On Tuesday, June 25, 2013, when much of the nation’s attention was focused on the Supreme Court’s landmark voting rights ruling, the court also ruled on a major case concerning the preservation of the Indian Child Welfare Act. AFSC and many faith groups weighed in as friends of the court, recommending the preservation of the act.
In the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (12-399), the Court issued a narrow decision interpreting three specific sections of the Indian Child Welfare Act, and did not find the act to be unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the South Carolina Supreme Court decision and remanded the custody case for further hearings in South Carolina court.
- You can view the brief filed by AFSC, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, and others.
- For more about the history of separation of Indian families that was finally ended with implementation of the Indian Child Welfare act, see afsc.org/friends/how-community-heals-conversation-denise-altvater.
- For more information on the implications of the court’s ruling on ICWA, see this analysis from the National Indian Child Welfare Association.