Native American welfare group responds after adoptive family appears on talk show

PORTLAND -- The National Indian Child Welfare Association responded over the weekend to the appearance of a 3-year-old girl's adoptive parents on the Dr. Phil Show.

Baby Veronica was recently returned to her biological father in Oklahoma. However, the American Indian Welfare Act aims to keep American Indian families together.

The Capobiancos, the adoptive parents, said they are devastated their daughter was taken away from them.

On Saturday, the association responded to the Capobiancos' appearance on the nationally syndicated talk show, saying, "Veronica's father, who has been relentlessly vilified in the media as a "deadbeat dad" is, in fact, a loving parent and a decorated Iraq war veteran. Rather than acknowledge his right to protect his daughter from a media firestorm that has proven deeply biased, the Dr. Phil show instead allowed personal attacks on his character and speculation on his parenting-from those who admittedly have had no contact with him-to continue unchallenged. We find these attacks unsupported by court records and unacceptable."

The battle for baby Veronica has moved through the courts after the girl was returned to her biological father, Dusten Brown, on New Year's Eve last year. Brown claims he did not know the girl's biological mother was putting her up for adoption when he signed away his parental rights.

The Capobiancos{}immediately appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court, but the court in July ruled in favor of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

The NICWA is a national nonprofit based in Portland, Ore.