Phone: 303-731-6227
Toll Free: 866-604-2791

Native American child center of Supreme Court custody appeal

Adopting a child can be the happiest time in a couple's life. Sadly, even finalization of the adoption doesn't always end matters. There can be circumstances under which either of the biological child's parents can step in and dispute issues of child custody. Colorado parents who are considering adoption or who are in the process of adopting a child should know what their rights through each step of the process.

The story began when a woman who was engaged to be married became pregnant. The engagement was subsequently called off, and the father reportedly sent a text message renouncing his parental rights to the child.

The woman gave birth and put the child up for adoption. A Boeing technician and his wife began the adoption process and took custody of the baby on Sept. 15, 2009. The biological father, a military man and member of the Cherokee Nation, learned of the pending adoption as he was being deployed to Iraq and then changed his mind about his parental role.

The biological father challenged the adoption, citing the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978. In July 2011, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in favor of the biological father. A majority of the five justices ruled that the federal law should take precedence over state law. In a minority opinion, one justice objected to the majority position and said it also defied the prevailing principles of acting in the best interests of the child. The couple relinquished custody to the father and his family at the end of that year. The child was 27 months old.

On Jan. 4, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the couple's appeal of the order of custody granted to the biological father. By the end of June 2013, a decision is expected.

The adoption process can take a long time. Many things can happen along the way. Couples who are seeking to adopt a child must understand the issues, potential pitfalls and their rights in order to protect themselves and the child until the courts make the adoption legally binding. The same can be said for fathers who find their parental rights threatened. In either case, consulting with an attorney is advised.

Source: Terra, "Supreme Court to hear American Indian adoption case," Jan. 4, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For a Response

Contact us now to set up a case evaluation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Brand Footer

Centennial Office
6898 South University Blvd., Suite 110
Centennial, CO 80122

Toll Free: 866-604-2791
Phone: 303-731-6227
Fax: 303-648-5874
Centennial Law Office Map

Denver Office
44 Cook St.
Denver, CO 80206

Toll Free: 866-604-2791
Phone: 303-731-6227
Map & Directions

Boulder Office
4450 Arapahoe Ave.
Suite 100
Boulder, CO 80303

Toll Free: 866-604-2791
Phone: 303-731-6227
Map & Directions

Toll Free: 866-604-2791
Phone: 303-731-6227
Fax: 303-648-5874