The article is dedicated to a dispute concerning the legality of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 and lower court decisions that subsequently declared it unconstitutional. According to the Act, a considerable number of Native American children were placed in non-Native American families through foster placement or adoption (Reuters, 2022). This led to the separation of Native American communities and the loss of cultural connections. Subsequently, when these federal requirements were declared unconstitutional, new practices required not only the preference of Native American children’s adoption given to tribe members and Indian families but removing previously adopted children from non-Indian families as well (Reuters, 2022). Several non-Indian families, this case’s plaintiffs, who previously adopted Native American children, state that this statute discriminates against non-Native Americans and contributes to inequality and state agencies’ control over adoption matters. Although Native American tribes and the Biden Administration support the reinforcement of tribal connections, the federal government of Texas, where a legal claim was filed, mentions that children’s safety is more important for them than racial concerns.
This article was chosen due to the ambiguity of its case, which cannot be regarded from only one perspective. On the one hand, family and cultural connections are highly important – that is why the preference for Native American children’s adoption by Indian families is reasonable. On the other hand, it is unreasonable to separate already adopted Native American children and their non-Indian families when bonds are formed. In addition, in the case of children’s safety, the matters of race and ethnicity cannot be regarded as a top priority. In other words, when the risk of violence, neglect, alcohol and drug abuse, gang activity, and suicide in Native American communities is high, the adoption by other families, including non-Indian ones, should be practiced. Thus, from a personal perspective, the government should initially pay attention to the living conditions and opportunities for tribes before changing adoption-related statutes in their favor.
Reuters. (2022). Supreme Court takes up dispute over Native American adoption law. NBC News. Web.