Law | National

Court supports return of child to Cherokee father under ICWA

The South Carolina Supreme Court affirmed a decision to return custody of a two-year-old girl to her father, a member of the Cherokee Nation who lives in Oklahoma.

By a 3-2 vote, the court ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act gives preference to father Dusten Brown. The tribe had intervened on his behalf.

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

The ruling is apparently the first of its kind in South Carolina, where a non-Indian couple tried to adopt the girl. The girl was born in Oklahoma.

Get the Story:
SC court agrees with return of native American tot (AP 7/26)

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

Related Stories:
Terry Cross: Compliance with Indian Child Welfare Act needed (7/25)
New group lobbies Congress to change Indian Child Welfare Act (7/11)
Couple in ICWA case says Cherokee child is more 'Latino' (04/19)
South Carolina court hears ICWA case for Cherokee child (4/17)
Former Sen. Abourezk clarifies comment about ICWA case (01/24)
South Carolina Supreme Court pushed to take up ICWA case (01/18)
Cherokee Nation seeks gag order in ICWA dispute making news (1/5)
Cherokee Nation man wins custody of daughter in ICWA case (1/3)

Join the Conversation