Choctaw Nation issues citizenship to family in child custody case

Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton meets with tribal members in Fresno, California. Photo from Facebook

A judge in Tennessee blocked the adoption of a newborn whose family members are new citizens of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Chief Gary Batton personally expedited the membership applications for the baby, the baby's 14-year-old father and the grandmother, The Columbia Daily Herald reported. The tribe was prepared to intervene under the Indian Child Welfare Act but it looks like that won't be necessary since the judge took action after an emergency hearing, the paper said.

The baby was born in December to the teen Choctaw father and a teen mother. The mother agreed to the adoption without informing the father but she later changed her mind.

The baby and the mother are now in foster care. The Choctaw father plans to seek visitation rights or some other custody arrangement, his mother said.

Get the Story:
Baby returns to her mother (The Columbia Daily Herald 2/1)
Local woman’s fight for baby draws Choctaw Nation’s interest (The Columbia Daily Herald 12/28)

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