A warrant has been issued for Dusten Brown, the biological father of baby Veronica , for not turning over the toddler to her adoptive parents last week. The case has gained national attention and even went to the Supreme Court over custody rights of a father under the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act.
The warrant for custodial interference was issued Friday and comes after the 9th Judicial Circuit of Family Court ordered Brown to hand over Veronica to Matt and Melanie Capobianco, who originally adopted Veronica as a baby.
Brown is undergoing National Guard training in Iowa and is expected to turn himself in on Sunday, after which he will be extradited to Charleston, S.C., authorities said.
The toddler has been at the center of a contemptuous custody battle between Brown and the Capobiancos for more than two years.
Brown's wife, Robin Brown, said the couple was "holding up" after learning about the warrant.
"We know that these people will do whatever it takes to get Veronica even if that means putting Dusten behind bars," said Robin Brown. "Then he can't have her."
Robin Brown, who is in Iowa with her husband, said they would not disclose Veronica's location.
After Veronica's birth mother, who is not a member of the Cherokee tribe, rejected Dusten Brown's marriage proposal, he was not present for the pregnancy and did not pay child support after Veronica was born.
The Capobiancos were picked by Veronica's birth mother to be her adoptive parents and the girl was raised from birth by the couple in South Carolina for two years.
However, when Dusten Brown, who is of Cherokee descent, found out that the Capobiancos were going to adopt her, he objected.
Brown gained custody of Veronica at the very end of 2011 after the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that he had a prevailing right to claim custody based on the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, which aimed to keep Indian children from being placed with non-Indian adoptive or foster parents. High Courts Rebuff Cherokee Dad in Adoption Case After the ruling, the Capobiancos appealed the South Carolina Supreme Court decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that the lower court should reconsider their ruling. The lower court then reversed their ruling.
Last week a South Carolina family court judge finalized the Capobianco's adoption of Veronica. The judge also approved a transition plan for Veronica so that she would be gradually reintroduced to the Capobiancos.
According to ABCNews.com affiliate WCIV-TV, in South Carolina Brown also failed to produce Veronica during a court ordered transitional meeting on August 4. The Capobiancos reportedly waited hours at the determined location, but no family members from Brown's side arrived.
After the Brown failed to show up with Veronica at the court-ordered transition meeting, the judge issued an order that Veronica be immediately turned over to the Capobiancos.
Amanda Clinton, the director of communications at Cherokee Nation, said the case was "morally reprehensible" and not fully litigated.
"The attorneys, the courts and the adoptive couple in this case were keenly aware of Dusten's commitment [to the National Guard,] but clearly chose to ignore it," said Clinton. "Not only is the adoptive couple asking this child be ripped from her father while he is serving our country, they are also endangering his military career in the process."