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Cherokee Nations' fight on adoption of Indian girl continues

The custody war between the biological father and the adoptive parents of a Native American girl had been the center of attention for months. Recently, members of the Cherokee Nation, the largest Cherokee tribe in the U.S., met at a regional tribal meeting in Colorado, where they were asked to pray for the fate of a three-year-old girl believed to be of Cherokee descent.

The girl, known only as Baby Veronica, has been in the headlines since the controversial adoption case began. The Principal Chief of the tribe urged the tribe's members to continue praying that the girl gets to spend her childhood in her tribal community. Additionally, the Chief also asked the members to pray that the father to be allowed to raise his child. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the Indian Child Welfare Act did not cover the adoption, thus opening the door for custody of the child to awarded to the non-Native adoptive parents. A Cherokee official stated that there was deception in the case, which happened when incorrect information was provided for the tribe's records. A legal team is reviewing the case in an attempt to ensure that the girl will grow up within the tribal community.

Adoption can be complex, but many people choose to adopt in order to have children. However, there are some factors to consider before a person can be granted custody of a child who is up for adoption. The rights of the biological parent must be addressed in order to protect the parental rights of the adoptive parent.

The court awards the custody of a child -- whether in a middle of divorce or adoption -- to parents who are capable of raising and providing for the best interests of the child. A person who is trying to make a happy home with adoptive children should take all necessary steps to ensure that they will not suffer legal implications after the adoption process is finalized.

Source: Indian Country, "Cherokee Nation Still Fighting and Praying for Baby Veronica," Carol Berry, July 24, 2013

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