September 29 , 2007
My family has found ourselves in a tough situation. Our eighteen year old daughter was pregnant, set up an open adoption through an agency in California, chose a wonderful family, and then it all started to fall apart due to the Indian Child Welfare Act. I had never heard of the law and I am amazed that it still exists. The …tribe was notified that an open adoption was going to take place and they announced that they would block my daughter’s and her boyfriend’s …efforts to give their child a better life then they could. She delivered the baby last week, a month early, the baby’s hospital bills are already $63,000 and he is expected to stay for another week. We are hiring a private adoption lawyer, since the adoption agency says they cannot go forward without the tribe’s blessing. I am hoping you can give us some guidance in how to proceed. We very much want the adoption to take place, the adopting parents are more than willing to meet any demands the tribe has, as long as they can finally have a child of their own. Any advice you can offer will be most appreciated. Thank you for your time.
UPDATE Oct. 27, 2007
The baby is doing very well. As for the tribe, my daughter and her boyfriend go to court on 11/2/07 to sign the relinquishments and the tribe has said they plan to be there and fight against it. So, we are on pins and needles until Friday. ………. are scheduled to fly back the very next day. We all are just praying the Judge is the tribe for what they are and does the right thing. Thank you for your concern. I will let you know what happens.
UPDATE Dec. 2,, 2007
The kids had to sign regular relinquishments and return home. They are going to court this coming Friday the 7th to face off with the tribe. A case almost identical to ours went in favor of the birth parents wishes just last month, so we are hoping that is a good sign. I’ll write you with the outcome next Friday. Thank you your concern.
UPDATE Dec. 10,, 2007
Here is the update I promised. They went to court on Friday and signed the relinquishments and filed the petition of adoption. The tribe’s lawyer was rude, condescending and made faces at the kids. A very mature individual. Anyway, the tribe says they plan on interfering. The judge told them they have no grounds. But, I guess we are still in for a fight. The next court date should be in about 6 months. Our lawyer said that after that court date, which is to finalize the adoption, the tribe will just have to crawl back under the rock from which them came. He said the only problem he can foresee is if the tribe makes(…) the baby’s dad, and (…), the baby, members of the tribe. But, he thinks he should be able to actually use that tactic against them. I was hoping it would all be over, but now we have 6 more months of fretting. Thank you and everyone in your organization for your thoughts and prayers, I truly believe they are helping us stay strong.
56b) September 4, 2007
Let me start off by saying I am Native, enrolled with a tribe. I am sorry I didn’t know about this site earlier I would have love to go before congress. I don’t have time to tell you my whole story but here’s a preview. Over 2 years ago I got a call from a Christian adoption agency to adopt a baby girl that is Navajo. After meeting the birth mom who had contacted the agency, she choose us. The tribe agreed to the adoption even though I am Cherokee. Then 14 months later the same birthmom ask the agency if we could about the baby she was pregnant with. We agreed, she wanted the siblings to stay together and so did we. We where going to finalize the adoption and the tribe stepped in and said no. We have been fighting with this tribe for almost a year. It is very expensive… The have lied in almost every document filed. They even went as far as saying that the children were not related. When the judge ask if they had the same birthmom they said yes, but since one was adopted they were not considered to be brother and sister. Then got mad at the judge and said they where taking my older child too. Sure enough we got a document in the mail stating they wanted our older child. Even though they agreed to the adoption and she is over 2 years old. Of couse they can’t take her, but the fact is that they don’t care about the children or the culture, just the money. I am working on doing something about this. I hope it works out.
UPDATE November 29, 2007
Thank you for your prayers. After almost a year of fighting it is finally over and we won. Navajo Nation finally agreed to the adoption. This is great news for us but is still a horrible situation for all the other children. It is an incredible hard thing to go through and without faith. I don’t think I would of made it out uncaved.