Tribal Nations Shift ICWA Focus During National Foster Care Month

In recognition of the tireless advocacy of the many child welfare workers, foster parents, volunteers and family members who care for Native children in state custody, tribal nations have been promoting National Foster Care Month to raise awareness about the need for more Native foster homes in the United States. Read the full article at … Read more

Guardianship of C.H.S., November 22, 2016, (Oklahoma)

Read the full copy of the decision at the National Indian Law Library website. Synopsis from Westlaw: Cherokee Nation filed petition to transfer guardianship action regarding Indian children to Cherokee Nation District Court, to which children’s guardians objected. The District Court, Okfuskee County, Lawrence W. Parish, J., denied transfer. Cherokee Nation appealed. Holding from Westlaw: … Read more

It Takes a Tribe: ICWA Under Assault (Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker)

America’s multibillion-dollar adoption industry and its allies seek to undermine ICWA’s enforcement by filing lawsuits they hope to take to the Supreme Court. If successful, the lawsuits would deny tribes of their right — and their duty — to look after the welfare of their children. Read the full letter from Chief Baker at the … Read more

CASA Sets Fall Child Advocate Training (Oklahoma)

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Cherokee Country is a local volunteer program that recruits and trains community volunteers to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children in juvenile deprived proceedings, an volunteers are greatly needed….CASA volunteer child advocate training will be offered to individuals age 21 or older in October. Certification will be … Read more

NSU gets $735,000 from National Child Welfare Workforce Institute

Northeastern State University is one of 11 universities nationwide to receive five-year funding of $735,000 through the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, a service of the U.S. Children’s Bureau, a media release states. NSU’s Department of Social Work and the Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare entered into a formal partnership that will assist in building … Read more

Veronica’s Birth Mom Drops Challenge to Indian Child Welfare Act

Baby Veronica’s birth mother has filed a voluntary dismissal of a federal lawsuit against the Cherokee Nation and the U.S. government, which requested that parts of the Indian Child Welfare Act be declared unconstitutional, attorneys in the case announced Tuesday. Read the full article at the Tulsa World website and related articles at Indian Country … Read more

Cherokee Strengthens Child Custody Laws, Giving Preference to Biological or Tribal Family

“Without a doubt our people, especially our youth, are the tribe’s most valuable asset,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “This new Cherokee Nation law will give our tribal sovereign government and our hard-working ICWA staff an additional tool to protect our people and ensure Cherokee children have the opportunity to live in … Read more

Attorneys for Cherokee Girl’s Adoptive Parents Seek $1 Million in Legal Fees

Attorneys for the adoptive parents of a 4-year-old girl caught up in a custody dispute have filed paperwork in Oklahoma seeking $1 million in legal fees from the Cherokee Nation and the girl’s biological father, who has dropped all legal claims to his daughter. Attorneys representing Matt and Melanie Capobianco filed paperwork in Nowata County … Read more

Latest Media Coverage of “Baby Veronica” Case

Baby Veronica returned to adoptive parents (Washington Post, 9/24/2013) ‘Baby Veronica’ Handed Over To Adoptive Parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco (Huffington Post, 9/24/2013) Capobiancos returning to James Island with Veronica (, 9/24/2013) “Baby Veronica” handed over to adoptive parents, Cherokee Nation confirms (CBS News, 9/24/2013) Biological father Dusten Brown hands over Cherokee child ‘Baby Veronica’ … Read more

Latest Media Coverage of “Baby Veronica” Case

Oklahoma Supreme Court to hear case involving custody dispute over 3-year-old Cherokee girl (Washington Post, 9/13/2013) Groups Argue Over Effectiveness of Indian Child Welfare Act (, 9/12/2013) NICWA, NCAI Applaud UN for Calling on U.S. to Protect Veronica (Indian Country Today, 9/11/2013) ‘Baby Veronica’ Custody Battle Continues (NPR, 9/11/2013)

UN Expert Urges Respect for the Rights of Cherokee Child in Custody Dispute

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, today called on the relevant state, federal and tribal authorities in the United States of America to take all necessary measures to ensure the wellbeing and human rights of ‘Veronica,’ an almost four year old Cherokee child at the center of a … Read more

Latest Media Coverage of “Baby Veronica” Case

South Carolina governor comments on Baby Veronica (, 9/9/2013) Father of Cherokee girl in middle of custody dispute files new appeal to Okla. Supreme Court (Washington Post, 9/6/2013) Baby Veronica case: Dusten Brown files second appeal with state supreme court (Tulsa World, 9/6/2013) In re Adoptive Couple of Baby Girl (“Baby Veronica”): Okla. Supreme Court … Read more

Latest Media Coverage of “Baby Veronica” Case

Cherokees rally for Dusten Brown in Baby Veronica case (Tulsa World, 8/27/2013) Veronica case: Motion filed to suspend visits from Capobiancos (Native Times, 8/27/2013) Adoptive parents visit Baby Veronica, but future visits being challenged (Tulsa World, 8/26/2013) ‘Baby Girl’ Veronica Case: Lawyer Asks Judge To Suspend Adoptive Parents’ Visitation Rights (Huffington Post, 8/26/2013) Toddler’s guardian … Read more

Media Coverage of Veronica Case as SC Court Orders Immediate Transfer of Child

Baby Veronica’s biological family says their offer of shared custody was rejected (Tulsa World, 8/7/2013) Veronica’s Oklahoma family on edge as South Carolina authorities consider custody action (The Post and Courier, 8/7/2013) Baby Veronica’s family pins hopes on tribal, state courts (Tulsa World, 8/7/2013) SC judge orders Cherokee girl at center of adoption dispute transferred … Read more

DOJ submits brief in support of Cherokee father in ICWA case (

As anticipated, the Department of Justice has filed an amicus brief in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, an Indian Child Welfare Act case that’s before the U.S. Supreme Court. The brief supports Dusten Brown, a member of the Cherokee Nation whose rights are at issue in the case. Government attorneys urged the Supreme Court to … Read more