TODAY   |  August 09, 2013

Adoptive parents hope for child’s ‘smooth’ return

Melanie and Matt Capobianco, a South Carolina couple who have been awarded custody of a 3-year-old girl they adopted but then had to turn over to the child’s biological father, tell TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie they hope there is no trauma getting the little girl back after 18 months.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> with us now along with the attorney for the biological mother in this case. good morning to all of you.

>> good morning.

>> when was the last time you saw veronica.

>> 19 months ago when we had to hand her over.

>> you had her for the first two years of her life.

>> 2 1/2.

>> so it's a complicated legal back story. we got into it a little bit but the bottom line is you won in court. you won in supreme court . there was supposed to be a hand over of veronica back to you. matt, what happened.

>> nobody showed. they could have asked for a different time, a different date, but none of the attorneys did in court. so we assumed that he was going to show but now i guess we just assume that they knew all along he wasn't going to show.

>> he had national guard duty. do you believe that that's the reason he didn't bring the child.

>> well, again, they could have offered a different time and place and they didn't and someone else could have brought her. that was very clear, a proxy could have brought her. so i'm not sure they ever planned to come.

>> it is a complicated legal backdrop. as we just heard in the piece, he says he didn't need to sign over his parental rights he didn't know the baby would be adopted. what do you make of that?

>> well, the first thing i would say is this case has been fully litigated and that has been of course part of the legal and factual inquiry all the way up to the supreme court and back. the fact of the matter is that he doesn't even contest the fact that he was fully prepared to and aware of the fact that he was giving up all parental rights . it's just that he expected veronica's birth mother to raise veronica herself. you know, veronica had been born for months and months and months by the time he learned of the adoption and the reason for that is that he was out of their lives. she was pregnant, you know, pacing an unplanned pregnancy, a single mom of two. and she had to come up with a plan for her child.

>> let me ask you about veronica because in family court they always say it's the best interest of the child and i assume that is what is most important to you. do you worry about this transition? she was with you for two years. now she has been with the biological father for 18 months. do you worry about if you get her back, how you will manage that?

>> i mean, we obviously want it to go as smooth as possible. we don't want any trauma. they gave us an hour and a half. or her an hour and a half. we're giving her five days. or that was the plan.

>> they cutoff all communication. we never got to see her, talk to her, she didn't know what had happened to us and we don't plan to do that with her.

>> well, it is a long and complicated story and a heart ren wrenching one. thank you for being here and sharing your stories.

>> thank you.