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Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, a Minor under the Age of Fourteen Years, Birth Father, and the Cherokee Nation

On June 25, 2013, Bancroft attorneys Paul D. Clement and Kelsi Brown Corkran secured victory in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of their client in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, 133 S. Ct. 2552 (2013). The Court reversed a South Carolina Supreme Court decision holding that the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (“ICWA”) required that at 27 months old, respondent Baby Girl be transferred from petitioners’ custody to the custody of her biological father, whom she had never met because he had abandoned her before birth and shown no interest in her before finding out, four months after she was born, that the biological mother had placed her in an adoptive home. Bancroft represented the Guardian ad Litem, who participated as a party to the proceedings on behalf of Baby Girl, and successfully argued that the South Carolina Supreme Court erred in interpreting ICWA as allowing the biological father to thwart Baby Girl’s adoption.

Supreme Court Opinion
Brief in Support of Petition for Writ of Certiorari

Brief Supporting Reversal
Reply Brief