Opinion: ICWA punishes child returned to her Cherokee father

"Marcia Zug knows a lot about family and Indian law. In her recent Slate piece, she swims against the strong current of outrage that ensued when “Baby Veronica,” age 2½, was taken from her adoptive parents, the Capobiancos—with whom she’d been placed at birth—and returned to her biological father, Dusten Brown, a member of the Cherokee tribe. Zug does a great job explaining and justifying the Indian Child Welfare Act, a law necessitated by the disgraceful practice of separating Indian children from their tribal parents.

Zug is probably even right that a strict reading of the law requires that the child be returned to her birth father—who voluntarily gave up his rights as a parent before he changed his mind several months later. But she avoids the most important question:

What’s best for Veronica?"

Get the Story:
John Culhane: In the "Baby Veronica" Case, Shouldn't We Ask What's Best for the Child? (Slate 8/28)

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

Related Stories:
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)
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)

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