Paul Petersen Involved in at Least One ICWA Case

Here.

Indian Child Welfare Act experts agreed that the Bright Star contract potentially misled the adoptive parents by saying the law “does not apply” in their situation.

“That is just wrong,” said Professor Fort, who also serves as director of the Indian Law Clinic at Michigan State University and authored a case law book titled American Indian Children and the Law.

She pointed to a section in the Indian Child Welfare Act that states the law does apply in adoptions of Native children. And she invoked a federal regulation published in 2016, which states that the Indian Child Welfare Act applies in any “voluntary proceeding that could prohibit the parent or Indian custodian from regaining custody of the child upon demand.”

In other words, the Indian Child Welfare Act applies in voluntary adoption cases when a Native birth mother gives up her parental rights. It’s unclear from the September Bright Star contract whether the birth mother agreed to give up her parental rights after the birth of her child.

This is the gentleman who is also now indicted for trafficking Marshallese women and selling their babies. 

Wall Street Journal Article on ICWA Lawsuits

Here.

PDF copy here.

From the end of the article:

An Interior spokeswoman said Congress has determined it “is in the best interests of an Indian child to keep that child…with the child’s parents,” extended family and tribal community.

Kathryn Fort, a lawyer with the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University, defends the law and the guidelines. Ms. Fort said that before the law was passed, social workers would argue that it was in the “best interests” of an Indian child to be permanently removed from a house that was merely messy or lacked the most modern conveniences. “It’s really a way of allowing—and perpetuating—discrimination against Indians,” she said.

Supporters of the law say the adoption delays often required are part of its point. The law “demands excellence in how we treat Indian children,” said Matthew Newman, a staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund. “That often requires a bit of time.”