On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Friday, September 27, 2013.
Anyone who is familiar with the baby Veronica child custody case is aware the case has gone on for years. Raising questions about federal laws, tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction, the child custody case pulled on the heartstrings of parents all across the country. Recently though, the case may have reached the end with the adoptive parents given custody of the 4-year-old.
In looking at this case — in the most simplest of terms — baby Veronica was adopted by a couple. Her biological father is Native American, but the biological mother is not. The father wanted custody of the child after she was already living with the adoptive parents.
Child custody issues arose when the girl was 27 months old, when under the Indian Child Welfare Act she was taken from her adoptive parents to go live with her biological father.
The idea behind this act, which was passed in 1978, was to reduce the high number of Indian children being adopted by non-Native families.
However, this was not the end of the child custody battle. Later, a U.S. Supreme Court went against the biological father and a state court finalized the little girl’s adoption.
Most recently, the Oklahoma Supreme Court, where the father brought the case, ruled it did not have jurisdiction over the child. With this ruling, the adoptive parents are free to take her back to their home state.
The National Indian Child Welfare Association said it was saddened by how the recent ruling turned out. The biological father had maintained his daughter should be raised within the Cherokee Nation.
Reading this, one should keep in mind this is a child custody case that went on for years and is rather complicated.
For the Illinois father reading this though, the message is to look into parental rights as soon as it is learned a girlfriend — or even ex-girlfriend — is having a child. When it comes to those rights as a father, it is best to have all of the information and legal options available right from the very beginning.
Source: Fox News, “Cherokee child in custody dispute handed over to adoptive parents,” Sept. 24, 2013