The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday is expected to discuss a James Island couple’s petition seeking to overturn a ruling that returned their adopted daughter to her biological father under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act.
An attorney for Matt and Melanie Capobianco filed the 142-page petition with the high court in October, arguing that the justices should accept the case to settle uncertainty over how the 1978 act should be interpreted.
The Capobiancos have not seen 3-year-old Veronica since a family court ruling relinquished the girl to her father on New Year’s Eve of 2011.
The S.C. Supreme Court in July upheld Veronica’s forced return to her biological father in Oklahoma. Her father, a member of the Cherokee Nation, successfully challenged the adoption using the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law aimed at preserving American Indian families.
The federal law has been reviewed only once at the highest level. In 1989, Justice William Brennan sided with Mississippi’s Choctaw tribe, which challenged an adoption of twins.
The Veronica case is one of about 30 petitions the Supreme Court is scheduled to discuss during a conference on Friday. It is unknown when they will decide which, if any, of these petitions to consider.