Print Supreme Court of South Carolina. July 26, Mark D.
Baby GirlS. In fact, in Aprila couple of months after the biological mother became pregnant, she and Birth Father stopped communicating, except for a text message in June in which the biological mother asked if Birth Father would relinquish his rights to the unborn child.
Birth Father, Dusten Brown, who is the Respondent in this case and a registered member of the Cherokee Nationresponded to that text message that he would relinquish his rights and the biological mother pursued adoption for the child.
On the day that Baby Girl was born, Adoptive Couple were in the delivery room and the next day, the biological mother signed a form relinquishing her parental rights and approving the adoption. Birth Father signed the adoption papers, but claims that he did not realize he was relinquishing his parental rights when he signed them.
Birth Father then requested a stay of the adoption proceedings and filed a complaint in Oklahoma district court to establish his paternity and custody of Baby Girl, but the action was dismissed.
Adoptive Couple then petitioned for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Courtwhich the Court granted. See Brief for PetitionerAdoptive Couple, at See Brief for Respondent, Baby Girl, at.
Impact on Children of Indian Heritage Proponents of Adoptive Couple assert that adopted children have a right to a safe, permanent, and loving household and a ruling in favor of the Respondents will not be in the best interest of children of Indian heritage.
For example, the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare is concerned about children of Indian heritage being taken from their homes, compelled to live with strangers, and forced into a community that they are unfamiliar with.
Information and Resourceshttp: NICWA argues that this case proves that Indian children are still being taken away from their extended families and Indian communities, even with the ICWA in place, and without the full protection of the act this would be the case for even more children.
The director of the NICWATerry Cross, emphasizes that prior to the ICWA thousands of Indian children were removed from the Indian community and the act helps to ensure that Indian tribes can promote Indian culture and identity in the lives of Indian children, an upbringing that is ultimately beneficial for the children.
The Christian Alliance notes that a ruling in favor of Respondents will have a negative effect on the foster care and adoption system because birth mothers will be reluctant to give up their parental rights for fear that they may put up their child for adoption only to have that child forced to be returned to an absent biological father.
Brief of Christian Alliance at 3. Proponents of the Respondents argue that a biological mother would not have to be concerned about the future of her child if the biological mother followed the appropriate adoption process for a child with Indian heritage.
Specifically, these proponents, like Professor Marcia Zug of the University of South Carolina School of Law, note that if biological mothers follow the guidelines of the ICWA, they will have no doubt as to the future of their child if they choose to pursue adoption.
See Brief of Christian Alliance at 3. Adoptive couples Bonnie and Shannon Hofer and Esther and Craig Adams, who both had difficulties adopting a child with Indian heritage because of the ICWA, argue that this problem is not unusual and threatens adoptive parents with the loss of their children and they knowledge that their children might be removed to unsafe environments.
Supporters of the Respondent argue again, however, that if the adoption process if completed properly under the ICWA, the adoptive parents will not have a problem adopting children with Indian heritage.
Cross, the problem here is not the ICWA itself, but deceptive adoptive practices and illegal adoptions, which can be prevented by following the ICWA guidelines. Similarly, Professor Zug notes that if the law had been followed here, baby girl would not have ended up with her adoptive parents and so in the future, if the law is followed, adoptive parents can be assured that the adoption is legal and that they can maintain custody of their adopted children.
See Brief of Bonnie and Shannon Hofer, et al. See Brief of Guardian Ad Litem at See Brief of Birth Mother at 2. Supporters of Birth Father argue however that a racial system is not being created and the issue before the Supreme Court is a political one.
TimesJan They argue that the ICWA is based on the political status of Indians and that the act is not putting the rights of the Indian community or tribe above the rights of mothers or Indian children, but is trying to balance all the rights of the parties involved.
Therefore, the ICWA is not creating a preference system, but a system of balancing rights. See Brief for PetitionersAdoptive Couple at 3.
They assert that, in South Carolina, for a biological father to have standing for a lawsuit to stop the adoption of his child, the father must do one of two things to establish his parental rights. See Brief for RespondentBirth Father at Specifically, they assert that state law does not govern the establishment or acknowledgment of parental status and rights under the ICWA.
Birth Father and Cherokee Nation claim that if Congress had wanted the ICWA to refer to state law for establishing or acknowledging parental status, it would have explicitly stated so in the statute.
Birth Father also believes that his parental status was reinforced through his pursuit of court proceedings to stop the adoption of Baby Girl.
Congressional Intent Adoptive Couple claims that when Congress enacted the ICWA, it never intended that the mere existence of a biological link would be enough to make an Indian person the parent of his non-custodial child; rather, Congress intended for ICWA to define paternity through incorporation of state law.Case opinion for SC Supreme Court ADOPTIVE COUPLE v.
BABY GIRL. Read the Court's full decision on FindLaw. After certifying the case for review, the Supreme Court of South Carolina held that, even though under South Carolina law Baby Girl should remain with Adoptive Couple, because of federal law under the ICWA, Baby Girl belonged in the custody of Birth Father.
Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, , the court issued a ruling, holding that: the ICWA applied and was not unconstitutional, the "Existing Indian Family" exception was inapplicable in this case, After the South Carolina Supreme Court declined to rehear the case, Majority: Alito, joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Breyer.
The case of. Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. is emotionally complicated, but it is not legally complex. Therefore, ’s interest is the Court 8 The Supreme Court of Kansas case the In re Baby Girl ” Two-and-a-Half Ways to Destroy Indian Law.
Baby. Page 1 of 19 OVERVIEW 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.
Tribes and Race: The Court’s Missed Opportunity in Adoptive Couple nationwidesecretarial.com Girl. Christopher Deluzio* Introduction.
Adoption policy in the United States has unequivocally embraced.