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Friday, April 27, 2012

Using the Indian Child Welfare Act to petition court

National Child Welfare Association

A friend sent this and I wanted to share!  If you are thinking of opening your adoption and know the state you were born, the INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT can be used to petition the courts and judge to get your tribal information:

Excerpt:

One section of the ICWA is of particular interest to adoptees. Section 1951b states "Upon the request of the adopted Indian child over the age of eighteen, the adoptive or foster parents of an Indian child, or an Indian tribe, the Secretary shall disclose such information as may be necessary for the enrollment of an Indian child in the tribe in which the child may be eligible for enrollment or for determining any rights or benefits associated with that membership. Where the documents relating to such child contain an affidavit from the biological parent or parents requesting anonymity, the Secretary shall certify to the Indian child's tribe, where the information warrants, that the child's parentage and other circumstances of birth entitle the child to enrollment under the criteria established by such tribe."

Essentially this section directs the State to give adult adoptees of Native American heritage who request it, their birth information, so that they may enroll in their tribes. The section does allow for birthparents to file a veto, but even then the adoptee is entitled to tribal notification so that they may process their tribal rights and privileges. You can read the entire ICWA on the Web (use google search).

There are a few problem areas with using the ICWA.  Many adoptees are of enough Native American blood to qualify for enrollment in their tribes, but there is nothing documented that verifies that information.  Before a judge will open a file under ICWA s/he will often demand some sort of proof that the adoptee is NA at all, proof that most adoptees will simply not have. But in other instances, the agency that handled the adoption, or the court file itself, will contain notations that you, the adoptee, do have NA ancestry.

If you have received non-ID from a source that states this, include a copy with your court petition. You will also need to include a copy of the ICWA in order to make the judge's work easier and predispose him/her to wanting to help you. If you have any information at all that you are even the smallest bit Native American, you should use the ICWA in your petition. Include affidavits from family members (adoptive and birth) who have told you that you have Native American blood, as well as any 'official' agency or other documents to support your claims. Remember that most tribes have small blood quantum requirements, and you should not feel guilty about using the ICWA. The intent of this law is to ensure that those of us who are entitled to tribal membership by birthright, have the *choice* to join our Native American communities.


[ADOPTEES: please contact the adoption agency, if you know who it was, or ask your adoptive parents what they were told and ask them to request the entire adoption record in the state you were adopted. WHY?? Since your adoptive parents signed papers to adopt you - they have a right to request a copy of your file and adoption records.  If you are 18, you are an adult and can petition the courts. The Indian Adoption Projects was a secretive measure to assimilate children and change us - but it doesn't work - you are still Indian, no matter where you were raised... Indian Blood is loud... Contact me if you need to know the laws in your state and contact NICWA and request all the information they have to help adoptees... Trace]

National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA)

5100 SW Macadam Avenue, Suite 300
Portland, Oregon 97239
Telephone: (503) 222-4044
Fax: (503) 222-4007
Hours: Monday—Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

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Takeaway Podcast ICWA

What our Nations are up against!

What our Nations are up against!
Survivors, write your stories. Write your parents stories. Write the elders stories. Do not be swayed by the colonizers to keep quiet. Tribal Nations have their own way of keeping stories alive.... Trace

Help in available!

Help in available!
1-844-7NATIVE (click photo)

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Diane Tells His Name

Please support NARF

Indian Country is under attack. Native tribes and people are fighting hard for justice. There is need for legal assistance across Indian Country, and NARF is doing as much as we can. With your help, we have fought for 48 years and we continue to fight.

It is hard to understand the extent of the attacks on Indian Country. We are sending a short series of emails this month with a few examples of attacks that are happening across Indian Country and how we are standing firm for justice.

Today, we look at recent effort to undo laws put in place to protect Native American children and families. All children deserve to be raised by loving families and communities. In the 1970s, Congress realized that state agencies and courts were disproportionately removing American Indian and Alaska Native children from their families. Often these devastating removals were due to an inability or unwillingness to understand Native cultures, where family is defined broadly and raising children is a shared responsibility. To stop these destructive practices, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

After forty years, ICWA has proven to be largely successful and many states have passed their own ICWAs. This success, however, is now being challenged by large, well-financed opponents who are actively and aggressively seeking to undermine ICWA’s protections for Native children. We are seeing lawsuits across the United States that challenge ICWA’s protections. NARF is working with partners to defend the rights of Native children and families.

Indian Country is under attack. We need you. Please join the ranks of Modern Day Warriors. Please donate today to help Native people protect their rights.

where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?

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.

Join!

National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network (NISCWN)

Membership Application Form

The Network is open to all Indigenous and Foster Care Survivors any time.

The procedure is simple: Just fill out the form HERE.

Source Link: NICWSN Membership

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.