Post-Argument Recap: Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 12:00pm
Latham & Watkins LLP
555 Eleventh Street, NW Suite 1000
Washington, DC
The Washington, DC Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society presented:
 
 
Post-Argument Recap: Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl
 

Featuring:

  • Lori Alvino McGill, Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP; Counsel for Birth Mother as Amicus Curiae, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, No. 12-399 (U.S. Supreme Court 2013)
  • Kelsi Brown Corkran, Counsel, Bancroft PLLC; Counsel for Respondent Guardian ad Litem, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, No. 12-399 (U.S. Supreme Court 2013)
  • Charles A. Rothfield, Special Counsel, Mayer Brown LLP; Counsel for Respondent Birth Father, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, No. 12-399 (U.S. Supreme Court 2013)

 

And moderated by:

  • Kimberly Atkins, Staff Writer, Washington, D.C. Office, Lawyers USA, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly
 
 
The ACS Washington, DC Lawyer Chapter welcomed three lawyers directly involved with this case for a lunch discussion.  Having recently heard oral argument for the case, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the Supreme Court seeks to unravel application of the procedural protections in Section 1912(d) and (f) of the Indian Child Welfare Act to a case in which an unwed biological father initially renounced custodial rights to his daughter, who has lived for her whole two years of life with adoptive parents.  These sections, designed to protect Indian families against the involuntary termination of parental rights, require the party seeking termination to show that “active efforts had been made to provide remedial services and rehabilitation programs designed to prevent the breakup of the Indian family and that these efforts have proved unsuccessful” and to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt  “that the continued custody of the child by the parent or Indian custodian is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child.”  The South Carolina Supreme Court ordered the child returned to her biological father, but oral argument provided little clear indication of where the U.S. Supreme Court might stand on this emotionally charged case.
 

Photos from the event: