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Supreme Court considers petition in Cherokee Nation ICWA case

Update: The Supreme Court issued an order this afternoon, granting the petition in the case. This will be the first major ICWA case decided by the court since Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield in 1989.

The U.S. Supreme Court is taking up a petition in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, an Indian Child Welfare Act case.

A non-Indian couple tried to adopt a girl but the Cherokee Nation intervened after learning of the proceedings. The South Carolina Supreme Court affirmed the custodial rights of the father, a tribal citizen, in a decision on July 26, 2012.

"Baby Girl, as an Indian child, has a strong interest in retaining ties to her cultural heritage," the decision stated.

The petition is being considered at a closed-door conference today. The Supreme Court is expected to announce whether it will take the case in an order list next week.

Get the Story:
U.S. Supreme Court holds last hope for 'Save Veronica' group (WCSC 1/3)
Case Pits Adoptive Parents Against Tribal Rights (The New York Times 12/25)

South Carolina Supreme Court Decision:
Adoptive Couple v. Cherokee Nation (July 26, 2012)

Related Stories:
Couple asks Supreme Court to hear ICWA case for Cherokee girl (10/3)
Cover Story: Non-Indian couple not giving up on ICWA dispute (9/26)
Column: Lawyer switches sides for Indian Child Welfare Act case (09/05)
Court won't rehear ICWA case involving Cherokee Nation father (8/30)
Opinion: ICWA punishes child returned to her Cherokee father (8/28)
Opinion: Media slanted against ICWA in South Carolina case (8/23)
Couple wants rehearing in ICWA case of Cherokee Nation girl (8/14)
Court supports return of child to Cherokee father under ICWA (7/26)
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Couple in ICWA case says Cherokee child is more 'Latino' (04/19)
South Carolina court hears ICWA case for Cherokee child (4/17)
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South Carolina Supreme Court pushed to take up ICWA case (01/18)
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