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Forum Home - Go Back > General > Native Life major court case today major court case today

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Old 04-16-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
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major court case today

this one could be a heated one at the supreme court.baby veronica was taken from her adoptive parents two years ago and givin back to her natural father a member of the cherokee nation.Now before the supreme court the adoptive parents are challenging this in supreme court today.One of there main arguments is "is baby veronica enough indian to fall under this law",the law bieng the american indian child welfare act.now the father and child are not that much indian.So if the supreme courts find in favor of the adoptive parents saying the baby is not enough indian will that take away tribes soverign rights to decide who there tribal members are? if they do will they set a blood quantum stating who is indian and who isnt? will tribes without a blood quantum like cherokee nation be forced to kick people out who do not meet it?
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:03 PM   #2
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This is gotta be one H*** of a case.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:11 PM   #3
3 down and 1 to go! lol
 
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how much is not enough? Since the cherokees of oklahoma don't go by percentages but by lineage, when does that end? Especially for that child? As long as the father is enrolled, should not the child fall under this act also? But then is he cherokee from another state? I forget, someone post tags so i can go back and read some of the threads from here. It's been awhile since we've had a discussion that I had an interest in.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:12 PM   #4
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For those not familiar with this story:

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl Case Biggest Test of ICWA Yet - Native News Network
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:24 PM   #5
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Cherokee father wins custody: July 26,2012
I know I read about this on a thread on here some place but can't seem to find it:

South Carolina Supreme Court Awards Cherokee Father Custody
July 26, 2012

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — A Cherokee father will retain custody of his 2-year-old daughter, thanks to a South Carolina Supreme Court decision handed down Thursday.

In a 3-2 decision, the justices ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law designed to keep Native American children with their tribes, supersedes state adoption laws.

“We’re very pleased with the results,” Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree said. “This is a victory not only for the Cherokee baby and her father, but for all of Indian Country. The Cherokee Nation has done a great job to ensure the Indian Child Welfare Act is enforced to preserve Indian families.”

The Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl, Birth Father and Cherokee Nation case stems from a baby born in Oklahoma to unwed parents. The father, a Cherokee Nation citizen who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, was unaware the mother had put the baby up for adoption until after she was adopted by a South Carolina couple who fought to keep her.

The Cherokee Nation will not release the identity of the father and child.

“We respect the father and child’s right to privacy,” Hembree said. “It’s our hope that the adoptive parents do not pursue the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.”


I don't know how to tag, I put this on last year. I know Josiah( I think it was him) put something about it also in the Native News threads.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:43 PM   #6
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@chevy

thats the point if supreme court sides with adoptive parents and says this child is not enough indian that will also inturn take away tribes rights to decide who is a member and who is not
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:47 PM   #7
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It is an interesting case and one that all of Indian Nation should pay attention to.

Funny how this seems to crop up though, when we are talking about Cherokee Nation and how much Indian is enough...
For when you are talking Lineal Descendancy its a YES OR NO Answer
either you are a citizen or you are not.
I know I have posted this list of tribes that all use the same criteria as the Cherokee Nation.
I wonder would this be an issue if it were an Osage or Creek...

Here are the tribes that currently do not require a Minimum Blood Quantum:

Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town
Cherokee Nation
Chickasaw Nation
Choctaw Nation
Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Delaware Tribe of Indians
Eastern Shawnee Tribe
Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Connecticut
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma
Modoc Tribe
Muscogee Creek Nation
Osage Nation
Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma
Peoria Tribe of Indians
Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan
Seminole Nation
Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma
Shawnee Tribe
Thlopthlocco Tribal Town
Tonkawa Tribe
Wyandotte Nation
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:51 AM   #8
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More background:

Quote:
National Indian Child Welfare Association's Terry Cross: Misdirected Blame

Terry Cross in Native Condition. Discussion »






“We were told she wasn't an Indian child and didn't think it would matter.”

– – Melanie Capobianco, Fox News, January 11, 2012

The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 is days away from the strongest challenge it has faced in its 35 year history. As the case Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl has progressed through the lower courts, the law has been decried as an out of date, race based law. Most recently, Indian Child Welfare Act was likened to a bludgeon to destroy existing families.

Such hyperbole serves as effective fodder for debate, deflecting attention far away from a more pertinent question. Why have those who provided legal advice to the Capobiancos in their failed attempt to adopt "Baby Girl" escaped public scrutiny for their mishandling of this case?

From nearly 40 years in the field of Indian child welfare, I have worked with a broad cross section of adoption attorneys. And while there are still significant strides to be made to enforce compliance with Indian Child Welfare Act’s now 35 year old requirements, it is nearly universally known in good adoption practice that Indian children who are being adopted out require additional measures to be taken before an adoption can be finalized.

Good adoption practice requires early identification of Native children and parents in adoption proceedings to ensure compliance with federal and state laws. Records show that Baby Girl's mother knew of her father, Dusten Brown's, Cherokee heritage, and communicated this to attorneys. In turn, the adoption agency determined that because of Brown's Cherokee Nation citizenship, "naming him would be detrimental to the adoption."

Perhaps inexplicably, the paperwork legally required to notify the Cherokee Nation of the adoption proceedings was so rife with errors, Brown's name was misspelled, an incorrect birth date for him provided, and Baby Girl's race marked unclearly, that these errors alone caused delays in the tribe's involvement in accordance with ICWA. The Cherokee Nation has said in no uncertain terms that if this basic information had been submitted correctly, they would have immediately intervened.

Most troubling is how attorneys attempted to secure termination of Brown's parental rights. Good adoption practice dictates early identification and engagement of all fathers, unless doing so would be unsafe for the mother. If Brown posed no threat, why wait months to notify him? Why wait until he was literally days from being deployed to Iraq? Speculation is just that, but this approach seems counter to good adoption practice that requires informed consent of a parent to the adoption of their child.

And yet, this is what the Capobiancos' attorneys chose to do.

With so many missteps, why have the Capobiancos most trusted advisors eluded accountability? As recently as March 4, attorneys for the birth mother asserted that the Cherokee Nation had admitted being properly notified, a contention vehemently refuted by the Cherokee Nation itself. Any acknowledgment of failures to follow good adoption practice is slow in coming.

Instead, misdirected blame has fallen onto Indian Child Welfare Act. But, for all the negative impacts attributed to it, what does Indian Child Welfare Act actually do?

In sum, Indian Child Welfare Act is designed to promote the best interests and unique needs of Indian children. Whether premised on good intention or bias, separating an Indian child from his or her family and tribe can have devastating consequences. The best interest standard always requires the court to assess many facets of a child's life, development, and well-being. Indian Child Welfare Act merely ensures that one facet considered among the many be the child's continued connection to family and culture.

Some who fiercely assert the evils of Indian Child Welfare Act contend that all children should be treated equally and therefore ICWA should be dismantled. To be sure, this argument sounds reasonable to those unfamiliar with the long history that led to ICWA's passage. At that time, between 25-35 percent of all American Indian children were removed from their homes, most unnecessarily. Of these, 80 percent were placed, often permanently, in White homes.

Even today, headlines from South Dakota, where a lawsuit contends Indian parents' rights have been systemically trampled, show that for myriad reasons Native American children are not treated equally by the system.

In public child welfare systems, they are removed from their homes at four times the rate of White children and often are not placed with relatives or other Indian families, even when such placements are available and appropriate. In private adoption systems where little regulation or oversight is present, practitioners have little incentive to consider the cultural or tribal citizen rights of an Indian child. It is for these reasons that Indian Child Welfare Act, in requiring that active measures be taken to keep Indian families intact, actually better protects Indian children against unequal treatment in the child welfare system.

Despite the traumatic legacy of the pre-Indian Child Welfare Act era and the continued need for its protections, Indian Child Welfare Act now faces the real possibility of being weakened and even dismantled entirely.

“You don't change a whole law because of one case,”

said former US Senator Jim Abourezk, who sponsored the Senate bill that became Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978, and is now the lead on the amicus brief by members of Congress in support of Brown and the Cherokee Nation.

Yet undoing Indian Child Welfare Act is exactly what the Capobiancos aim to do. As painful as this ordeal has been for them, the root cause of this case is not that Indian Child Welfare Act is a problematic, misapplied law. Rather, as every lower court has concluded, it was the unwillingness to follow the clearly defined and well known law that led to their failed attempt to adopt Baby Girl.

Terry Cross is a member of the Seneca Nation and the executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association in Portland, Oregon.

posted April 9, 2013 7:50 am edt
National Indian Child Welfare Associations Terry Cross Misdirected Blame
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:42 AM   #9
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
separating an Indian child from his or her family and tribe can have devastating consequences
Especially when the non NDN mother has got mental problems that aren't seen as such
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:36 AM   #11
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This is a heart wrenching issue. And I lay the blame at the adoption agency. They stood to make $$ from the adoption, and that was that. The poor adoptive parents just wanted a baby, and they got one, fell in love with her (and she with them) and she was wrenched away from them. And the poor Dad just wanted his baby girl back.....

We've BTDT. We won, thank God. But it was a struggle that will break your heart (and bank account...thankfully, we had friends who helped. But lawyers are expensive, and CPS does not give up their own willingly).
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:21 AM   #12
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It's complicated and I can see both sides as the little girl has lived with her adoptive parents for 3 years. I definitely believe that keeping NDN children with their families is very important and I truly hope that her father and family have the best intentions.


I also have a lot of sympathy for the adoptive parents. They've raised her for three years, this entire ordeal is heartbreaking. I feel most sorry for the little girl.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:10 PM   #13
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@josiah

good piont sir all kinds of tribes that have no min. blood degree,I think part of it is that fact that most people you meet and find out that you are indian always say me too,and end up saying there cherokee.you dont meet people who say oh im osage or creek maybe in oklahoma but the rest of the country anybody who says there indian usually claim cherokee.but i wasnt trying to imply that it was just cherokees who do this.it does seem that what happens to this large tribe does affect the rest of the tribes in the states.one thing is there tribal tags.yes it is a good thing that they give a portion back to the schools but now the state is getting it into there mind that cherokees do this so why cant the rest of the tribes in oklahoma do this? well for one no other tribe in oklahoma is as large as cherokee nation,and 2 its there soverign right not too.just like the rest of you i feel bad for this little girl and the adoptive parents and i also think to myself that this law was put into place to keep these kids around there culture,how much culture about cherokees is this father teaching her? or does he even know any or care about it? Its a bad deal all around but i am very much in favor of all childern to be riased by there biological parents, if they are willing and able to take good care of them which from what i have read the father does.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:43 PM   #14
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I was at the Supreme Court yesterday to assist with the blessing. Present was the Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, leaders of the National Indian Child Welfare Act, National Congress of American Indians, Native American Rights Fund and others. The Supreme Court justices heard arguments from the attorneys from both sides. One positive observation is the justices seemed to be aware of the concept of tribal sovereignty and the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Last night I had dinner with two Native adoptees cited in the Amicus Brief. It was their opinion that overall the deliberation was positive and that the estimated time for a decision on this case would take two months.

A transcript of the oral argument can be accessed here:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arg...pts/12-399.pdf


On a side note - Historically the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of American Indians and their issues only 20% of the time.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post
I was at the Supreme Court yesterday to assist with the blessing. Present was the Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, leaders of the National Indian Child Welfare Act, National Congress of American Indians, Native American Rights Fund and others. The Supreme Court justices heard arguments from the attorneys from both sides. One positive observation is the justices seemed to be aware of the concept of tribal sovereignty and the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Last night I had dinner with two Native adoptees cited in the Amicus Brief. It was their opinion that overall the deliberation was positive and that the estimated time for a decision on this case would take two months.

A transcript of the oral argument can be accessed here:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arg...pts/12-399.pdf


On a side note - Historically the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of American Indians and their issues only 20% of the time.
From what I read above, it sounds like there were several problems with the way the adoption took place, namely the father not knowing and the nation not being properly notified. I feel bad for the adoptive parents and the father, and the little girl. I believe the girl belongs with her biological father, but hopefully all parties will work to make the transition as painless as possible, should it occur.

If they don't rule in the father's favor, I think that is messed up. He didn't know and was off serving his country. I don't care who you are, that is wrong.
Stands Alone and RDNKJ like this.
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