By BRUCE SMITH
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Supreme Court will hear the appeal in an adoption case involving a 2-year-old girl who was raised in the state but whose biological father was recently granted custody. The child then returned to Oklahoma with her father, who is a tribal member of the Cherokee Nation.
It's apparently the first time the court will hear a case involving the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. But, because adoption hearings and records are sealed, it's a bit difficult to tell exactly what issues the justices will consider.
The act is a federal law passed in 1978 because of the high number of Indian children who were being removed from their homes. The act gives the child's tribe and family a say in decisions affecting the child.