Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

The Case of the Native American Adoption

Can someone please explain to me about the rules regarding native american children who are adopted? I know nothing about it (just saw on good morning america about the baby returned to the tribe after the mother changed her mind, BUT was deemed unfit so he was removed from adoptive parents home). Can they really remove a child if the child was part native american and part 4 or 5 other races?


Asked by babycakes254 at 8:43 AM on Dec. 16, 2008 in Adoption

Level 11 (547 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (29)
  • our dd is a quarter Ogalala Sioux, and when we adopted her we had to clear the tribal court system as well as the U.S. court system in order to adopt our daughter. her family is not registered. but we did have a high risk placement and it took longer to terminate rights due to the tribe having to "sign off" on everything. we are one of the lucky families that got to adopt a native american child in spite of the Native American Child Wellfare Act. which is a great thing, intended to protect a beautiful culture and heritage. but sometimes it can get in the way if things are not done correctly from the beginning. I feel terrible for the adoptive family! how awful !

    Answer by JayGirlsMom at 3:46 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • heres the story

    Answer by babycakes254 at 8:45 AM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • I don't know the laws and am not sure if they differ by state or if this is a federal thing, but I do know that Native American adoption to a non-Native American person is very tricky and there's more red tape to go through. This is only if there is a certain percentage of Native American in the child, but I don't know what that percentage is.

    Guess I'm not much help after all, huh?

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 9:20 AM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • I'm not sure about this case but I will tell you what I know about the adoption and Native American children. There is an act, I believe called the Indian Wellfair act. This was put into place because many Native American children were being removed (without just cause) from their families and native soil to be brought up by white people in white homes. Originally, the idea was to strip away the Native American culture and eventually, the end result, eradicating the Native American population. In order to protect the Native American culture, language, and race - the act was put into place. It basically states that children with X amount of Native American heriatage, who are placed for adopton, must be placed with a Native American tribe or in a Native American home of their particular tribal heritage.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:51 AM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • cont..The tribal counsel and government has the right to place the child some where in thier community. This is a way to strenghten numbers and preserve and protect their culture. It has to be proven that the child has Native American ancestory and their has to be X amount of Native American heritage (I don't recall off hand what that amount is). Some children do not qualify under this statute because they do not genetically have enough ancestory to make it the act apply to them. An adoption attorney and agency legally must ask and do their best to determine if a child who is elligable for adoption has any Native American ancestory.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:56 AM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • cont..My son, whom I adopted, did not qualify under this act. His birthmother thought she remembered that her great grandmother was full Cherokee. But that was not enough information to qualify my son to fit under the act. When in court the judge asked if we had any knowledge of Native American ancestory. Our attorney was honest and also pointed out the ways in which the law did not apply to our situation. Also with many Native American reservations recently getting into gambling and setting up cascinos - many people are claming Native American heritage and trying to get recognized so they can get some of the profits that go back to the N.A community. They are now turning down individual claims and are becomming much more strict, even with infants, on who can be on their registry.

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:00 AM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • I just went and visited the link. It sounds that the adoption agency was wrong - in fact the adoptive parents (if this were me I would) sue. The birthmother was an ACTIVE member of the tribe and the agency knew that. The agency needed the tribes permission to place a child with an adoptive couple. AND their were problems with the agency that they did not terminate the birthfather's parental rights. While I find it disgusting that a child can be removed from a home because a birthmother changes her mind (and rarely does this happen any more that a child can be removed once placed) in this particular situation Federal law does apply. The person hurt the most is this child and the agency should be sued their asses off.

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:12 AM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • The fraction is probably 1/8th. I know that is the fraction to qualify for college money. I happen to be undocumented 1/16th, but since we can't prove it, it doesn't count.

    Answer by LoveMyDog at 10:42 AM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • No matter what the case is behind the story...that is just horrible. The Bmom is deemed unfit, but let's return this little baby to a FOSTER HOME just so he can be on the reservation. I'm sorry, but I think that is just wrong! my great-grandmother was 100% Cherokee indian, so I have indian in me, but I don't see anything positive about this at all. If he was returning to his Birthmom, then maybe I would think differently but to be taken away from a family that loves him and placed in a foster home...that is just crazy!

    Answer by LizClara at 12:36 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • Correct me if I'm wrong but since he's being placed in a foster home doesn't that give bmom time to get her act together? She obviously changed her mind so maybe she'll try to make it happen and how great would that be, a family preserved. I do feel for the adoptive parents but i KNOW that they knew the risks of native american adoption going into it. Every adoption agency/lawyer/facilitator asks birthmothers if they are native american and then they have to go through this whole crazy process about getting permission from the tribe and all that. There are different rules and boundaries ... that's just the way it is.

    Answer by lillie023 at 1:02 PM on Dec. 16, 2008