by Matthew L.M. Fletcher
Here is the opinion in Navajo Nation v. Arizona Dept. of Economic Security:An excerpt:The Navajo Nation (“the Nation”) appeals the juvenile court’s judgment finding good cause to deviate from the placement preferences set forth in the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (“ICWA”), 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901 to 1963 (2006), and allowing the child (“Z.”) to remain with his current non-relative, non-Indian adoptive placement. We affirm. The juvenile court properly found good cause to deviate from ICWA placement preferences because the placement family provided good care for Z., Z. had attached and bonded with the family, Z. would suffer severe distress if he was removed from that placement, the placement family would expose Z. to his Navajo culture, and the placement family had been approved to adopt Z. While the interest of the Nation and the Congressionally-presumed interest of Z. in maintaining his heritage weighed against a finding of good cause to deviate from ICWA’s preferences, on this record we cannot say the court erred in weighing all these interests.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012
UPDATED Another violation of ICWA in Arizona
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