Law | National

Non-Indian woman drops ICWA case involving Cherokee Nation





A non-Indian woman whose biological daughter was at the center of an Indian Child Welfare Act case that went before the U.S. Supreme Court has withdrawn a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the law.

Christy Maldonado put her daughter up for adoption with the consent of the Cherokee Nation father or the tribe. She named the tribe and the Department of Justice as defendants but her legal team never properly served the lawsuit on either party.

"We never believed the suit had any merit, and we're prepared to actively defend the suit had we ever been served," Cherokee Nation Assistant Attorney General Chrissi Ross Nimmo said in a statement to The Tulsa World.

In Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the Supreme Court allowed the adoption to proceed. The justices said ICWA didn't apply in the case because the Cherokee father never had custody.

The girl has been adopted by a non-Indian family in South Carolina.

Get the Story:
Baby Veronica's birth mother dropping related lawsuit against Cherokees, U.S. (The Tulsa World 4/9)
Attorneys drop lawsuit sparked by Veronica adoption, but say more ICWA challenges could follow (The Charleston Post-Courier 4/9)
Birth mother's lawsuit against US, Cherokee Nation dismissed (WCIV 4/8)
'Baby Veronica' Birth Mom Drops Bid To Overturn ICWA (News on 6 4/8)
Veronica's Birth Mother Drops Bid to Overturn ICWA in South Carolina (Indian Country Today 4/7)

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