But the South Carolina couple who raised her for the first 27 months
Posted Jun 26 2013 3:21am
A divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Hollister Dublin federal law doesn't require that a Native American girl be given back to her biological father, but also doesn't clear her adoptive parents to immediately regain custody of the now 3-year-old child. In a resolution that one justice said could compound "the anguish this case has caused," the high court voted 5-4 to send the case back to courts in South Carolina to determine the final home for an adopted little girl named Veronica. South Carolina courts originally said the 1978 Oakley occhiali Indian Child Welfare Act – a federal law intended to keep Indian children from being taken from their homes and typically placed with non-Indian adoptive or foster parents – favored her living with her biological father, who took custody of her in 2011. But the South Carolina couple who raised her for the first 27 months of her life appealed that decision, and justices have ordered her case reconsidered. Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the court's majority, said the ICWA didn't apply in this case because the biological father never had custody of the child and abandoned her before birth. The law "doesn't apply in cases where the Indian parent never had custody of the Indian child," said Alito, who was joined in his opinion by Chief Justice Ralph Lauren Shoes John Roberts, and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer.