Baby Veronica’s biological dad stated on Thursday that he is dropping his custody case so his daughter can live in peace with her adoptive parents.
Dusten Brown and the Cherokee Nation have been fighting for custody of the four-year-old girl since her mother gave her up for adoption shortly after she was born.
However, Reuters reports that Brown and the Cherokee Nation will drop all of their legal appeals to the girl’s adoption in South Carolina. Brown was forced to hand his daughter over last month to Matt and Melanie Capobianco after several courts ruled the adoption was legal.
The case of Baby Veronica highlighted the ongoing clash between Native Americans trying to stop children from being adopted outside their tribes, as well as US legal safeguards for adoptive parents.
Brown announced his decision to drop the legal fight during a press conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He explained:
“Veronica is only 4 years old, and her entire life has been lived in front of the media and the world. I love her too much to continue to keep her in front of the spotlight.”
ABC News notes that Dusten Brown broke down in tears during the press conference while he read the statement. He added, “I know we did everything in our power to keep Veronica home with her family.”
As he finished his statement, Brown spoke directly to his daughter, saying, “To Veronica: One day you will read about this time in your life. Never, ever, for one second, doubt hot much I love you, how hard I fought for you and how much you mean to me.”
Brown and the tribe added that they hope Veronica’s adoptive parents honor a commitment they made to allow the girl’s biological father to be a part of her life.
While Brown dropped his custody case for Baby Vernoica, he still faces charges of criminal interference for not turning his daughter over earlier this summer.