The Supreme Court will review a ruling that sent a South Carolina couple's adopted Native American daughter back to her biological father in Oklahoma.
The high court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal by Matt and Melanie Capobianco.
Dusten Brown, of Bartlesville, originally signed away his parental rights before deploying to fight overseas.
He later changed his mind and the girl was taken from her adopted parents.
The adoption of their 3-year-old daughter, Veronica, was overturned by the South Carolina State Supreme Court, who said the girl must go back to Oklahoma to be with her biological father, a member of the Cherokee tribe.
The state court said the federal Indian Child Welfare Act gave custodial preference to the girl's father. That 1978 act gives the child's tribe and family the right to have a say in decisions affecting the child.
KRMG obtained a statement from the Cherokee Nation.
Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree says, “We are surprised that the United States Supreme Court has chosen to hear this case."
Hembree says the South Carolina Supreme Court addressed all aspects of the Indian Child Welfare Act and the tribe believes their decision was correct.
"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.”
The Indian Child Welfare Act is a federal law that was passed in 1978.
The case will be heard in the United States Supreme Court later this year.