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Closure at last in high-profile child custody dispute

The ultimate goal of any family law court in Illinois and beyond is to resolve issues quickly and fairly. Child custody arrangements can be particularly sensitive in nature, and are therefore typically approached with care and thoroughness. However, some custody and visitation conflicts involve complex emotions and legal issues, taking years to resolve in some instances. One controversial case has finally come to an end, hopefully allowing both sides to move forward with their lives.

A four-year-old girl is back in the custody of her adoptive parents now that the Oklahoma Supreme Court has made a controversial ruling, overturning its own previous decision. The state’s highest court recently withdrew its opinion that the child should remain in the custody of her biological father for the time being, which in turn allowed another state’s decision to be enacted. As a result, the legal rights of the child’s adoptive parents have been upheld.

The child’s biological father gave her over to her adoptive parents for the last time, closing a case that has spent years in the courts. The little girl was adopted shortly after birth and lived with her adoptive parents for more than two years before her biological father won custody of her because of his Native American heritage. That custody decision was challenged and the case ultimately ended up in the U. S. Supreme Court, where it was found that the biological father had no legal rights to the child. The case did not end there, however, as the biological father sought to have Oklahoma rule on the issue.

Since the child is back in the custody of her adoptive family, it is not clear whether they will observe her Cherokee culture. It’s also not known if the biological father was granted visitation rights to the child.

Source: Yahoo! News, “Cherokee child handed over to adoptive parents,” Kristi Eaton, Sep. 23, 2013

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Johnson, Johnson, & NolanAttorneys At Law

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