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United States Supreme Court to Hear Adoption Case

An uncommon event, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear a matter relating to Family Law. In the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the Court will decide the rights of non-Native Americans to adopt a Native-American child over the objection of a tribal member.

A South Carolina couple is seeking the return of the daughter they adopted at birth, but after two years, was ordered returned to her biological father according to the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA). The father initially renounced responsibility for the child, but he later sought her return after he learned the biological mother had given up the girl for adoption.

The Court will determine whether the ICWA, designed to keep Native American children within Native American families, applies when a noncustodial father relinquishes rights to a non-Native American mother.

The local story on the case can be found in the Charleston City Paper. Arguments in the matter have yet to be scheduled.

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