The South Carolina Supreme Court denied a request for rehearing the custody case of the adoptive parents of a three-year-old Cherokee Nation girl.
Last month, that state's highest court ruled in favor of the Indian Child Welfare Act, affirming that the couple's adoptive daughter, Veronica, should remain with her biological father, Dusten Brown, of Bartlesville.
The request for the rehearing was the last resort for Matt and Melanie Capobianco, of Charleston, South Carolina.
Brown had initially signed away his parental rights to as he was deploying with the U.S. Army, but started fighting to get his daughter back days later.
Veronica was removed from the Capobianco's on New Year's Eve 2011, and the couple have had no contact with her since then.
The South Carolina couple has 90 days to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it is unknown if they will choose to do so.
Only one Indian Child Welfare Act has reached the U.S. Supreme Court, in 1989, and in that case, the court ruled that "the tribal court had exclusive jurisdiction over a private adoption even though the mother left the reservation to give birth to twins" and preferred that a non-Native couple raise her children.