20,000 sign petition for custody battle over adopted girl
By Eric Eganeegan@abcnews4.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- There are stacks of signatures, thousands, in support of a 2-year-old, adopted girl. Veronica Rose was taken from her adoptive parents because of a federal law that dates back to 1978. But an effort to reunite that family is gaining strength.
Thousands of people across the country have heard Veronica's story. Now, with the help of social media and a group of local supporters, South Carolina lawmakers are hearing it too.
Matt and Melanie Capobianco, who were forced to give up their adopted daughter, are still fighting for her return. But they're not fighting alone.
"We sat down with Matt and Melanie and said, just from a grass roots effort, what could we do, what can we do to help," said Jessica Munday.
Munday, along with others from saveveronica.org, are now leading the charge. In just three and a half weeks, they've gathered 20,000 signatures in an online petition, on Veronica's behalf.
"The stack represents the 20,000 people that have signed this petition," Munday said.
Tuesday, Munday hand-delivered four copies to South Carolina's highest political offices. The first stop was Congressman Tim Scott's, West Ashley office. The petition asks lawmakers to fight for amendments to the Indian Child Welfare Act. The law ordered Veronica be taken from the Capobianco's and given back to her birth father, who is Cherokee Indian, in Oklahoma.
"The original intent and purpose of the law can remain in tact, but that the injustice and misuse of the law can stop," Munday argued.
An insert in the petition further outlines the request.
"We did three points for each one, basically speak out, support amendments and encourage their colleagues," Munday said.
Kathy Crawford accepted the petition on Scott's behalf.
"Our hearts break for them, it really does, we'll do whatever we can," said Crawford. "What we will do is get this petition to our D.C. office and I'll also send a copy to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to let them know what kind of support is out there, for this little girl."
It's support that's thousands strong and growing for a child, hundreds of miles away.
Legislators can't change the immediate outcome of the custody battle until the state Supreme Court makes a decision. Legally, Congress can't get involved in a judicial matter.
Stops were also made at Senator Jim DeMint's Charleston office, Senator Lindsey Graham's, as well as Governor Nikki Haley's office, in Columbia.