From the facts in this opinion, it’s clear this is a pretty contested post termination of parental rights/foster care adoption case from the southern district of Missouri (Poplar Bluff, Springfield). What is not in the opinion but is available on the Westlaw decision page are the attorneys involved in the case. I’m sure it’s some local southern Missouri attorneys:
Attorney for Respondent Judge – Scott S. Sifferman Acting Pro Se
Attorneys for Respondents Foster Parents – Toni M. Fields of Cassville, MO; Paul Clement
, Erin Murphy of Washington, D.C.; Kevin Neylan
of New York, NY
Even so! In this case, the Court of Appeals found the Choctaw Nation had standing to to bring the writ of prohibition against the judge and the Court of Appeals entered the writ (Respondent is the trial judge)(also, this is why formal legal intervention is so important for tribes whenever possible)(also why it’s good to find local family law attorneys who can talk about things like “writs of prohibition” with expertise):
In his brief, Respondent argues that the Choctaw Nation does not have standing to seek this writ of prohibition. On two occasions, Respondent granted the Choctaw Nation the right to intervene in this protective custody proceeding under 25 U.S.C. § 1911(c), and also granted the Choctaw Nation the right to intervene in Foster Parents’ adoption proceeding. We see no error in these rulings. The Choctaw Nation has standing to seek
this writ of prohibition.
Respondent did not have the express or implied authority to interfere in the Children’s Division’s administrative review of a nonfinal administrative recommendation for adoption, and then substitute Respondent’s judgment for that of the Children’s Division and compel the Children’s Division to reach or adhere to a particular recommendation.
I did not talk to this reporter, but it feels like a word for word account of my classroom lecture on this issue:
The explicit coercion of that era gave way to domestic adoption industry we have today—which is regulated by an inconsistent patchwork of state laws, unlike the federal regulations applied to international and foster care adoptions. And gradually, demand grew: By the mid-70s, increased access to birth control and legalized abortion and lessening stigma of single parenthood plummeted the supply of healthy white babies. In 2014, approximately 18,000 infants were placed for domestic adoption. In 2017, the CEO of the National Council for Adoption estimated that around one million families are trying to adopt at any given time in the U.S.
I have yet to find a replacement for the type of research the Donaldson Institute did–sadly it wound down operations a couple of years ago.
Here and here.
A public official in Arizona has been arrested in connection with charges that he ran a multimillion-dollar scheme in which he smuggled pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to profit from their newborn babies. Authorities say Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen’s fraudulent adoption enterprise left a trail of forged documents and violated U.S. and international laws.
Petersen operates an adoption law firm. For years, he has connected American families seeking to adopt with women from the Marshall Islands — but state and federal prosecutors say Petersen falsified documents and lied about the mothers’ residency so he could enrich himself.
Federal indictment here.
Utah Charging Documents
We posted previous coverage of the Marshallese adoption schemes from the Hololulu Civil Beat. Here is coverage of Peterson in 2017
Press releases: Speakers Taskforce on Adoption Membership 052919
Speakers Taskforce on Adoption 051419
Any tribal member and/or tribe can give testimony on this issue here:
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Unity School District Performing Arts Center
1908 150th St.
Balsam Lake, WI 54810
Start time: 12:00 noon
Please feel free to attend either session. If you would like time to speak please contact: Meagan Matthews at: 608-266-8551 or Meagan.Matthews@legis.wisconsin.gov
We would note that one outcome of the opioid epidemic is that some groups are pushing to terminate parental rights faster, particularly for children under the age of 3. A recent law passed in Arizona attempts to do just that, and was pushed by Generation Justice, a group founded by the recent past CEO of the Goldwater Institute.
Here is the opinion.
After two years, the Minnesota federal district court dismissed the voluntary adoption case challenging the provisions of the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA) allowing for notice and intervention of a child’s tribe in the proceedings. While the court states that the case presented Constitutional questions, the proceedings were moot and did not meet the standard for capable of repetition but evading review to keep the case live. There’s a nice discussion of that standard for practitioners who have been wondering how that might work in a child welfare case.
Plaintiffs have 30 days to file a notice of appeal if they so choose.
This is the last of the summer 2015 batch of federal ICWA challenges filed. All of them were ultimately dismissed. Carter v. Washburn is currently on appeal to the 9th Circuit.
Unreported Notice case (parent challenge, no indication child was eligible for tribal citizenship): In re Applewhiate
Reported case: In re JJW_Opinion
The MSU Indian Law Clinic/ICWA Appellate Project co-authored the Tribe’s brief in In re JJW.
Table of Contents here.
This issue includes Finding their way home: The reunification of First Nations adoptees by Ashley L. Landers, Sharon M. Danes, and Sandy White Hawk.
The Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples Section of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) invites paper proposals on the following topic. How do Indian Tribes, First Nations, and other Indigenous Peoples regulate same-sex marriage, same-sex relationships, and adoption and foster parenting by same-sex couples and LGBT individuals? What role does evidence of Tribal culture and tradition, if any, play in these decisions? Additionally, what are the processes by which Tribes change their laws with respect to same-sex relationships? More broadly, we are interested in the ways in which Tribes, First Nations and other Indigenous Peoples regulate sexuality and family structure.
Please send proposals of 500 to 1000 words summarizing a paper or work-in-progress you would present on an AALS panel on these issues. The selected panelists will be invited to present their work in a joint program of the Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples and the Law and Anthropology Section, which will be co-sponsored by the Family Law Section. The Program will be held at the AALS Annual Meeting, January 6-10, 2016. Selected papers will be published in the William Mitchell Law Review. Please submit your proposal on or before September 1, 2015 to Michalyn Steele, Chair-Elect, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions can also be directed to Ann Tweedy, Chair.