CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC/AP) - South Carolina courts will have to decide whether custody of a Native American girl goes to her biological father in Oklahoma or the James Island couple who adopted her.
A divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that federal law doesn't require that the girl named Veronica stay with her biological father, Dusten Brown, but also doesn't give her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, immediate custody of the now 3-year-old child.
The high court issued an order Friday that South Carolina's Supreme Court address the case quickly.
The Capobiancos, of James Island, had lost in South Carolina courts before the nation's highest court ruled the Indian Child Welfare Act didn't apply because the biological father never had custody of the child and abandoned her before birth.
Last week, Professor Lisa Smith-Butler at the Charleston School of Law opined that the SC court is likely to remand the case back to family court in Charleston.
Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.