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Standing Rock

Monday, April 21, 2014

Alaska Supreme Court considers whether Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl applies to State-initiated child protection proceedings

In June 2013, the Alaska Supreme Court held in Native Village of Tununak v. Dep’t of Health & Soc. Servs (Tununak I)
that ICWA implicitly mandates that good cause to deviate from ICWA’s
adoptive placement preferences must be proven by clear and convincing
evidence, rather than a mere preponderance of the evidence. That opinion
is here.

Four days later, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl.  The adoptive parents in Tununak I
asked the Alaska Supreme Court to revise its ruling in light of it,
based on their argument that ICWA’s placement preferences do not apply
in cases where no other party has formally sought to adopt the child.
This argument would extend the Baby Girl decision beyond the realm of voluntary private adoptions like the one at issue in Baby Girl
and apply it to state-initiated child protection proceedings involving
the removal of a Native child from her custodial parent by state
authorities.



The parties and the Native Village of Kotzebue, acting as amicus
curiae, filed the following supplemental briefs on the issue in November
2013:

Appellee State of Alaska’s is here:  Tununak – Supplemental Brief of Appellee State of Alaska

Appellees H.S. and K.S.’s (the adoptive couple) is here:  Tununak – Supplemental Brief of Appellees H.S. and K.S. – adoptive couple

Appellant Village of Tununak’s is here:  Tununak – Appellant Village of Tununak’s Supplemental Brief

Amicus Curiae Native Village of Kotzebue’s, prepared by NARF, is here:  Tununak – Brief of Amicus Curiae Native Village of Kotzebue

Oral argument before the Alaska Supreme Court was held on January 14, 2014, and can be viewed here.



2014011176-12.mp3

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adoptees take back adoption narrative and reject propaganda

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

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Thought-provoking and moving 11 October 2012
Two Worlds - Lost children of the Indian Adoption Projects

If you thought that ethnic cleansing was something for the history books, think again. This work tells the stories of Native American Indian adoptees "The Lost Birds" who continue to suffer the effects of successive US and Canadian government policies on adoption; policies that were in force as recently as the 1970's. Many of the contributors still bear the scars of their separation from their ancestral roots. What becomes apparent to the reader is the reality of a racial memory that lives in the DNA of adoptees and calls to them from the past.
The editors have let the contributors tell their own stories of their childhood and search for their blood relatives, allowing the reader to gain a true impression of their personalities. What becomes apparent is that nothing is straightforward; re-assimilation brings its own cultural and emotional problems. Not all of the stories are harrowing or sad; there are a number of heart-warming successes, and not all placements amongst white families had negative consequences. But with whom should the ultimate decision of adoption reside? Government authorities or the Indian people themselves? Read Two Worlds and decide for yourself.

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ADOPTION TRUTH

As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

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