Thursday 23 January 2020

Two year custody battle fought on Facebook

Clare Cullen

A custody battle fought in the US spilled on to social media with each side setting up a Facebook page gaining thousands of likes.

Veronica Rose was at the centre of a US custody battle involving her adoptive parents, the Cherokee Nation, an American solider back from Iraq and, perhaps most unusually, Facebook and Twitter.

Each side in the bitter custody battle set up a Facebook page to support their cause to have baby Veronica returned to them. The Facebook page 'Standing Our Ground fro Veronica Brown', supporting the child's birth father, gained over 12,000 likes and the Facebook page 'Save Veronica Rose', in support of the child's adoptive parents, gained over 14,000.

The hashtag #BabyVeronica trended on Twitter on September 23 with over 6,800 tweets in total.

Veronica was returned to her adoptive parents by Supreme Court ruling, and the Facebook pages posted the following:

 

Save rose.JPG

 

Standing ground.JPG

According to American news media, Veronica's birth father, Martin Brown, was engaged to Veronica's birth mother before a deployment to Iraq. The wedding was called off four months before the date, and according to the Keep Veronica Home website, Brown was requested by Veronica's birth mother to hand over parental rights. Brown "knew I didn't have a chance to fight her for custody because I was about to leave for Iraq for a year". Brown claims he was under the impression that he would be allowed to see his daughter on his return. However, during his absence Victoria was adopted by the Capobiancos.

Upon Brown's return, the Cherokee Nation provided legal support under the Indian Child Rights Act, which aims to keep "First Nations" children within their culture and Brown sought for full custody, which he temporarily obtained in September 2011. Victoria was just over two years old.

The Supreme Court overturned that decision in 2013, and Veronica was four years old when returned to her adoptive parents in September of this year, after Brown was arrested for "refusing" to hand her over.

 

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