YES, there should be rules to this - and support for all those in reunion. Great post Von!
|by Matthew L.M. Fletcher (Turtle Talk on the web)|
Courtney Hinkle first came to the attention of Children’s Protective Services after she was suspected of neglecting her months-old infant. When the child was one year old, CPS learned that he had been treated for second-degree burns to his hands, allegedly caused by a fall into a fireplace, and that Hinkle had not obtained follow-up medical care for him as directed. CPS filed a court action, and the child was taken into protective custody and placed in foster care. After attempting to provide services for Hinkle and concluding that she did not benefit from them, the Department of Human Services filed a petition seeking termination of Hinkle’s parental rights. At the conclusion of the termination hearing, the circuit judge found that DHS had established grounds for termination, and that termination was in the child’s best interests.Hinkle appealed to the Court of Appeals, contending that DHS and the circuit court failed to comply with the notice requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), 25 USC 1901 et seq., and failed to create a complete record of their attempts at compliance. Under the ICWA, child custody proceedings involving foster care placement or termination of parental rights to an “Indian child,” 25 USC 1903(4), are subject to specific federal procedures and standards. ICWA requires that an interested Indian tribe receive notice of termination proceedings involving an Indian child, 25 USC 1912(a). Under the ICWA, an “Indian child” is any unmarried individual less than eighteen years of age who is either (1) an Indian tribe member or (2) both eligible for Indian tribe membership and an Indian tribe member’s biological child. 25 USC 1903(4). The question whether a person is a member of a tribe or eligible for membership is for the tribe itself to answer. In re NEGP, 245 Mich App 126, 133 (2001). The failure to comply with the Indian tribe notice requirements may lead to invalidation of the proceedings. 25 USC 1914.The circuit court record disclosed that Hinkle informed the judge that her family was part of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian tribe in Mt. Pleasant. Hinkle stated that she and her child were not tribal members, and that her biological mother was not a member of the tribe, but that her mother’s siblings were, including the aunt who was caring for her son during his foster care placement. She stated that she and her mother were awaiting word as to their own eligibility for tribal membership. The circuit judge directed DHS to investigate the child’s possible tribal membership and to notify the tribe of the proceedings. At a later hearing, the caseworker stated that she mailed a certified letter to the tribe, but had not heard back as to the child’s membership. At a subsequent hearing, the caseworker informed the court that Hinkle’s mother had been told that the family was not eligible for tribal “benefits.” The foster mother stated that she was a tribal mother, and that she tried to obtain information regarding the child’s status from the tribe, but that the tribe refused to release that information to anyone but DHS or the court. The court directed the caseworker to contact the tribe again. The ICWA notice issue was not mentioned again at any hearing and the file contains no mention of any further communications with the tribe.The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s termination of Hinkle’s parental rights in an unpublished per curiam opinion. Hinkle did not demonstrate that the trial court and DHS failed to satisfy ICWA’s notice requirement, the Court of Appeals stated; there was ample evidence that the tribe had actual notice of the proceedings, the appellate court said. Moreover, “[g]iven respondent’s own statement in court that she received a response that she and her son were not eligible for tribal membership, the trial court was relieved from embarking on further ICWA tribal notification efforts,” the Court of Appeals concluded. Hinkle appeals.
Edited By Max Carocci and Stephanie Pratt
Palgrave Macmillan, January 2012
ISBN: 978-0-230-11505-7, ISBN10: 0-230-11505-5, 278 pages, Hardcover, $90
|TO:||Representative Tina Orwall|
|FROM:||Ms. Trace A DeMeyer|
|BILL:||2211 (For Adoptee Rights)|
|Dear Rep Tina Orwall|
I did live and work in WA state for many years but currently live in MA.
I am an adoptee and an author. My struggle to find my identity, my medical history, my ancestry, my family and my tribe is detailed in my memoir ONE SMALL SACRIFICE: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects. My book is on Amazon. My blog (www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com) has research and history and many articles by and about adoptees who are also struggling with archaic laws. Not all have American Indian ancestry.
Do you know who you are? Do you know what it is like not to know? Or date someone who could be your relative? Or get sick and not have medical history? Or have a fake birth certificate and now with the REAL ID ACT you may not be able to get a new drivers license or passport.
My friends Wanda and Tom are WA state adoptees and cannot find their parents. Is that right? They are adults, not children. It's possible their parents are dead but they remember their siblings before they were taken to CT to be adopted. That was a part of the Indian Adoption Project.
Excerpt from my second book SPLIT FEATHERS: TWO WORLDS
Administered by the Child Welfare League of America and funded by a federal contract from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Children’s Bureau, the Indian Adoption Project lasted from 1958 through 1967. During an era when matching dominated adoption practice, it placed 395 Native American children from 16 western states with white families in Illinois, Indiana, New York, Massachusetts, Missouri, and other states in the East and Midwest. (Only 14 children were adopted by Southern families and one child was adopted in Puerto Rico.) Approximately fifty public and private adoption agencies cooperated with the project, but the largest number of children were placed by agencies that were leaders in African-American adoptions and services to children of color: Louise Wise Services and Spence-Chapin Adoption Services (both of New York) and the Children’s Bureau of Delaware.
Because tribes are legally considered sovereign nations, the incorporation of Indian children into non-Indian families constituted a kind of international as well as transracial adoption...The Indian Adoption Project was perhaps the single most important exception to race-matching... It aspired to systematically place an entire child population across lines of nation, culture, and race. (85% of Indian children in 16 states were placed in CLOSED ADOPTIONS)(Each state had its own program after IAP using the ARENA projects which moved thousands of Indian children from Canada and the US to non-Indian adoptive families. I have more proof in book 2.)
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Native Americans challenged the idea that the Indian Adoption Project was a triumph and denounced the project as the most recent in a long line of genocidal policies toward native communities and cultures. In June 2001, Child Welfare League Executive Director Shay Bilchik legitimated Native concerns, formally apologizing for the Indian Adoption Project at a meeting of the National Indian Child Welfare Association. He put the Child Welfare League of America on record in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act. “No matter how well intentioned and how squarely in the mainstream this was at the time,” he said, “it was wrong; it was hurtful; and it reflected a kind of bias that surfaces feelings of shame.” Source: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~adoption/topics/IAP.html
When you consider all the lies and secrecy and harm that surrounds adoption, how does that make you feel? Trace A. DeMeyer
|RESPONSE:||Ms. DeMeyer has requested a response to this message.|