Indian Child Welfare Act experts agreed that the Bright Star contract potentially misled the adoptive parents by saying the law “does not apply” in their situation.“That is just wrong,” said Professor Fort, who also serves as director of the Indian Law Clinic at Michigan State University and authored a case law book titled American Indian Children and the Law.She pointed to a section in the Indian Child Welfare Act that states the law does apply in adoptions of Native children. And she invoked a federal regulation published in 2016, which states that the Indian Child Welfare Act applies in any “voluntary proceeding that could prohibit the parent or Indian custodian from regaining custody of the child upon demand.”In other words, the Indian Child Welfare Act applies in voluntary adoption cases when a Native birth mother gives up her parental rights. It’s unclear from the September Bright Star contract whether the birth mother agreed to give up her parental rights after the birth of her child.
|Mormon Paul Petersen’s adoption work was the focus of an Arizona Republic article in 1998. Petersen started facilitating adoptions as a college student. At left is Matt Long, who is now Petersen’s attorney.|
Rep. Myron Tsosie wants the investigation to be widened.
“Rather than protecting Native American children and keeping them with families from their tribes, his firm apparently is skirting the federal Indian Child Welfare Act to facilitate adoptions of native kids,” Tsosie said in the release.
Source: Arizona Native American leaders want adoption fraud probe expanded