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Court Fights Intensify Over Who Gets To Adopt Native American Children

A case before a federal appeals court last week could upend an historic adoption law meant to combat centuries of brutal discrimination against American Indians and keep their children with families and tribal communities. For the first time, a few states have sued to overturn the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, which Congress enacted in 1978 as an antidote to entrenched policies of uprooting Native children and assimilating them into mainstream white culture.

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Indian Children Welfare Act (ICWA)

12/5/2019

article Public memorial service honors Antonio “Tony” Renova
(Montana) -- A public memorial service was held in Great Falls to honor Antonio “Tony” Renova, the five-year old boy who died after he was allegedly beaten...

12/2/2019

article Public memorial service will honor Antonio “Tony” Renova in Great Falls on Thursday
(Montana) -- A public memorial service has been scheduled in Great Falls to honor Antonio “Tony” Renova, the five-year old boy who died after he was...

11/24/2019

article PEMBER: Indian child welfare legal challenge is about ending tribal sovereignty
(Washington D.C.) -- This story is like a scary movie. In “Fatal Attraction” Glen Close’s character won’t give up her murderous quest. She comes...

11/22/2019

article Foster family who raised slain 5-year-old explains how system repeatedly failed him
(Montana) -- On Thursday, the world learned of the horrifying death of 5-year-old Antonio Renova. Renova’s broken and nearly lifeless body was discovered by Great...
article Foster mother recalls "sweet boy"
(Montana) -- Antonio, the five-year old boy who was found dead in Great Falls on Wednesday, will not be forgotten, thanks to community members who are determined to...

11/21/2019

article LEGAL BLOG: Fifth Circuit to Review Brackeen Decision En Banc
(New Orleans) -- The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) is a federal law that requires state courts to give tribes notice of child placement proceedings involving...

11/19/2019

article Wind River Tribes Defend ICWA Against Renewed Legal Challenges
(Wyoming) -- After initially upholding the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in August, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has announced that it will re-hear legal...
article Montana view: Child Welfare Act court making a difference
(Montana) -- Native American children accounted for 30% of the Montana children in foster care as of Sept. 30, including 472 children under tribal jurisdiction and 679...
article R.I. court upholds termination of mother’s rights to Narragansett Indian boy
(Rhode Island) -- The state Supreme Court this week upheld the termination of the parental rights of the mother of a 5-year-old Narragansett Indian boy with congenital...
article Pima County considering new court for American Indian child welfare cases
(Arizona) -- Pima County officials say they're interested in establishing an Indian Child Welfare Act court next year. If a child who is a member or could be member...

11/18/2019

article Who Should Be Allowed To Adopt Native American Children?
(USA) -- Native American tribes got a big win in August when a federal court upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act, a pivotal 1978 law that requires states to prioritize...
article Who Should Be Allowed To Adopt Native American Children?
(Indian Country) -- Native American tribes got a big win in August when a federal court upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act, a pivotal 1978 law that requires states to...
article Gazette opinion: Better care for Native American children
(Montana) -- Native American children accounted for 30% of the Montana children in foster care as of Sept. 30, including 472 children under tribal jurisdiction and 679...
article Gazette opinion: Better care for Native American children
(Montana) -- Native American children accounted for 30% of the Montana children in foster care as of Sept. 30, including 472 children under tribal jurisdiction and 679...

11/13/2019

article Tribe concerned about ICWA case rehearing
(Oklahoma) -- The Cherokee Nation Rules Committee heard updates during a Wednesday meeting from Assistant Attorney General Chris Nimmo on the tribe's pending legal...

11/9/2019

article Court to rehear law on adoptions of Native American children
(New Orleans) -- A federal appeals court announced Thursday that it will take a second look at an emotionally fraught lawsuit governing the adoption of Native American...
article Tribal families get priority in Native American adoptions. An appeals court will decide whether that’s fair.
(Washington D.C.) -- In the 40 years since Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act, the law has been criticized in legal challenges that have climbed all the way...

11/8/2019

article The Indian Child Welfare Act Turns 41
(Washington D.C.) -- The Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law outlining adoption and foster care regulations for American Indian/Alaska Native children in the United...

11/7/2019

article Federal appeals court to rehear law on adoptions of Native American children
(New Orleans) -- A federal appeals court will reconsider its decision upholding a law that gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption...
article Fifth Circuit to rehear Indian Child Welfare Act challenge
(New Orleans) -- Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order directing a challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to be...
article Full 5th Circ. To Rehear Challenge To Indian Child Welfare Act (sub req)
(New Orleans) -- The Fifth Circuit said Thursday it will rehear a challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act en banc, overriding objections from tribes and the federal...

10/27/2019

article The complicated nature of Native American adoptions: Does a Utah court ruling conflict with federal law?
(Utah) -- Over the summer, Shari Pena’s 3-month-old foster son chuckled for the first time when his older sister sneezed, kicking off a new family tradition. The...

10/24/2019

article Feds, Navajo Decry Redo Bid On Indian Child Welfare Act [sub req]
(Washington D.C.) -- The federal government and the Navajo Nation have urged the Fifth Circuit to deny a bid by three states and several foster couples to rethink its...

10/9/2019

article CATO: Indian Child Welfare Act Creates Unconstitutional Race‐​Based Classifications That Hurt Kids
(Washington D.C.) -- The Indian Child Welfare Act strips basic constitutional rights any child who is racially classified as “Indian.” ICWA was initially...

10/6/2019

article Families push for new hearing in Indian adoption case
(New Orleans) -- A three-judge panel at the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in August ruled that the 1978 law is constitutional. On Tuesday, the plaintiffs asked for...

10/3/2019

article ANALYSIS: Protecting Native American Children
(USA) -- The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) (92 Stat. 3069, 25 U.S.C. §§1901-1963), was the product of rising concern in the mid-1970s over the...
article Families push for new hearing in Indian adoption case
(USA) -- Families and states looking to change a 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving American Indian...
article Families Seek A Fresh Court Hearing In A Case Related To The ICWA
(USA) -- Families and states seeking to replace the 1978 ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) that favoured Native Americans in the foster care system and procedures in terms...

10/2/2019

article Families push for new hearing in Indian adoption case
(Louisiana) -- Families and states looking to change a 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving American...

9/25/2019

article Mother seeks to restore her parental rights to Narragansett Indian son
(Rhode Island) -- A mother whose parental rights to her 5-year-old son a Family Court judge terminated due to medical neglect argued Tuesday before the state Supreme...

9/7/2019

article First Nations leadership concerned about who will be included in child welfare ruling
(British Columbia) -- First Nations leadership in British Columbia is calling on the Canadian government to "do the right thing" and ensure nobody is left...

9/6/2019

article 'A historic leap forward': ND tribes sign updated agreement with state over child welfare services
(North Dakota) -- The leaders of four American Indian tribes in North Dakota have signed a new agreement with the state over federal funding for child welfare services,...

9/2/2019

article Commentary: Appeals court affirms indigenous children belong to a political class, not racial
(North Dakota) -- The battle to keep indigenous children, north and south of the Mexico-U.S. border, with their families now plays out fairly regularly in the U.S. media...

8/23/2019

article Indian Country Fights to Protect Its Children and Preserve Its Sovereignty
(Washington) -- As president of both the Quinault Nation and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, Fawn Sharp is a busy person. As of late, much of her time has...

8/20/2019

article BABY THIEF: A New Trail of Tears and Be the Parent
(Washington D.C.) -- Naomi Schaefer Riley is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute as well as a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum....

8/18/2019

article Opinion: ICWA is vital to Native Sovereignty
(Louisiana) -- The constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA, is currently being debated though the federal court system. I have long sided with the...

8/16/2019

article 'Hits close to home': Coachella Valley area tribes applaud Indian Child Welfare Act ruling
(California) -- Coachella Valley tribal leaders are applauding a federal court ruling that upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act, a law that prioritizes keeping Native...

8/15/2019

article Harold Frazier: Victory for our children and the Indian Child Welfare Act
(South Dakota) -- It is with great pleasure that I applaud the decision of the US Fifth Circuit Court’s ruling regarding the constitutionality of the Indian Child...

8/14/2019

article BLOG: You Guys, The Fifth Circuit Ruled *For* The Welfare Of Indian Children
(Texas) -- Texas Governor-in-Waiting/Attorney General Ken Paxton, joined by the AGs of Louisiana and Indiana, is suing in an attempt to get courts to declare that white...
article Federal court rules in favor of Native American adoption case
(Missouri) -- The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was established in 1978. It tries to keep a Native American child with their tribe or with other Native Americans.
article Paxton likely to challenge ruling upholding Indian adoption law
(Texas) -- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will likely challenge a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act, a U.S. law that gives...

8/12/2019

article Fifth Circuit Court reaffirms ICWA is constitutional
(New Orleans) -- On Friday, Aug. 9, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 2018 ruling by the Northern District of Texas concerning the constitutionality of the...
article Paxton likely to challenge ruling upholding Indian adoption law
(Texas) -- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will likely challenge a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act, a U.S. law that gives...
article Reversing Lower Ruling, Federal Court Upholds Indian Child Welfare Act
(New Orleans) -- In a blow to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, a federal appeals court on Friday reversed a lower court’s October 2018 ruling that struck...

8/11/2019

article ICYMI: Law Governing Adoptions of Native American Children Upheld
(New Orleans) -- A 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving American Indian children is constitutional, a...

8/10/2019

article 5th Circuit upholds Indian Child Welfare Act as constitutional, reversing lower court
(Texas) -- In a blow to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, a federal appeals court on Friday reversed a lower court’s October 2018 ruling that struck down...
article Federal appeals court upholds Indian Child Welfare Act
(New Orleans) -- A federal appeals court has upheld the constitutionality of a 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption...
article Law governing adoptions of Native American children upheld
(New Orleans) -- A 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving American Indian children is constitutional, a...

8/9/2019

article Court ruled that ICWA is constitutional
(New Orleans) -- The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously voted to uphold the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act; overturning a lower district court...
article Federal Law Protecting Indian Children and Families Will Stand
(New Orleans) -- Today a federal circuit court reversed a lower court’s ruling by affirming the validity of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a law passed in...
article Law governing adoptions of Native American children upheld
(New Orleans) -- A 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving American Indian children is constitutional, a...

8/6/2019

article Indian Child Welfare Act Conference set for Aug. 13
(Mississippi) -- The Ninth Annual Indian Child Welfare Act Conference is planned for Aug. 13 at the Silver Star Convention Center at Choctaw. The president of the...
article Indian Child Welfare Act Conference set for Aug. 13
(California) -- The Ninth Annual Indian Child Welfare Act Conference is planned for Aug. 13 at the Silver Star Convention Center at Choctaw. The president of the...

7/27/2019

article OP/ED: Family Ties: A Look at Familial Connections in Adoption & Child Welfare
(Wisconsin) -- Two of the most influential people in my life (with the exception of my parents) have been my aunts, Kaye and Thelma. They have been present for every...

7/15/2019

article 'I just want to be a mother to my kids': Mother says fight for child on Spirit Lake felt hopeless
(North Dakota) -- A neat pile of toys sit in the corner and the closet is filled with tiny hangers holding up brightly colored clothes in hopes that someday Martin will...

7/14/2019

article Mother says fight for child on Spirit Lake felt hopeless
(North Dakota) -- A silent tear rolled down Nina Martin’s cheek as she looked around the pink, Minnie Mouse-themed bedroom. A neat pile of toys sit in the corner...

7/8/2019

article VIDEO: Impact of Adoption Law Changes on Tribes
(Wisconsin) -- On July 2, the Assembly Speaker's Task Force on Adoption held a public hearing in Green Bay. The committee heard testimony from Joan Delabreau, vice-...

7/3/2019

article Fostering Native Children Brings “Amazing Rewards”
(Minnesota) -- LouAnn and Bryan Blackhawk are a shining example of a couple that has stepped up in an inspirational way to foster Native children. Bryan is an enrolled...

7/2/2019

article The Fight Over Native American Adoptions Is About More Than Just the Children
(Arizona) -- Each time Elisia Manuel sees her daughter Precious rehearsing traditional basket dancing and humming tribal songs around their home in Casa Grande, Arizona...

6/25/2019

article Tribal baby battle: This Iowan lost her baby to the Indian Child Welfare Act. Now she understands why.
(Iowa) -- When I was 22, I became pregnant after a one-night fling. I immediately knew I could not raise a child on my own. The father had left for basic training and,...

6/17/2019

article How a Right-Wing Attack on Protections for Native American Children Could Upend Indian Law
(Indian Country) -- A law key to preventing state welfare agencies from separating Indigenous children from their families is at risk of being overturned thanks to the...

6/16/2019

article BULLSH*T ALERT: Hoping for honest coverage of the Indian Child Welfare Act
(USA) -- Forty years after the passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) it seems likely the Supreme Court will review it again. Maybe this time, the justices will...

6/11/2019

article Indian Child Welfare Act still under debate as Supreme Court rebuffs bid to void the act
(Texas) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has rebuffed a bid to void a federal law that challengers claim is racist because it places the desires and rights of Native American...
article OP/ED: King Solomon decisions
(Texas) -- Legal decisions in questions of child custody often seem to require the wisdom of biblical King Solomon. Faced with two women claiming to be the mother of the...

6/10/2019

article A Texas Child Custody Case Could Upend A Long-Standing System For Native American Adoptions
(Texas) -- In 1978, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act. Before the law, a vast majority of Native American children in foster care were placed in homes outside...

6/7/2019

article What a Reporter Learned From a Cherokee Family
(Oklahoma) -- After spending time with Chad and Dr. Jennifer Brackeen in a suburb of Fort Worth, I felt I could tell their story about why they are challenging a 40-year...
article ‘Although My Indian Identity Isn’t Simple, It’s Mine’: Readers on Adoption That Crosses Cultural Lines
(Texas) -- A newborn lands in Texas foster care, removed from her Navajo mother at birth because they both tested positive for methamphetamine. The time has now come to...

6/5/2019

article Who Can Adopt a Native American Child? A Texas Couple vs. 573 Tribes
(Texas) -- The 3-year-old boy who could upend a 40-year-old law aimed at protecting Native American children barreled into the suburban living room, merrily defying his...

6/3/2019

article U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Indian Child Welfare case
(Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has rebuffed a bid to void a federal law that challengers claim is racist because it places the desires and rights of Native...

5/31/2019

article U.S. high court won't use 'moot' AZ case to decide legality of Indian Child Welfare Act
(Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Supreme Court rebuffed a bid to void a federal law that critics say places the desires and rights of Native American tribes over the...

5/23/2019

article Native leaders rebuke state officials over failed talks on Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact
(Alaska) -- The Alaska Federation of Natives and state tribal officials are criticizing Gov. Mike Dunleavy and the state of Alaska for backing out of negotiations over...
article Negotiations sour on tribal child welfare agreement
(Alaska) -- Negotiations broke down last week over a compact between Alaska Native tribes, tribal organizations, and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services...
article Tribal officials blame state for stalled child welfare talks
(Alaska) -- Alaska Native officials have criticized the state for backing out of negotiations over the Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact. The Fairbanks Daily News-...

5/16/2019

article Court Ruling Creates New Uncertainty for Adopted Native Children
(Texas) -- Pamala Silas’s first memory is being driven in an ambulance to the Milwaukee County Children’s Home. It was 1962 and she was just three years old...
article Bill quickens state DHS ICWA applicability determination
(Oklahoma) -- Native children in need of foster care will have a chance to be placed more quickly with an American Indian household when a new state bill goes into...

5/6/2019

article OP/ED: Preserve the Indian Child Welfare Act
(Indian Country) -- Navigating the U.S. child welfare process can be a highly emotional venture. As a judge who works in child welfare I know this better than most. Our...

5/4/2019

article COMMENTARY: Preserve the Indian Child Welfare Act
(Texas) -- Navigating the U.S. child welfare process can be a highly emotional venture. As a judge who works in child welfare I know this better than most. Our end goal...

4/26/2019

article Supreme Court nixes transfer of child abuse case to tribe
(South Dakota) -- The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled a judge erred when he transferred a child abuse and neglect case from state court to tribal court. In an...

4/25/2019

article Supreme Court nixes transfer of child abuse case to tribe
(South Dakota) -- The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled a judge erred when he transferred a child abuse and neglect case from state court to tribal court. In an...

4/24/2019

article Navajo Nation Wins Appeal in Indian Child Welfare Act Case
(Arizona) -- The Arizona Court of Appeals ordered a new hearing Thursday over the guardianship of a 6-year-old child who is subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act. The...

4/19/2019

article Breaking the Ice: From restaurant industry to U.S. Supreme Court win
(Minnesota) -- Mark Fiddler’s first career was in the restaurant business. But something was missing. “Serving rich people,” Fiddler said, “wasn...

4/9/2019

article Proposed law would make it easier for Native Americans to argue their side in child custody cases
(California) -- California lawmakers are considering a proposal to make it easier for Native American tribes to make their arguments in child custody cases. Technically...

4/8/2019

article American Indian adoptees deal with painful past and family separations
(Indian Country) -- Jane Harstad gave birth in 1986 to her first child, a son. Soon after, a pediatrician asked for her family’s medical history. She didn’t have a clue...

4/6/2019

article Who should get to adopt Native American children?
(Minnesota) -- Sally Tarnowski is a state district court judge in Duluth, Minnesota. She presides over Courtroom 3 on the fourth floor of the St. Louis County Courthouse...

4/5/2019

article Who should get to adopt Native American children?
(Indian Country) -- Sally Tarnowski is a state district court judge in Duluth, Minnesota. She presides over Courtroom 3 on the fourth floor of the St. Louis County...

4/1/2019

article The future of the Indian Child Welfare Act
(Indian Country) -- The Indian Child Welfare Act has some tough opponents in the courts and in the court of public opinion. ICWA proponents suffered a setback in the...

3/26/2019

article Appeals court hears case on adoptions of Native Americans
(Louisiana) -- A 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving American Indian children is an unconstitutional...

3/24/2019

article Fate of Native children may hinge on US adoption case
(Washington D.C.) -- A case before a federal appeals court this month could upend an historic adoption law meant to combat centuries of brutal discrimination against...

3/22/2019

article Colorado is out of compliance with Indian Child Welfare Act
(Colorado) -- Colorado is violating protocol when taking custody of Native American children and has inundated tribes with paperwork and delayed placing children in...

3/21/2019

article OP/ED: The attack on the Indian Child Welfare Act cannot stand
(Washington D.C.) -- With the fate of the Indian Child Welfare Act in the hands of a federal appeals courts, tribes and some states have come together to defend the law...

3/20/2019

article Native children benefit from knowing their heritage. Why attack a system that helps them?
(Washington D.C.) -- If an American child is abused or neglected while living overseas, we expect our government to get involved. If an American couple chooses to adopt...
article OP/ED: Indian Child Welfare Act held unconstitutional
(Washington D.C.) -- ICWA was passed in 1978 to counteract what Congress perceived to be abusive child welfare practices. Through adoption and foster care placement,...
article OP/ED: Paxton should stop playing politics with adoptive families
(Washington D.C.) -- Attorney General Ken Paxton cares deeply about preventing discrimination in adoptions. Except for when he doesn’t.

3/19/2019

article Stateline: Indian Child Welfare Act likely headed to Supreme Court
(Washington D.C.) -- A case before a federal appeals court could upend an historic adoption law meant to combat centuries of brutal discrimination against American...

3/18/2019

article Court Fights Intensify Over Who Gets To Adopt Native American Children
(Washington D.C.) -- A case before a federal appeals court last week could upend an historic adoption law meant to combat centuries of brutal discrimination against...

3/17/2019

article 'They are not your children': Future of Indian Child Welfare Act in hands of appeals court
(Louisiana) -- Tribal leaders expressed optimism after a federal appeals court here heard arguments in a case that will determine the fate of the Indian Child Welfare...
article MORON ALERT: AG Landry protecting Louisiana children, including Native American kids
(Louisiana) -- As a mother of four, a former special counsel for Indian Affairs in the Governor’s Office, and now Louisiana’s solicitor general — I was...

3/15/2019

article BAKER: Sovereign rights at stake in ICWA case
(Washington D.C.) -- Native children are removed from their homes at a higher rate than most of their peers. Nonetheless, in the recent Texas v. Bernhardt case, U.S....
article Court case centers on Native American children in foster care
(Washington D.C.) -- A federal law that gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving Native American children is facing...
article Paxton targets U.S. law limiting adoptions of Indian children
(Texas) -- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has made it a priority to overturn the Indian Child Welfare Act, enacted in 1978 after Congress identified “alarmingly...

3/14/2019

article 'They are not your children': Future of Indian Child Welfare Act in hands of appeals court
(Louisiana) -- Tribal leaders expressed optimism after a federal appeals court here heard arguments in a case that will determine the fate of the Indian Child Welfare...

3/13/2019

article Appeals court hears case on adoptions of Native Americans
(Louisiana) -- A federal appeals court in New Orleans is hearing arguments Wednesday on a 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and...
article Appeals court hears Texas case challenging Indian Child Welfare Act; Judge says ‘They are not your children … they are the children of the tribes’
(Louisiana) -- The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments March 13 for the Brackeen v. Bernhardt case. The plaintiffs, who won at the district court...
article Fifth Circuit Takes Up Indian Child Welfare Act Adoption Law
(Louisiana) -- Attorneys representing Native American tribes told a panel of Fifth Circuit judges Wednesday that a 1978 law that gives preference to Native American...
article Indian Child Welfare Act supporters: Law needed to ‘rectify those past wrongs’
(Louisiana) -- A 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving American Indian children is an unconstitutional...
article Indian Country asks appeals court to protect #NativeChildren in critical case
(Louisiana) -- Ahead of a critical court hearing here, leaders of Indian Country organizations called for the reversal of a judge's decision that struck down the...
article Judge challenges Native American custody law
(Louisiana) -- A federal law that gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving Native American children is facing the...
article Welfare Of Native American Kids At Center Of Adoption, Foster Care Case
(Louisiana) -- A federal law that gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving Native American children is facing the...

3/12/2019

article Court case centers on Native American kids in foster care
(New Orleans) -- A federal law that gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving Native American children is facing the...
article BAKER: Sovereign rights at stake in ICWA case
(Oklahoma) -- Native children are removed from their homes at a higher rate than most of their peers. Nonetheless, in the recent Texas v. Bernhardt case, U.S. District...

3/11/2019

article Fate of Native Children May Hinge on U.S. Adoption Case
(Washington D.C.) -- A case before a federal appeals court this week could upend an historic adoption law meant to combat centuries of brutal discrimination against...
article ICWA plaintiffs ask U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case
(Washington D.C.) -- Two South Dakota tribes are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its case after a federal appeals court overturned an earlier ruling that...
article Native American child welfare law faces biggest challenge
(Washington D.C.) -- A federal law that gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving Native American children is facing...
article Guest column: Against expert advice, Landry picks fight on Native Americans adoption law
(Louisiana) -- When joining a lawsuit that could deeply affect children and families for generations, an attorney general might be expected to heed the advice of a state...

3/9/2019

article The human faces of the Indian Child Welfare Act
(Indian Country) -- Autumn Adams spent a good portion of her life in foster care. She says the Indian Child Welfare Act saved her life because she was able to stay in...

3/2/2019

article Judge: State deference to U.S. law in Native American adoptions is unconstitutional
(Texas) -- A Tarrant County judge on Friday ruled that the state’s requirement for family law judges to apply the federal Indian Child Welfare Act to child custody...

3/1/2019

article ADAMS: I am living proof that it’s best to keep Native children with their tribal communities
(Washington) -- No placement may be perfect when you are a foster youth. I can speak from personal experience. I have been in and out of the foster system with my...

2/21/2019

article A Court Battle Over a Dallas Toddler Could Decide the Future of Native American Law
(Texas) -- When Chad and Jennifer Brackeen realized that God was calling on them to help children in their area, they first tried to ignore it. They already had two...
article OP/ED: Foster Care System: Where are our children?
(South Dakota) -- In a world of statistics, where even educational statistics in the United States, do not account for Native people because the percentages are so small...

2/20/2019

press release National Native organizations respond to reply briefs in 'Brackeen v. Bernhardt'
(Washington D.C.) -- In reply briefs filed yesterday with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the case Brackeen v. Bernhardt, the United States...

2/19/2019

article Presentation planned on Indian Child Welfare Act
(Washington) -- Community members are invited to a presentation about the Indian Child Welfare Act on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Sarah Augustine, executive director of The...

2/5/2019

article New county agreement promises to keep Hoopa Tribe involved in child welfare decisions
(California) -- Child welfare matters in Humboldt County are handled by the county Department of Health and Human Services, which now promises it will work with Native...

2/1/2019

article OP/ED: A federal law is hurting Native American children. It must be struck down.
(Washington D.C.) -- In June 2016, Texas couple Chad and Jennifer Brackeen took a 10-month-old Native American foster child into their home. The boy, referred to as A.L....

1/28/2019

article Tribes offer overwhelming support for Indian Child Welfare Act
(Washington D.C.) -- On Jan. 16, 325 tribal nations, 57 Native organizations, 21 states, 31 child welfare organizations, Indian and constitutional law scholars, and...

1/24/2019

article OP/ED: Indian Child Welfare Act Needs to Be Supported to Help Foster Kids, Tribes
(Washington D.C.) -- The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals put on hold on Dec. 5 a ruling that would declare the Indian Child Welfare Act unconstitutional. This controversial...

1/23/2019

article Assessing An NPR Report On The Indian Child Welfare Act
(Washington D.C.) -- A Dec. 17 report on All Things Considered about the Indian Child Welfare Act prompted harsh criticism from the Native American Journalists...
article Tribes come together to challenge the Indian Child Welfare decision
(USA) -- A defending argument for the Indian Child Welfare Act was released last week with widespread support from 325 tribes, 57 organizations, 31 child welfare...

1/22/2019

article Bacon, Cole join bicameral team supporting Indian Child Welfare Act
(Washington D.C.) -- U.S. Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE) and Tom Cole (R-OK) joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in both chambers of Congress to ensure that federal...
article Utah adds its support to federal law protecting Native American children
(Utah) -- Utah joined 21 other states last week in filing a legal brief in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a 40-year-old law that furthers the best interests of...

1/18/2019

article Wampanoags Support Indian Child Welfare Appeal
(Massachusetts) -- This week, the Mashpee Wampanaog Tribe signed a legal brief along with more than 300 other federally recognized tribes in support of the Indian Child...

1/17/2019

article Alaska officials call on court to uphold Indian Child Welfare Act
(Alaska) -- Alaska’s attorney general and two of the state’s congressional lawmakers are calling on a federal appeals court to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act, or...
article State of Idaho Attorney General Joins Indian Tribes in Defense of the Indian Child Welfare Act
(Idaho) -- Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden supports the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) by filing an amicus brief after meeting with tribal legal counsel from...
press release Lawmakers File Bipartisan, Bicameral Amicus Brief in Support of the Indian Child Welfare Act
(Washington D.C.) -- Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) along with U.S. Representatives Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.),...

1/16/2019

article Arizona Attorney General Supports Indian Child Welfare Act In Texas Case
(Arizona) -- Arizona joined 18 other states in supporting the Indian Child Welfare Act in a Texas legal battle over the adoption of a Native American child. In a legal...

1/15/2019

article AG Becerra leads bipartisan coalition of 21 Attorneys General in brief defending law that protects Native American children
(California) -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a bipartisan coalition of 21 states in filing an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to...
press release Attorney General Ferguson urges appeals court to preserve Indian Child Welfare Act
(Washington) -- Attorney General Bob Ferguson has joined a bipartisan coalition of 21 states to urge a federal appeals court to preserve the federal Indian Child Welfare...

12/19/2018

article By gutting Obamacare, Judge Reed O’Connor handed Texas a win. It wasn’t the first time.
(Texas) -- In 2015, it was an Obama administration effort to extend family leave benefits to gay couples. In 2016, it was an Obama administration guideline allowing...

12/17/2018

article Foster parents take on Indian Child Welfare Act in fight for child
(Arizona) -- When 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS first introduced viewrs to foster parents Jason and Danielle Clifford last year, they had just said goodbye to a child 5 EYEWITNESS...
article Native American Adoption Law Challenged As Racially Biased
(Arizona) -- In 2014, Paul Buckley and his wife, Cheryl Becker, fostered a baby boy named Mason. They had seen other members of their Phoenix church community foster...

12/16/2018

article With ICWA under threat, supporters gather
(Arizona) -- Tawny Jodie, 19, has fond memories of running around outside in the rain with her cousins and hoping it would stop soon so they could make mud pies to throw...
article Challenges to law could redefine Native American foster care, adoptions
(Arizona) -- Gilbert resident Mimi Condon calls the struggle to make her oldest son part of her family her “39-month labor.” That’s how long it took to...

12/13/2018

article Cronkite News: Tribes on 'pins and needles' in Indian Child Welfare Act case
(Arizona) -- Gilbert resident Mimi Condon calls the struggle to make her oldest son part of her family her “39-month labor.” That’s how long it took to...

12/12/2018

article Challenges to law could redefine Native American foster care, adoptions
(Arizona) -- Gilbert resident Mimi Condon calls the struggle to make her oldest son part of her family her “39-month labor.” That’s how long it took to...

12/5/2018

article Indian Child Welfare Act remains in force after appeals court order
(Texas) -- A federal appeals court granted a stay requested by the four tribes on Monday to preserve the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act. “The law is going to stay...

12/3/2018

article U.S. to defend Indian Child Welfare Act
(Texas) -- The United States will join four tribes defending the Indian Child Welfare Act against a district court ruling in Texas. The Department of Justice, with the...

12/2/2018

article Navajos Say They Deserve Place In Appeal Of ICWA Ruling [sub req]
(Texas) -- The Navajo Nation on Thursday pressed a Texas federal judge to let the tribe join an appeal of his ruling that the Indian Child Welfare Act is...

11/21/2018

article RECTOR: Why conservatives are attacking a law meant to protect Native American families
(Washington D.C.) -- My grandmother Inez was a striking beauty, and quiet. Seen but not heard. She was the second youngest of 8 children in a family that lived in...
article SD Supreme Court: State Circuit Judge Didn't Violate Federal Indian Child Welfare Act
(South Dakota) -- A state circuit judge didn't violate the federal Indian Child Welfare Act when she terminated a father's right to his four-year-old son, the...
article Tribes Appeal, Seek Stay on Indian Child Welfare Act Ruling; Feds Yet to Act
(Texas) -- Several tribes have formally appealed last month’s decision in a federal district court that the 40-year-old Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is in part...

11/12/2018

article BLOG: The next step in assimilation
(Washington) -- My father was removed from his mother and family, land, people, community and language at birth. He grew up in Denver, 350 miles from his mother’s...

11/7/2018

article Cherokee leaders speak out against Texas adoption ruling
(North Carolina) -- A recent court ruling in Texas has Native American tribes across the country — including the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians — concerned...

10/30/2018

article Judge Denies Harm Could Be Caused by Ruling Against Indian Child Welfare Act
(Texas) -- A federal judge in Texas this week denied a stay of his previous ruling on the Indian Child Welfare Act in the Brackeen vs. Zinke lawsuit, saying the...

10/29/2018

article SMITH: Indian Child Welfare Act Protects the Rights We Always Had
(Washington D.C.) -- As a child, I was at the heart of two Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) cases in two separate states, and I am the why behind the law. Every Indian...
article OP/ED: Indian Child Welfare Act Protects the Rights We Always Had
(Washington D.C.) -- As a child, I was at the heart of two Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) cases in two separate states, and I am the why behind the law. Every Indian...

10/28/2018

article Native Americans Say Law That Protects Children at Risk
(Washington D.C.) -- An American law that blocks placement of Native American children with non-native American families was ruled illegal earlier this month. A federal...

10/24/2018

article Treppa: Why the ICWA is critical to the health of native children and tribal communities
(California) -- A Texas judge’s recent decision to strike down the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA, sets a dangerous precedent that unravels federal policy...

10/23/2018

article Challenges to Indian Child Welfare Act Concern Native Americans
(Washington D.C.) -- On Mother’s Day 2015, Iva Johnson, a member of the Navajo Nation living off-reservation in Flagstaff, Arizona, suffered a heart attack and...
article GLADSTONE: History, Not Race, Says Indian Children Still Need Legal Protection
(Washington D.C.) -- Earlier this year, policy changes leading to migrant family separations rocked the country, leading to surprise and outrage. How could the United...

10/19/2018

article ICWA decision brings push back from Tribe
(Washington D.C.) -- The federal district court decision of Brackeen v. Zinke, which ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act was unconstitutional, has prompted a...

10/18/2018

article Indigenous Writers & Activists on Indian Child Welfare Act & Ongoing Struggle for Native Sovereignty
(USA) -- Extended discussion with three leading indigenous writers and activists. Tara Houska is in Fargo, North Dakota. She is national campaign director for Honor the...

10/17/2018

article Alaska tribes, state officials denounce Indian Child Welfare Act ruling
(Alaska) -- As Alaska moves to strengthen ties with tribes over foster care and adoptions involving tribal children, a new federal court ruling out of Texas threatens...
article Judge strikes down Native American adoption law; Tribes plan to fight back
(Texas) -- A landmark legislation involving Native American adoption illegal has been deemed illegal. In the Oct. 4 ruling, a Texas federal judge said the Indian Child...

10/15/2018

article Cherokee Nation to appeal Oct. 4 ruling against ICWA
(Oklahoma) -- The Cherokee Nation is planning to appeal an Oct. 4 decision by a United States district judge that struck down a law governing the adoptions of Native...
article Judge Strikes Indian Child Welfare Act
(Texas) -- Judge Reed Charles O'Connor, a federal judge in Texas, is not afraid of Indians. Staring down centuries of Native American sovereignty, the judge stuck...
article DCS claims 'jurisdictional, legal issues' in Phoenix toddler's death case
(Arizona) -- Laura Pahules shudders at the thought of what happened to one-year-old Josiah Gishie. Pahules is the executive director for Arizonans for Children, the non-...

10/14/2018

article A Decades-Old Law Protecting Native Americans from Family Separation Is Under Threat
(Texas) -- The Trump administration’s continued practice of separating immigrant families at the border has rightfully sparked widespread outrage. But the policy is part...

10/13/2018

article Native American Advocacy Groups Fight Texas ICWA Decision
(Texas) -- Earlier this month, a federal judge in Texas struck down the Indian Child Welfare Act, which had been in effect for four decades. Ken Paxton, the attorney...
article Texas judge deems Indian Child Welfare Act ‘unconstitutional’
(Texas) -- It is a law that has created headlines across Oklahoma following a very public adoption battle. In 2013, all eyes were turned to the courts as judges decided...
article THINK TANK: Does the Indian Child Welfare Act protect tribal interests at the expense of children?
(Arizona) -- When Chad and Jennifer Brackeen received a call in June 2016 from a child welfare worker asking if they would be willing to take in a 10-month-old foster...

10/12/2018

article Cherokee Nation vows to fight for ICWA in Texas adoption case similar to 'Baby Veronica'
(Oklahoma) -- The Cherokee Nation will be taking a calculated risk when it appeals a recent decision by a federal judge in Texas declaring the Indian Child Welfare Act...
article Indian adoption ruling in Texas has broader implications: Judge rules Indian Child Welfare Act unconstitutional
(Minnesota) -- Some Bemidji-area American Indian leaders decried a recent Texas court ruling that could have national implications. A federal judge ruled last week that...
article Indian Child Welfare Act ruled unconstitutional, tribes vow to protect Native children
(Texas) -- The future of a law designed to help ensure the survival of tribal cultures and place Native American child custody decisions in the hands of tribes is in...
article KASTELIC: ICWA Ruling Worsens an Already Biased System
(Washington D.C.) -- A recent decision regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) sets the stage for the next battle to defend this critical law that protects the...
article Tribes Will Seek Stay on Indian Child Welfare Act Ruling, Feds Response in Limbo
(USA) -- Late last week, a federal judge ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was unconstitutional, leaving in jeopardy a 40-year-old law meant to protect a...

10/10/2018

article National American Indian Organization Release Statement on Indian Child Welfare Act Case
(Oregon) -- On Monday, October 8, 2018 the National Indian Child Welfare Association, National Congress of American Indians, Association on American Indian Affairs and...
article The Red Lake Nation Supports Efforts to Reverse Texas Court Decision Involving the Indian Child Welfare Act
(Minnesota) -- The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently decided that provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) were...

10/9/2018

article Minnesota parents claim racial bias in child protection system as federal case begins
(Minnesota) -- Hundreds of parents whose children were removed from them by county authorities are demanding changes to Minnesota’s child welfare laws, arguing...

10/8/2018

article Indian Country outraged by decision in Indian Child Welfare Act case
(Washington D.C.) -- A federal judge's decision to strike down the Indian Child Welfare Act continues to draw strong reactions across the nation. The Trump...
article Texas Judge Overturns Landmark Law Favoring Indian Tribes in Native American Child Adoptions
(Texas) -- A Texas federal judge has declared that the Indian Child Welfare Act, a landmark law that places preference in the adoption of Native American children with...

10/7/2018

article Indian Child Welfare Act Under Fire: Federal Judge Strikes Down 40-Year-Old Law, Appeals Could Lead to Supreme Court
(Washington D.C.) -- A federal judge has declared unconstitutional a 40-year-old law that was passed to protect against the separation of American Indian children from...

10/6/2018

article MUST READ: Federal judge in Texas strikes down Indian Child Welfare Act
(Texas) -- A federal judge in Texas has struck down the Indian Child Welfare Act, a decades-old federal law aimed at keeping Native American families together. Backed by...

10/5/2018

article Federal Judge Rules ICWA Unconstitutional in Brackeen v. Zinke
(Texas) -- A federal court has held that ICWA violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, rejecting the Morton v. Mancari...
article GOP-Appointed Federal District Judge Strikes Down Indian Child Welfare Act
(Texas) -- A federal district judge on Thursday struck down the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a federal law enacted forty years ago in 1978. Judge Reed O’Connor...

9/29/2018

article Bittersweet ruling strikes down ICWA
(South Dakota) -- On Sept. 14, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit vacated a lower court ruling that challenged the constitutionality of 48 hour...
article Pennington County to stick with current ICWA hearing procedures
(South Dakota) -- Despite a federal appeals court vacating a previous local ruling ordering Pennington County to change the way it runs its initial hearings for Native...

9/22/2018

article Court strikes down landmark Indian Child Welfare Act ruling
(South Dakota) -- A federal appeals court has delivered a major blow to tribes and parents who have been seeking stronger enforcement of the Indian Child Welfare Act in...

9/18/2018

article Fed court overturns Native American child-removal ruling
(South Dakota) -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturns a lower court’s order that gave Native American parents more rights in child-removal...
article US appeals court overturns local ICWA ruling
(South Dakota) -- A federal appeals court overturned Friday an earlier ruling that said Pennington County must give Native American parents more rights during the...

9/17/2018

article Decision: Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Fleming
(Washington D.C.) -- The Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and tribal members Madonna Pappan and Lisa Young brought this action against various South Dakota...

9/14/2018

article 8th Circ. Tosses Tribes' Child Welfare Claims Against SD
(South Dakota) -- The Eighth Circuit on Friday overturned a lower court decision handing a partial quick win to the Oglala and Rosebud Sioux tribes in their suit...

8/14/2018

article ‘Moot’ Ruling in Federal Court Upholds Indian Child Welfare Act, Again
(California) -- The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled last Monday that a lawsuit in Arizona challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act was moot,...

8/8/2018

article Court dismisses challenge to Indian child welfare law
(Arizona) -- A federal appeals court has dismissed a challenge to a law that gives preference to American Indian families in adoptions of Native children. The 9th U.S....

8/7/2018

article Appeals court throws out challenge to Native American Child Welfare Act
(Arizona) -- A court has thrown out a bid to void a federal law that challengers claim is racist because it places the desires and rights of Native American tribes over...
article Battle Over Native American Law On Adoptions Isn't Over
(Arizona) -- The Goldwater Institute had sued to challenge a federal law that requires Native American children removed from the home to be placed with a Native American...

8/6/2018

article Appeals court throws out challenge to Indian Child Welfare Act, calling it 'moot'
(Arizona) -- A court has thrown out a bid to void a federal law that challengers claim is racist because it places the desires and rights of Native American tribes over...
article Court rejects challenge to Native American law on adoptions
(Arizona) -- The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a case challenging a federal law that requires Native American children removed from their parents to be...

8/1/2018

article GOLDWATER INSTITUTE: Native American Children at Risk Need Protection Too
(Arizona) -- Neglected and abused Native American children may have new hope of finding the stable, loving homes they need, thanks to a lawsuit being heard today by a...

7/28/2018

article Cherokee tribal member, claiming Indian Child Welfare Act violations, loses appeal to regain custody of children
(California) -- A California appeals court has upheld a juvenile court ruling that took away custody of two children whose mother is a member of the Cherokee Nation. The...

7/8/2018

article State turns to urgent placement of foster kids with relatives, friends
(Oklahoma) -- It was 6 a.m. Las Vegas time when Keli Tointigh awoke to her cell phone ringing. The Chickasha resident was on vacation with her husband, John Tointigh,...

6/18/2018

article Tribes Want Indian Child Welfare Act Challenge Nixed [sub req]
(Texas) -- The Cherokee Nation and other Native American tribes on Friday asked for a quick win in a suit from various states and some foster families challenging the...

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