A California couple’s fight to reunite with a 6-year-old foster child who was taken from their home last week because she is 1/64th Choctaw Native American has cast a spotlight on the Indian Child Welfare Act. The law has been long hailed as a protective tool for Native American communities by some and criticized as … Read more
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
The 2014 FBA Indian Law Conference includes this panel: Thursday, April 10, 2014 – Morning Session PANEL 1. BABY VERONICA – TEXTING PATERNITY AWAY AND BRINGING ICWA INTO 21ST CENTURY Natalie Landreth, Senior Attorney, Native American Rights Fund (Moderator) Anita Fineday, Director, Casey Family Program, Indian Child Welfare Program Heather Kendall-Miller, Senior Attorney, Native American … Read more
Indian Child Welfare Act — Termination of Parental Rights —Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl 127 Harvard Law Review 368 (November 2013) In the decades leading up to 1978, large numbers of Indian families were broken up through forced adoption or foster-care placement of Indian children, usually in non-Indian homes.1 To stem this “wholesale removal of … Read more
The Cherokee Nation says in court papers filed last week that sovereign immunity protects it from efforts to collect more than $1 million in legal fees by lawyers for the adoptive parents of the child known as Baby Veronica. Read more at the American Bar Association website.
On Friday the Cherokee Nation came out swinging in their response to the motion filed weeks ago in Nowata, Oklahoma county court in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, in which Matt and Melanie Capobianco are seeking approximately $1`million in attorneys’ fees and costs. Read the article at Indian Country Today.
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
The United States Supreme Court recently issued its opinion in the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. This document is designed to: Summarize the decision — what the case held about the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), what it did not hold, and what it implied. Provide advocates for tribes, birth parents (particularly unwed … Read more
In an emotional statement on Thursday, Baby Veronica’s biological father said he and the Cherokee Nation were dropping the legal fight to regain custody of the 4-year-old girl. Read the full article at the NPR website. Read the related statement from the Cherokee Nation website.
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 (wistv.com, 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
Baby Veronica case: Parents’ negotiations end with no settlement (Tulsa World, 9/23/2013) ‘Baby Veronica’ Custody Battle Returns To Oklahoma Supreme Court (News9.com, 9/23/2013) Brown, Capobiancos in negotiations for Veronica (Cherokee Phoenix, 9/23/2013) Baby Veronica case: Five days of mediation yield no agreement (Tulsa World, 9/20/2013)
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 (News9.com, 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)
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
South Carolina governor comments on Baby Veronica (fox23.com, 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
Baby Veronica to stay with biological dad for now, court rules (Today, 9/3/2013) New twist in Native American child custody dispute (CNN, 9/3/2013) Okla. Supreme Court issues stay in custody case (USA Today, 9/3/2013) Father of Cherokee girl in middle of custody dispute appeals to the Oklahoma Supreme Court (Washington Post, 9/2/2013)
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
Opinion from Indian Country Today: U.S. doesn’t respect or understand native culture. 8/13/13.
Custody battle continues despite ruling by justices (NY Times) 8/13/13 SC Family seeks deal in Cherokee custody case (HeraldOnline.com) 8/14/13 Cherokee father enters courthouse without child (Miami Herald) 8/16/13 Watch: Native American adoption case gets complicated (ABC News) 8/17/13 Rally planned for Cherokee girl in custody dispute (NewsOn6.com) 8/19/13 Tulsa protesters react to Baby Veronica … Read more
The adoptive parents and birth father of a girl known as “Baby Veronica” have fought for custody of her since shortly after she was born in 2009. CNN provides a short timeline of events since Veronica’s birth in September 2009. See the timeline at the CNN website.
Charleston County sheriff working with agencies to locate Veronica (live5.com, 8/12/2013) Dusten Brown, biological father of ‘Baby Veronica’, posts $10,000 bail, released on bond (kjrh.com, 8/12/2013) Cherokee man cleared to go to Okla. for hearing on disputed adoption of his daughter, 3 (Birmingham Star, 8/12/2013) Brown’s whereabouts unknown; Tribal hearing set for Monday (abcnews4.com, 8/11/2013) … Read more
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
The Supreme Court, over the dissents of two Justices, cleared the way Friday afternoon for a South Carolina couple to adopt the child known publicly as “Baby Veronica.” In a three-sentence order, the full Court turned aside — without an explanation — the plea by the birth father to delay a state court ruling permitting … Read more
Baby Veronica adoption finalized by S.C. court (Tulsa World, 8/1/2013) Baby Veronica’s father says she won’t go back ‘voluntarily’ (Tulsa World, 8/1/2013) Justice Roberts weighs decision on Baby Veronica custody (Tulsa World, 8/2/2013) Dusten Brown, ‘Baby Girl’ Veronica’s Birth Father, Asks Daughter’s Adoptive Parents To Reconsider (Huffington Post, 8/1/2013) Attorney: Okla. girl will be devastated … Read more
Read the press release. Read the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in South Carolina. From the press release…The litigation was filed on behalf of Veronica, by Angel Smith, an attorney appointed as counsel for the child by the courts of the Cherokee Nation, in U.S. District Court in South Carolina, and asks the … Read more
A family court in Charleston, S.C., plans to have a hearing Wednesday (7/31) to decide how – not if – to transfer custody of Baby Veronica back to her adoptive parents. Read about this in Tulsa World.
A new lawsuit was filed by Baby Veronica’s mother which claims part of the Indian Child Welfare Act to be unconstitutional.Read the news story from July 26 and complaint filed on July 24. See an additional article on this new case filing at Indian Country Today.
From the complaint: ICWA tells a single unmarried woman who wishes to choose adoptive parents for her unborn child—a choice that would be respected under her State’s laws—that she must either terminate her pregnancy, raise the child herself, or surrender her child to a Tribe that is a total stranger to her and to the … Read more
Native American Rights Fund, National Congress of American Indians, and National Indian Child Welfare Association announce pursuit of civil rights lawsuit for Baby Veronica. Three of the nation’s leading tribal organizations announced today they are in the early stages of pursuing litigation to protect the civil rights of Veronica Brown, acitizen of the Cherokee Nation … Read more
On July 17, 2013, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled 3 to 2 that the “Baby Veronica” case be remanded to the family court to finalize the adoption. Find the court’s opinion as well as press statements and news coverage at the Turtle Talk website. Read some of the initial responses to the decision below: … Read more
On July 12, 2013, Christy Maldonado, the birth mother in the Supreme Court case, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, told her side of the story in the Washington Post. In the summer of 2009, I made the most difficult decision of my life: to place my baby, Veronica Rose, with adoptive parents. Many know her … Read more
Baby Veronica’s biological father, stepmother and paternal grandparents have filed court papers in Oklahoma to adopt the 3-year-old girl, a move that dissenting U.S. Supreme Court justices warned could happen and will likely complicate the custody dispute. Read more at The Post and Courier website.
Supreme Court Thwarts ICWA Intent in Baby Veronica Case (Indian Country Today) 6/25/2013 US Supreme Court Case Reignites Discussion Over Welfare of American Indian Children (Washington Post) 6/26/2013 Happy Ruling for Adoptive Couple, Uncertainty for Baby Girl (NPR) 6/26/2013 The Court Got Baby Veronica Wrong (Slate.com) 6/26/2013 Ruling on Adopted Indian Kids Threatens Tribes, Some … Read more
If you were unable to join this webinar on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, you can access the recorded version here. On June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the South Carolina adoption case involving the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) that has garnered significant … Read more
The Baby Veronica Case, recently argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, is one of the most important Indian legal battles of the last generation. It is the story of Dusten Brown, a member of the Cherokee Nation, who has invoked the Indian Child Welfare Act to prevent Christina Maldonado, the non-Indian mother of his baby … Read more
Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl challenges parts of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, this case puts one little girl at the center of a storm of legal intricacies, Native American tribal culture, and heart-wrenching personal stakes. Listen to the entire podcast (37 minutes) at the Radiolab website.
I am outraged by Supreme Court case Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. As a lifelong civil rights activist, I remember the struggle to pass the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in 1978 and the reasons it is still so badly needed to protect our families and Native American cultures. Read more at Indian Country Today.
Native American studies chair Bruce Duthu and writing professor Julie Kalish discussed Baby Veronica’s future in a panel on Friday. See more at The Dartmouth.com.
The constitutionality of ICWA is based on two propositions: First, these special laws for Indians are not race based. And second, Congress has the authority to issue special laws with regard to Indian people and tribes. If the Baby Girl Court rejected either of these positions, not only would ICWA be unconstitutional, most of Indian … Read more
High-Profile Custody Case New York Times 2013/04/26 To the Editor: Re (editorial, April 16): Your editorial about the case now before the United States Supreme Court says the child should be returned by the biological father, Dusten Brown, to her putat… Baby Veronica and the Law of Race Indian Country Today Media Network 2013/04/28 Upon reading my … Read more
In the context of the recent Supreme Court hearing in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, Walter Olson,a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies, critiques the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act in this April 22, 2013, opinion piece at reason.com.
An April 20, 2013, letter to the editor from John Nichols, the lawyer for Dusten Brown in the Supreme Court case Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl briefly speaks to trends in Native American adoption cases. See the letter at the Washington Post website. Mr. Nichols’ letter was in response to the April 16, 2013, Washington … Read more
SCOTUS to rule in Baby Veronica case by midsummer Live 5 WCSC 2013/04/16 WASHINGTON, DC (WCSC)- After listening to an hour and a half of oral arguments, Supreme Court justices officially submitted Baby Veronica custody case hearing at the national level. Now it’s a waiting game … Adoption Case Brings Rare Family Law Dispute To Supreme … Read more
This second read-through, by Matthew Fletcher and Kate Fort, incorporates a broader analysis of how the argument went on the merits. Specifically, it addresses: Best Interests of the Child, Interpretation of Sections 1912(d) and (f), Assorted Weirdness — Chief Justice Roberts Edition, Assorted Weirdness — Adoptive Parents as Victim.
On The Voice of Russia, American Edition, radio station, the Due Diligence show interviewed three attorneys about the Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl case. Interviews included: Phillip J. McCarthy, who represents the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and wrote an amicus brief supporting the adoptive couple, Lori Alvino McGill, a constitutional attorney for Latham & … Read more
The Michigan Law Review just published an opinion piece: Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl: Two-and-a-Half Ways To Destroy Indian Law. Article excerpt: “In December 2011, Judge Malphrus of the South Carolina family court ordered Matt and Melanie Capobianco to relinquish custody of Veronica, their two-year-old, adopted daughter, to her biological father, Dusten Brown. A federal … Read more
A transcript for today’s oral argument in Adoptive Parents v. Baby Girl can be found here. Audio recordings of oral arguments heard by the U.S. Supreme Court are made available to the public at the end of each argument week. If you are interested in learning more about the case or reading briefs that were … Read more
John Echohawk, Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund; Jacqueline Pata, Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians; and Terry Cross, Executive Director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, have published an op-ed in Politico on Adoptive Parents v. Baby Girl, which was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court today. To … Read more
Cornell University, Legal Information Institute has published a preview of the Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (“Baby Veronica”) case. The oral argument is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16.
The Tribal Supreme Court Project – the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) – along with the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), will host a national teleconference and briefing to review the arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. During the call, participants … Read more
Casey Family Programs releases a press release on Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl case before the U.S. Supreme Court: SEATTLE – Casey Family Programs with the support of 17 other national child welfare organizations has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The case … Read more
The United States Supreme Court next Tuesday hears argument in a head-spinning case that blends the rank bigotry of the nation’s past with the glib sophistry of the country’s present. The case is about a little girl and a Nation, a family and a People. The question at the center of it has been asked … Read more
Indian Country and friends of Indian Country are invited to gather on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 8 a.m. on the steps of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. for a prayer gathering in advance of the oral arguments of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. Members of the Native American Rights Fund, the … Read more
Q&A With Cherokee Counsel for Baby Veronica Case: Read the article published on 4/11/13 in Indian Country Today.
CATOOSA – Members of the National Indian Child Welfare Association on Monday asked for a federal law to be left intact as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to take up a Nowata family’s case next week. Read the entire article published in Tulsa World on 4/09/13.
U.S. Supreme Court hears “Baby Veronica” case next week. 16 months ago, a South Carolina court ordered the adoptive parents of a child known to many as “Baby Veronica” to give her to her biological father who lives in Bartlesville. Since then, this case has been tied up in the courts.. read more.
An op-ed from Terry Cross, the executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association discussing the media and public attention on Dusten Brown, the father in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (12-399): At the heart of the case Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl is the story of a father who desperately wants to raise … Read more
AUGUSTA, Maine — Attorney General Janet Mills announced Thursday that she has signed on to a case in the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the full enforcement of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act. The Indian Child Welfare Act spells out federal standards meant to ensure that the rights of Native American children, their parents and … Read more
Background: Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl is a case in which the South Carolina Supreme Court held that a Native American (Indian) child could not be adopted by non-Indian parents without complying with the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The court ordered the child returned to her biological father after she had … Read more
The Tribal Supreme Court Project (a project of the Native American Rights Fund in partnership with the National Congress of American Indians) is providing copies of court documents for the Supreme Court case Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (12-399). The page includes a link to the court’s docket sheet, lower court opinions and briefs, and … Read more
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
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Indian Law Section is seeking feedback on its plan to file an amicus curiae brief in a U.S. Supreme Court case, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, brought by a couple who attempted to adopt a Native American child. Comments are due by March 20. Read more at http://www.wisbar.org/NewsPublications/Pages/General-Article.aspx?ArticleID=10627
Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 Time: 11 a.m. Pacific / 2 p.m. Eastern Presenter: Adrian Smith, JD, MSW, NICWA government affairs associate The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear the case Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, a South Carolina adoption case involving the Indian Child Welfare Act. This high profile and emotionally charged case has garnered significant … Read more
In response to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to hear Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the New York Times recently featured this discussion of ICWA in its Room for Debate opinion pages. At http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/01/24/adoptive-parents-vs-tribal-rights : Should the adoption of American Indian children receive special consideration, or is it too focused on race? Kevin Noble Maillard, … Read more