Supreme Court Rules Native Adoptions Can Prioritize Tribal Families

In a surprise ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in a 7-2 vote in the case of . The Court rejected the challenges brought against ICWA by Chad and Jennifer Brackeen and two other other non-Native prospective adoptive couples—”some on the merits and others for lack of standing,” wrote Justice Amy Coney Barrett in her majority opinion.

Native American tribal leaders and advocates see the ruling as a win and say the law safeguards Native children and tribal communities. “We hope this decision will lay to rest the political attacks aimed at diminishing tribal sovereignty and creating instability throughout Indian law that have persisted for too long,” said a statement from leaders of the Cherokee Nation, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Oneida Nation and Quinault Indian Nation.