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"Baby Veronica" Lawsuit Damages Tribes' ICWA Authority

A long battle over a little girl has apparently ended. Baby Veronica is going back to South Carolina to live with her adoptive parents. The Oklahoma Supreme Court lifted an order keeping the child in Oklahoma, one of many state rulings made after the U.S. Supreme Court said the Indian Child Welfare Act did not apply. The high court ruled that Veronica’s biological father, an enrolled Cherokee, had not established a parental relationship with the girl, and so there was no family connection to preserve.
A former judge with the Oglala Sioux Tribe says under ICWA, the Cherokee tribe should decide the best interest of the child. And she says the Baby Veronica case has gutted the strength of ICWA.