Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl Reprise

Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act in a case called Haaland v. Brackeen. The decision comes almost exactly 10 years after the Supreme Court ruled in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, which planted the seed for last week’s big ruling. To mark the new landmark decision, More Perfect re-airs the Radiolab episode that tells the story of two families, a painful history, and a young girl caught in the middle.

Voices in the episode include:

Allison Herrera — KOSU Indigenous Affairs reporter

• Matt and Melanie Capobianco — Veronica's adoptive parents

• Dusten Brown — Veronica's biological father

Mark Fiddler — attorney for the Capobiancos

Marcia Zug — University of South Carolina School of Law professor

• Bert Hirsch — attorney formerly of the Association on American Indian Affairs

Chrissi Nimmo — Deputy Attorney General for Cherokee Nation

Terry Cross — founding executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association (now serving as senior advisor)

• Lori Alvino McGill — attorney for Christy Maldonado, Veronica’s biological mother

Learn more:

• 2013: Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl

• 2023: Haaland v. Brackeen

"Baby Veronica belongs with her adoptive parents" by Christy Maldonado

"Doing What’s Best for the Tribe" by Marcia Zug

"The Court Got Baby Veronica Wrong" by Marcia Zug

"A Wrenching Adoption Case" by The New York Times Editorial Board

National Indian Child Welfare Association

In Trust podcast, reported by Allison Herrera


Supreme Court archival audio comes from Oyez®, a free law project by Justia and the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.

Support for More Perfect is provided in part by The Smart Family Fund.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @moreperfectpodcast, and Twitter @moreperfect.

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