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Court Takes Another Look At Native American Adoption Law

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A federal appeals court is taking a new look at a law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving Native American children.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act in August. Opponents of the 1978 law sought and got a re-hearing.

On Wednesday, the full 16-member court is to hear arguments.

Opponents of the law called it an unconstitutional race-based intrusion on states' powers to govern adoptions. American Indian groups say the law helps protect and preserve Native American families.