Contested ICWA Adoption Case out of Alaska Supreme Court


An example of how state law is going to determine how potential Baby Girl cases are decided:

A married couple sought to adopt an Indian child over the objection of the biological father, who wished to maintain visitation rights. The couple and the biological mother appeal the superior court’s denial of the adoption, claiming that the biological father’s consent to the adoption was unnecessary. Under AS 25.23.050(a)(2)(B), the consent of a noncustodial parent is not required for adoption if that parent unjustifiably fails to support the child. But the superior court did not clearly err by concluding that the biological father had justifiable cause for his failure to support the child. We affirm.

See also FN 33.

Side note–it seems (non-Native) father might also be a veteran, given this quick line in the case, “And in the summer of 2008, he took college classes, paid for with student loans and GI Bill benefits.”

Previous AK Supreme Court decision in the case here.