Indian welfare law can’t be ‘trump card’ to block adoption, Supreme Court rules

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The majority ruling also chastised South Carolina jurists, saying that under their logic, “a biological Indian father could abandon his child in utero and refuse any support for the birth mother — perhaps contributing to the mother’s decision to put the child up for adoption — and then could play his ICWA trump card at the eleventh hour to override the mother’s decision and the child’s best interest.

“If this were possible, many prospective adoptive parents would surely pause before adopting any child who might possibly quality as an Indian under the ICWA,” the ruling said.

The case is Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, et al., U.S. Supreme Court, No. 12-399.

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About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein

Cheryl Wetzstein

Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.

Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...

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