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Adoptive parents receive ruling in their favor from U.S. Supreme Court

Houston families that have been involved in adoptions know the complexities that can arise. Even the most straightforward situation can turn into an emotional and challenging contested adoption before you know it. Whether a domestic or international adoption, laws and courts must often battle to determine what is in the best interests of the child in question and this can be a lengthy process.

The highly public adoption case of a part-Cherokee Indian girl known as Baby Veronica was recently the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court decision. The baby’s biological father, who is part Cherokee, had signed away his parental rights and the biological mother, who was not Native American, arranged her adoption to a couple in South Carolina before she was born. However, the biological father fought the adoption, citing that a 1978 law known as the Indian Child Welfare Act gave him legal rights to custody.

After living with her adoptive parents for two years, Baby Veronica was given to her biological father after a decision handed down by South Carolina courts. Two years later, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the state decision and in July 2013, Baby Veronica’s legal adoption by her parents in South Carolina was made final. However, the biological father refused to release the girl until recently. She is now at home in South Carolina.

Even without multi-state involvement or laws from Native American tribes, an adoption case can be very complex and entail many nuances. Working with an experienced adoption attorney can be very helpful to people on both sides of the situation and it may be wise for you to consult with an attorney if you are involved in an adoption.

Source: Reuters, “Cherokee girl in U.S. adoption battle transferred to adoptive parents,” Heide Brandes, September 24, 2013

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