SC high court takes up Indian child adoption case

Matt and his wife Melanie Capobianco try to hold back tears just before they must turn over their adoptive daughter Veronica in Charleston Saturday December 31, 2011. The Capobianco's must deliver Veronica to her biological father because of a 1978 law that applies to Native American children. (Grace Beahm/

COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Supreme Court is taking up arguments in a custody case involving a Charleston couple, an Oklahoma father and a federal law meant to protect Native American children.

Because it’s an adoption case, Tuesday’s arguments are closed.

The case pits the couple who nurtured a 2-year-old girl named Veronica against the child’s biological father, a Cherokee Nation member who took her to Oklahoma late last year after winning custody.

The case also concerns the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. The 1978 law was passed because many Indian children were being removed from their homes by public and private agencies.

The act gives the child’s tribe and family the right to a say in decisions affecting the child.