... in a case where the single mother — with no financial support from the biological father — chose to go forward with her pregnancy and chose adoptive parents, parents who were with her in the delivery room? The father gave up his parental rights via text message before the baby was born, and the child — a little girl — lived with those adoptive parents for 2 years before the state court gave her to the father. The only reason the father had an argument for taking the child was the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, a federal law intended to protect Indian families from public and private welfare agencies that Congress decided had been too aggressive. The Supreme Court majority — which included the one male liberal Justice (Breyer) — interpreted the statute not to apply in a situation where the biological father had never had custody of the child. Here is a mother who happened to have been impregnated by a man who is a member of an Indian tribe. Why was it appealing to the female Justices to allow this man to intrude on the mother's choice to give the baby up for adoption?
Here's the text of the case, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl.
The child is 1.2% Cherokee.
Consider that the states have traditionally handled family law, and Congress's power arises from the Commerce Clause.