Mr. Dusten Brown’s personal testimony in the original family court concerning his interest in marrying birth mother Christinna Maldonado and his later abandonment of Veronica Capobianco.
It is good for all supports and detractors to read and consider this full testimony because it reveals points to the story that should give pause to advocates on both sides. It is important for us all to be able to read, think, and pray about all aspects and know with certainty where we stand on various issues.
While Mr. Brown makes clear that he initially wanted to be married and take care of Christinna and Veronica, there is also an implication that Christinna might have backed away due to weekends he had spent with drinking buddies off base rather than coming home to be with her during the pregnancy. For any mother who has been in such a position, that is very understandable.
While Mr. Brown’s supporters have shared liberally over the last few weeks the portions of Ms. Maldonado’s testimony that appear to discredit her, it would be good to be able to read the portions of her cross examination that have been held back – those portions which give her testimony explaining her motivation. I look forward to obtaining that testimony.
Also – I have some discomfort with the assertion that the Capobiancos are “wealthy” and “connected” simply because Mr. Brown said so in his testimony – even if he claims a Guardian ad Litem told his family so. That doesn’t mean it is was actually said, and even if it was, it doesn’t mean the GAL was correct. Having known the C’s for a couple years now, I don’t believe those accusations in the testimony are true at all.
I further do not believe that it was the birth mother’s, the C’s, or the states responsibility to contact Mr. Brown and offer visits or pictures. As a man who knew he was a father and admitted in the testimony that he was aware of his obligations as a father – he had a responsibility to “man up” during those months and do what he needed to do. Many, many service men are fathers – and many are even fathers without custody. Most find ways to continue to uphold their obligations.
The laws of both Oklahoma and South Carolina agree and were enacted to ensure that men follow through with those obligations if they intend to father their children. This is why Mr. Brown has been losing legally in both state courts ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that ICWA did not apply.
This testimony also contradicts claims of Brown’s supporters that Mr. Brown himself did not claim to have a Bronze Star. He is quoted here as saying that he does.
It also contradicts the claim that he had been fighting for custody of Veronica since birth.
Again – my question is, that knowing he was about to be deployed in a few days – and already locked down to base – why he had not made any attempt (by his own admission) to contact Christinna and see Veronica prior to deployment. He knew that it would be months before he returned to the states. At that point, Veronica would have been almost a year old without a father in her life.
The only reason he hired an attorney and began a process in January, 2010, was because he had been served the adoption waiver. Other than that, he would have left for Iraq without questioning Veronica’s whereabouts, period.
One can not read his testimony and come to any other conclusion.
When I consider that, it is obvious that Christinna did the right thing – giving Veronica a father from the moment she was born.
From the moment Veronica was born, Matt was there. While Mr. Brown was nursing the hurt of rejection (understandable) and justifying his reasons for not making contact (not understandable), Matt was in the birthing room, cutting Veronica’s cord and welcoming her into the world.