Editors Pick

White Couple’s Fight to Adopt Native American Child Could Have Far-Reaching Affirmative Action Implications

The historic marker at the gravesite of Native Americans that attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where many Native American children were placed after being removed from their families and communities often as a result of discriminatory policies.
Photo: iStock

In a case that may have implications for race-based affirmative action and other similar remedies offered to address centuries of racial discrimination in this nation, Native American tribes have banded together against a white couple over who should have custody of a Native American child.

Jennifer and Chad Brackeen of Texas are challenging federal law that requires Native American children to be adopted by a Native American family if a suitable one is available, the New York Times reports. 

The Indian Child Welfare Act came about in 1978 to remedy decades of discriminatory policies under which Native American children were taken from their parents and communities and shipped off to missionary schools or placed with white adoptive families, often stripping the children of their indigenous identities and culture.

In May 2017, after fostering a now 3-year-old Native American boy for about a year, the Brackeens decided to adopt him. The Navajo Nation, of which he shares heritage from his biological mother who battles drug addiction, had an unrelated Navajo family ready to adopt instead, and a judge sided with the tribe.

Chad Brackeen told the Times they were “devastated” by the ruling, and they fought for and won a stay of the judge’s order. When the Navajo Nation eventually backed out, the adoption was finalized this year.

The Brackeens decided to sue to overturn the Indian Child Welfare Act after they feared aspects of the law would allow the adoption to still be challenged down the road.

The result handed down by a federal judge in October 2018 sent shockwaves through the Native American community when the judge sided with the Brackeens, ruling the Indian Child Welfare Act unconstitutional, partly because it was race-based, the Times reports.

Now, the Brackeens want to adopt the boy’s baby half sister, and the case is in federal appeals court, pitting the couple against the Navajo Nation, representing the interests of the tribe and the children’s Navajo family that wishes to adopt the girl; four other tribes and the Trump administration. But all 573 of the nation’s federally recognized tribes are closely watching this case as well.

No matter the outcome, the case will likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, especially as, according to the Times:

If the law falls for race-based, equal-protection reasons, legal experts say, many affirmative action practices might become vulnerable as well.

The Brackeens say they’ve formed a loving, familial bond with the boy and that either removing him from their home or not allowing the siblings to grow up together would not be in either child’s best interest.

“Culture is important but attachment is, too,” Jennifer Brackeen told the Times.

The Navajo Nation, of which both children share heritage, opposes the Brackeens and the attack on the Indian Child Welfare Act.

“We wonder what will happen to these children down the road and how this will all be explained to them,” Kandis Martine, an assistant attorney general of the Navajo Nation, told the Times. “How will they be told that their tribe and their family fought for them, but this non-Native, nonrelative family won?”

And their concerns are rooted in an ugly history not all that long ago.

As the Times explains:

Some scholars cite the opening of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania in 1879 as the beginning of the Indian children’s diaspora. Students were pulled from reservations across the country to fill the boarding school. Its founder was Brigadier Gen. Richard H. Pratt, who became infamous for proclaiming, “Kill the Indian and save the man.”

Forced removal and conversion of Native children continued for decades. Often, Native families were not told where the children had gone. From 1958 to 1967, the federally funded Indian Adoption Project placed nearly 400 Indian children from Western states with white families nationwide.

“Our Navajo children are sacred to us,” Celeste Smith, a social worker for the Navajo Nation involved in checking out the fitness of the children’s Navajo family for adoption, testified at a family court hearing about the case. “We have our traditions, our ceremonies and our language handed down to our children. We don’t want to lose that.”


Source link

health news headlines provided courtesy of Medical News Today.

Advertisement

Advertisement Small

Follow Me

Collaboratively harness market-driven processes whereas resource-leveling internal or "organic" sources. Competently formulate.

View More Job Search Results

Calendar

October 2019
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Pages

Recent Comments

    RSS Meks Blog

    • How to add Instagram photo feed to your WordPress site (in 5 minutes!) October 1, 2019
      How (and why) to add Instagram to WordPress and see more benefits from that match? We give you all the details and tools to do it successfully yourself! The post How to add Instagram photo feed to your WordPress site (in 5 minutes!) appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • 13 best headline & blog title generator tools to easily boost your SEO September 12, 2019
      Ready to increase traffic to your website today? Use these headline generator tools and improve your click-through-rates! The post 13 best headline & blog title generator tools to easily boost your SEO appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • How to create a Facebook Page for your blog (plus PRO tips) September 4, 2019
      Wondering how to create a Facebook Page for your blog knowing that you really do need one? Follow our in depth guide and learn how to create and manage attractive and successful Facebook Page! The post How to create a Facebook Page for your blog (plus PRO tips) appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Beginners guide on how to redirect a page in WordPress August 29, 2019
      Whether you’re trying to redirect a page in WordPress or just want to discover and understand why it’s important, use this guide to help you get ahead of it and learn all there is to it. The post Beginners guide on how to redirect a page in WordPress appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • The best Facebook Groups for SEO to improve your knowledge and rankings August 21, 2019
      Are you tired of searching for the best Facebook groups for SEO to improve your knowledge and learn about the tricks from the trade? The post The best Facebook Groups for SEO to improve your knowledge and rankings appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Useful rank tracking plugin and tools recommendation to improve your WordPress website SEO August 15, 2019
      Are you looking for a reliable rank tracking plugin to track your rankings on search engines and improve SEO strategy? Here is our top recommendation! The post Useful rank tracking plugin and tools recommendation to improve your WordPress website SEO appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • 6 reasons why you should never use WordPress nulled themes August 7, 2019
      What are WordPress nulled themes and should you use them, are they really that bad as people say or it’s just to scare you away from using the good stuff for free? In this article, we’re explaining in details why you should never ever use these kinds of themes. The post 6 reasons why you […]
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Top 6 WordPress Portfolio plugins (hand-picked by designers) July 31, 2019
      Wondering what type of WordPress Portfolio plugins to use to showcase your work? Read our recommendation and choose between these top eight I present to you today. The post Top 6 WordPress Portfolio plugins (hand-picked by designers) appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Definitive guide to adding Facebook Pixel in WordPress July 24, 2019
      Having problems setting up Facebook Pixel in WordPress? If you want to improve your Facebook ads conversion, use this guide and learn how to properly ad Facebook Pixel in any WordPress site or blog. The post Definitive guide to adding Facebook Pixel in WordPress appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • How to easily create WordPress dropdown menu (without coding) July 17, 2019
      Interested to create WordPress dropdown menu all by yourself and don’t know how? Just follow our guide and learn in no time! The post How to easily create WordPress dropdown menu (without coding) appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic

    Text

    Distinctively utilize long-term high-impact total linkage whereas high-payoff experiences. Appropriately communicate 24/365.

    Archives