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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

The Supreme Court and the Indian Child Welfare Act: What’s at Stake in Brackeen Case


 


Brackeen v. Haaland
could change the future of Indigenous rights.

At age nine, tragedy struck Autumn Adams’ life. Her father passed away and her mother was deemed unfit to care for her, leaving Adams with an uncertain future. 

Adams, who is a member of the Yakama Nation, a federally recognized Native tribe, recalls overhearing officers from Child Protective Services discuss the possibility of moving her to a non-Native home if they couldn’t soon find a Native family to place her with. The idea terrified her. 

“At that point in my life, I had everything I recognized as home ripped away from me," she tells Teen Vogue. "I had to bury my father. I had to be ripped from my mother's arms. The only thing that was left that gave me that connection was my extended family and culture.”

Adams was eventually placed with family in a multigenerational home that included her maternal aunt and grandmother. Now a law student, Adams credits this upbringing with enabling her to stay close to her culture and achieve success. “I was directly able to learn from my aunt, my cousins, my grandmother, my other aunts and uncles during that time — what it means to have perseverance, what it means to have responsibility and respect, the definition of grit,” she explains. “It's through those lessons that I've broken every negative statistic not only about former foster youth but about Native former foster youth.”

In November, the Supreme Court heard arguments for a case that could forever change the landscape of adoption for Native youth like Adams. 

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Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

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ADOPTION TRUTH

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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Original Birth Certificate Map in the USA

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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