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 KSL.com 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.