Saturday, December 13, 2008

The latest failed adoption in Utah

It seems as though every month we read about some adoption that has gone awry. The latest is a couple who has to return a 6-month-old child to his Native American tribe.

I'm sure the prospective parents are distraught, but I would be surprised if this result was really a surprise. There is a relatively clear, 30-year-old federal law: You have to have consent of the tribe to adopt a Native American child. This issue is usually not a close call, unlike, for example, the more complicated issue of whether an out-of-state biological father has met the statutory requirements for challenging an adoption.

While many adoption-related problems are created by adoption agencies who cut corners, lazy lawyers, and Johnny-come-lately biological fathers, some adoptive parents are also willing to subject a child to months or even years of fighting when they know they are likely to lose. (I'm not saying that these parents fall within that category; I have no idea what they were told or when.) Perhaps it is making lemonade out of a lemon, but at least this dispute was resolved in a matter of months, rather than years.

Note: Once again, the "law is the law" contingent on are demonstrating that they don't really mean it. Yeah, it's a clear federal law. Yeah, it's been on the books since 1978. So what? We don't like this law; ergo, it need not be enforced.


Terra said...

A co-worker of mine adopted an Americn Indian child. They had to wait 6 weeks to go home because it wasn't sure which tribe the child belonged to so they had to get ALL the local tribes permission. They did it though and now have no worries.

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