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.|
Paul Petersen Involved in at Least One ICWA Caseby ilpc
Marshallese Adoptions Fuel A Lucrative Practice For Some Lawyers
➢Arizona Native American leaders want adoption fraud probe expandedPetersen, 44, was arrested Oct. 8 and indicted on 32 counts — including human smuggling, sale of a child, conspiracy and fraud — in three states. He’s been accused of recruiting, transporting and offering to pay more than 40 pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to adopt out their babies in the United States between November 2015 and May 2019. Petersen’s attorney has said prosecutors have miscast his client as a human smuggler. He could face a $5 million fine and up to 315 years in prison.
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
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