Author: Jane M. Smith
A group calling itself the Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children & Families is calling for changes to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in the wake a decision by a South Carolina state court. In this instance, a child of Cherokee descent had originally been placed for adoption immediately after her birth by her non-Indian mother with a non-Indian couple. However, upon learning of her adoption, her father ? a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma ? challenged the adoption under ICWA, which establishes placement preferences for Indian children with Indian families or Indian institutions before non-Indian placements. The South Carolina Supreme Court upheld the lower state court decision awarding custody to the father in late July 2012 in Adoptive Couple v. Cherokee Nation.