Supreme Court

Supreme Court to Take Case About Native American Child Custody

Couple's adopted child was taken away and returned to biological father

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The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review a ruling that sent a South Carolina couple's adopted Native American daughter back to her biological father in Oklahoma.

The high court agreed to hear an appeal by Matt and Melanie Capobianco over the fate of 3-year-old Veronica. The couple's adoption of the girl was overturned by the South Carolina Supreme Court, which said the girl must go back to Oklahoma to be with her biological father, Dusten Brown, a member of the Cherokee Nation.

The state court said the federal Indian Child Welfare Act gives custodial preference to the girl's father. That act was passed in 1978 because of the high number of Indian children then being removed from their homes by public and private agencies. The act gives the child's tribe and family the right to have a say in decisions affecting the child.