Cherokee Baby A Chero-keeper

Categories: News

In this week's Buzz, I update you on the case of the painfully adorable Jacob Cato, adopted son of Tracy and Kelley Cato of Corinth. I first wrote about the Catos back in June 2006, when they found out they might be forced to give up their new son because of a federal law called the Indian Child Welfare Act. His Cherokee mother gave him up for adoption.

The ICWA stipulates American Indian babies given up for adoption or abandoned must be raised in American Indian homes -- whether that's with relatives, if they'll have them, or a foster home. ICWA is supposed to promote the cultural survival of the tribe, which takes precedence over raising happy children in stable households with adoptive parents who love and want them. Never mind the fact that, according to Kelley Cato, Jacob's birth mom specifically said she didn't want her baby raised on a reservation.

After a year and a half of legal wrangling, the Catos have gained permanent custody of Jacob, who's now 19 months old. But you could have found all this out by reading the paper version of Unfair Park. What you couldn't have found out is how freaking cute Jacob is, because all we have room for in Buzz is snark, and Jacob is the anti-snark. So I asked Kelley Cato if he'd send over a photo of his son, and he obliged. Behold, the cute. -- Andrea Grimes

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