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Melissa A. Featherston

Missouri residents may still be following child custody case

Child custody issues can be emotionally driven and cause tension between family members. When a biological parent and adoptive parents are involved, those tensions can rise even more. Missouri residents may be following the ongoing child custody battle involving the child of Native American decent.

The ongoing case involves a young girl that lived with her adoptive parents until she was 27 months old. The biological mother placed the child for adoption during her pregnancy. The biological father who is part of the Cherokee Nation decided he wanted a relationship with the child. At the time it appeared the child was protected under the Indian Child Welfare Act. An early court decision placed the child with her biological father, but the child who is now 4 years old has been returned to her adoptive parents.

An attorney for the Cherokee Nation stated that the fight isn't over and they are still looking into further available options. It was not known if the biological father was granted any visitation time or contact of any kind with the girl. Although some people feel as if the law wasn't upheld, it was pointed out that the father had not been a part of the child's life and therefore the Indian Child Welfare Act didn't apply in this situation. This will more than likely produce continuing conversation about the topic and may also cause a review of other child custody laws.

Any Missouri parent that is fighting a child custody battle may benefit from staying up to date on all applicable laws. When emotions are heightened, having realistic expectations and knowing what to expect when moving forward can prove beneficial. With the proper understanding, a parent can be hopeful for a positive outcome.

Source: Fox News, Cherokee child in custody dispute handed over to adoptive parents, No author, Sept. 24, 2013

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