Cherokee Nation Issues Statement on South Carolina Supreme Court Decision

A Cherokee father will retain custody of his 2-year-old daughter, thanks to a South Carolina Supreme Court decision handed down Thursday.

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Tahlequah, OK (PRWEB) July 27, 2012

A Cherokee father will retain custody of his 2-year-old daughter, thanks to a South Carolina Supreme Court decision handed down Thursday (27148 - Adoptive Couple v. Cherokee Nation).In a 3-2 decision, the justices ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law designed to keep Native American children with their tribes, supersedes state adoption laws.

“We’re very pleased with the results,” Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree said. “This is a victory not only for the Cherokee baby and her father, but for all of Indian Country. The Cherokee Nation has done a great job to ensure the Indian Child Welfare Act is enforced to preserve Indian families.”

The Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl, Birth Father and Cherokee Nation case stems from a baby born in Oklahoma to unwed parents. The father, a Cherokee Nation citizen who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, was unaware the mother had put the baby up for adoption until after she was adopted by a South Carolina couple who fought to keep her.

The Cherokee Nation will not release the identity of the father and child.

“We respect the father and child’s right to privacy,” Hembree said. “It’s our hope that the adoptive parents do not pursue the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

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About Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation is the federally recognized government of the Cherokee people and has inherent sovereign status recognized by treaty and law. The seat of tribal government is the W.W. Keeler Complex near Tahlequah, Okla., the capital of the Cherokee Nation. With more than 300,000 citizens, over 8,000 employees and a variety of tribal enterprises ranging from aerospace and defense contracts to entertainment venues, Cherokee Nation is one of the largest employers in northeastern Oklahoma and the largest tribal nation in the United States.

To learn more, please visit http://www.cherokee.org.


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