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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Vancouver Island couple lose appeals to adopt Metis toddler

A British Columbia foster family has lost its fight in the province’s highest court to adopt a Metis toddler in an emotional saga that has pitted the importance of indigenous heritage against that of blood relatives.
The B.C. Court of Appeal has dismissed two appeals launched by the Vancouver Island couple, who hoped to stop the Ministry of Children and Family Development from moving the little girl to Ontario to live with her biological siblings, who she has never met.
The foster mom is Metis while the adoptive parents in Ontario are not, and the B.C. couple had argued the girl’s aboriginal background should take precedence. The girl, who is nearly three, has been in the couple’s care since two days after birth.
But a five-judge panel ruled unanimously in a written decision released Tuesday that both the couple’s appeals of earlier B.C. Supreme Court decisions must be dismissed.
“(The foster parents) face an insurmountable hurdle to achieving the relief sought,” the ruling says. “The adoption scheme in British Columbia does not provide for adoption of a child by foster parents at the behest of a court….”

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What our Nations are up against!

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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.

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where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?