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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Walker signs two bills into law

Gov. Bill Walker signed HB 200 on Tuesday morning at the offices of Bristol Bay Native Corporation in Anchorage.
Walker signs two bills into law


Gov. Bill Walker has signed into law bills intended to help foster youths and ease adoption in Alaska.
Among other elements, House Bill 200 implements portions of the Indian Child Welfare Act that ease the adoption process for tribal members adopting a child of the same tribe. The bill also allows up to four legal proceedings involved in adoption cases to be combined under the purview of one judge.
House Bill 27, sponsored by Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage, is a foster care reform bill that requires the state Office of Children’s Services to make greater efforts to work with tribal and Alaska Native organizations, and perform more in-depth searches to determine whether a relative may be able to care for a child.
Children may stay in the foster care system through age 21 (instead of 18) in order to avoid homelessness, according to one provision in the bill.
The bill calls for children to stay in their current schools (if possible), and it states that one of the duties of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is to recruit foster parents and adoptive parents.
Walker added both bills to the agenda of the first special session when they failed to pass the Legislature in regular session.
The signing of HB 200 took place at the Anchorage offices of Bristol Bay Native Corporation, while the signing of HB 27 took place at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

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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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Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

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