Choctaw couple officially adopts daughter after first denied in tribal court

Choctaw couple officially adopt their daughter after a long battle with the tribal court.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 6:16 PM CDT
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DURANT, Okla. (KXII) - Native Choctaw couple Chelcie and Kennedy Barker married in 2021.

Shortly after, they fostered a little girl from Colorado.

The now 9-year-old girl lived with the Barkers for more than a year when Choctaw Nation officials approved her adoption.

However, when going to court to make the adoption final, the tribal judge rejected the adoption, stating that the Choctaw Nation tribal code did not acknowledge same sex marriage.

" I think that it’s embarrassing that any court still says that they don’t recognize it when the higher court has said they do. I think legislators need to change that to make that effective,” the Barker adoption attorney, Linque Gillett said.

Gillet fought to uphold the adoption, which led to one barker being able to legally adopt their daughter.

“It was hard not knowing, not only on us, but on our daughter. She’s had a lot of uncertainty in her life,” Chelcie Barker shared.

Friday, that uncertainty ended.

After hearing about the Barker’s case, The Choctaw Constitutional Court decided that Choctaw members are able to marry regardless of the sex, allowing the Barkers to adopt their daughter together, making history.

" I’m proud of the Choctaw Nation for supporting its members and future members. The effect of this is long lasting,” Gillet explained.

Paving the way for future same-sex couples of the Choctaw Nation.

“Now we’re just going to continue on with our everyday lives like we wanted to begin with,” Chelcie Barker exclaimed.

In anticipation of Friday’s court date, the Barkers have already begun to celebrate.

They actually just came back from a Disney cruise.

The first trip of many as an official family.