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Another update on Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl in the ICWA case that so many in the adoption community have been watching. I was surprised to see that the North Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that custody of Baby Girl will go to the adoptive parents. As I mentioned earlier, the biological father filed an adoption petition in Oklahoma family court to permit him to adopt his daughter. I’m sure that this fight is not over yet – neither side is going to go. But the North Carolina Court ruling on Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl has said that Baby Girl should be immediately returned to her adoptive parents. See this article from the Washington Post. What will this Baby Girl understand about this fight and how will it affect her as she grows up. Whoever ends up raising her will have to help her understand this fight over her. Regardless of any Court’s decision in this case, one thing we know is that sending her back and forth will not be any good for her. There seemed to be no discussion about her best interests. Or what kind of transition will be required. In our law practice, we often see ICWA issues come up. It is crucial to address them as soon as possible so that everyone is clear whether an adoption can move forward in the best interest of the child, the birth parents and the adoptive parents. Many adoptive parents decide that it is not worth pursuing this type of adoption. There are definitely special considerations. The law in this area is complicated. You must have a good attorney who can explain the risks, and help you understand the process. Even if both birthparents support the adoption, there are requirements under ICWA that need to be completed. Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl will continue to inform our work, and we will be wishing the best for Baby Girl.