Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | April 16, 2013

Adoption Case Goes Before Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court will begin their investigation into an adoption case involving the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). If you are not familiar with ICWA, it was established in 1978 in order to protect Native American children that were being taken from their biological parents and placed with Caucasian American families. The Act states that, in an adoption case, if one of the biological parents is Native American, that the case must be presented to the Native American tribe so that the tribe can see if there are Native American families that might be willing to adopt the child, and therefore enhance the child’s cultural heritage.

The particular case being presented before the Supreme Court is a very unique and messy case. The agency and attorneys did everything correctly in the case. However there are extenuating circumstances. I would encourage you to read the following article on the case:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/states-line-favor-federal-adoption-law-18951351#.UW1p6dYo6M8

If you desire to learn more about ICWA, you can at the following website:

http://www.nicwa.org/Indian_Child_Welfare_Act/documents/FamilysGuidetoICWA2012.pdf

When working with birth parents, Illini Christian Ministries takes time to discuss the Indian Child Welfare Act with the biological parents. Their caseworker has the birth parent complete an ICWA statement, attesting to whether or not they have Native American heritage. In the case that a biological parent has Native American heritage, Illini Christian Ministries contacts the tribe, and discusses the adoption with the tribe. These steps are completed prior to the birth parent being matched with an adoptive family.

Please keep the families involved in this case in your prayers, and especially this little girl and the transitions and difficulties she herself is having to encounter as the adults in her life try to decide what is hopefully best for her in the long run.

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