Child custody, adoption issues tied up in U.S. Supreme Court case

A case that is soon to be heard by the nation's highest court may be of interest to our readers in California. At issue in the child custody litigation is with whether a state's highest court was correct in vacating a prior adoption. The case centers on the federal Indian Child Welfare Act.

The child custody case began when a baby girl was born to biological parents, one of whom is a Native American. At the time of the birth, the parents had separated, and the biological mother decided to give the child up for adoption. Just as the adoption was about to take place, the father of the child learned of it and took action to stop the process.

He sought custody of the girl despite the fact that the adoptive parents argued that they should have child custody of the young girl. The Supreme Court of the father's home state of South Carolina held that the father should have the baby. Now the federal court is being asked to determine the matter. A decision is expected later this year.

As is the case with child custody matters in California, all of the parents involved in this case are working to make the best decision possible for the young child. However, each has differing opinions as to where the child should live. When people in our state find that they are in a similar situation, they may benefit from a comprehensive review of the applicable laws so that they enter the process armed with information and understanding of the sometimes-complicated child custody process.

Source: constitutiioncenter.org, "Supreme Court's upcoming child-custody decision: The Baby Veronica case," Abigail Perkiss, March 4, 2013

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