby with Indian heritage hails decision - abc27 WHTM

Adoptive couple of baby with Indian heritage hails SCOTUS decision

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By Ava Wilhite

awilhite@abcnews4.com

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Tuesday's Supreme Court victory for the Capobianco family hit home with another Lowcountry family who has already adopted a baby with Indian heritage.

Tricia Flagler and her husband, Matthew, blogged their entire adoptive journey while paying close attention to the similar journey of Matt and Melanie Capobianco of James Island, and their custody battle over Veronica.  

"Several people asked us, 'Aren't you afraid?' Or they've seen the movies you know, that have a little bit scarier endings," said Tricia Flagler.

Flagler said her son also has Native American heritage, but ultimately it came down to trust.

"Adoption is an interesting journey, there's always going to be unknowns. There's always going to be questions, but ultimately you have to trust the system. You have to trust the Lord for having his hand in all of it," she said.

He's barley six months old, but books have caught the attention of little Tyndall Flagler. Flagler said she knew the minute they got the phone call the baby boy would be theirs.

"We met him and six days later and at that moment just holding him in our arms, you know, We knew then he would be ours forever," said Flagler.

Denice Fisher, the Executive Director of A Chosen Child Adoption Services, said the Veronica case was closely watched and affects the whole adoption community.

"I would call it a victory. I'm still a little bit guarded because, as I said, this is just part of the battle," said Fisher.

In the case before the Supreme Court, the Justices had to decide whether the birth father's rights to the child took precedence over the Capobiancos after they had started the adoption process and the father had relinquished his rights because of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act.

Ultimately, the Court said the father's claims under ICWA were moot because of his previous actions relinquishing his rights to Veronica. The split Court said that the ruling of the South Carolina Supreme Court was in error and sent it back to the state courts to re-examine, leaving out the ICWA argument.

The case will likely end up back in family court.

Fisher said only time will tell if it's in Veronica's best interest to return to the Capobiancos, but the Flagler family believes she will come back to Charleston.

"I wish for Veronica that she'll have some type of relationship with her birth father and mother, you know, to have that resource when she's older. Ultimately I think she will be with the family she belongs with -- the Capobiancos," said Flagler.   

While the Flagler's baby is safe in their home, the Capobiancos still have more court battles in their future before they know where Veronica will ultimately call home.

The sides have 25 days to file for the next court hearing.


  • Ava Wilhite

    Email: awilhite@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile




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