January 04, 2013
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation responded today to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case involving the adoption of a Cherokee child to a non-Indian household.
“We are surprised that the United States Supreme Court has chosen to hear this case. The South Carolina Supreme Court completely addressed all aspects of the Indian Child Welfare Act, and we believe their decision was correct,” said Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree. “This is a matter that is of utmost importance to all of Indian Country. Our children are our future, and the Cherokee Nation stands ready to defend the rights of Native American children to be raised in Native American homes.”
For 35 years, the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law passed in 1978, has protected the rights of Native American children to be kept with Native American homes. Several lower courts, most recently a July ruling in the South Carolina Supreme Court, have affirmed this law and the biological father’s right to retain custody of his own child. The Indian Child Welfare Act was passed in response to an alarming number of Native American children being wrongfully removed from their tribes.
Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896
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