- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) - The Cherokee Nation has passed a new law giving added protection to biological parents in adoptive and foster care cases.

The Cherokee Nation tribal council passed the law this week that gives first preference in adoptive and foster care cases involving Cherokee children to biological parents deemed fit. A member of the child’s extended family, other members of the Cherokee Nation or other Native American families receive next priority in the placement of a child under the law.

The change comes months after the tribe and tribal member Dusten Brown dropped a yearslong legal fight over custody of Brown’s biological daughter, who is now in the custody of her adoptive parents.

Chief Bill John Baker says the law will help ensure Cherokee children live in a “culturally appropriate” home.

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