Cherokee Nation passes child-placement law

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) -- TheCherokee Nation has passed a new law giving added protection to biologicalparents in adoptive and foster care cases.

The CherokeeNation tribal council passed the law this week that gives first preference inadoptive and foster care cases involving Cherokee children to biologicalparents deemed fit. A member of the child's extended family, other members ofthe Cherokee Nation or other Native American families receive next priority inthe placement of a child under the law.

The change comesmonths after the tribe and tribal member Dusten Brown dropped a yearslong legalfight over custody of Brown's biological daughter, who is now in the custody ofher adoptive parents.

Chief Bill JohnBaker says the law will help ensure Cherokee children live in a"culturally appropriate" home.