Supreme Court sides with adoptive family in divisive custody battle for Native American child

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  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    June 26, 2013 11:01 a.m.

    I suspect that there are more issues than this brief article can relate. Before condemning the father, we should probably know more. I suspect that being able to pay for medical care for someone, to whom you are not married, would be difficult. Would insurance cover? Assumption of paternity before being able to test might make many men pause before incurring huge medical debt that they may not be able to afford. He offered marriage; she refused. Perhaps the tribe can provide legal support where they could not pay for medical care. Who knows. I suspect that there were may behind the scenes conversations and issues of which we are not aware. Certainly the father has worked hard to try and be a father now. Even if this beautiful child is is less than 2% Native American, she certainly has enough color in her lovely dark eyes and hair to earn her the prejudice that many of her ancestors endured. Perhaps it is not the prerogative of white people to say that race doesn't matter.

  • uwishtoo MESA, AZ
    June 26, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    That poor child! She's so adorable it kills me to think she is probably so confused right now. The father isn't a "father" he was a sperm donor. He wanted to marry or nothing? Shame on him! And shame on him more for causing more hurt and confusion for the child and the adoptive parents. Give the girl back to the people she bonded with for the first 27 months!

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    June 26, 2013 6:50 a.m.

    A simple lesson, if you want to be a dad, man up fron the beginning and don't mess up your kids life after you have ignored her for a year. Also, there gets to be a point where relying on racial preferences gets to be a little silly. Getting special treatment because your great, great, great, grand-father was of a racial minority borders on the rediculous.

  • Sandra N GLENDALE, AZ
    June 25, 2013 9:31 p.m.

    Can you even imagine raising a little child for 27 months and having her taken away? What that child must have felt as well? Doesn't take a scientist to figure out what was in her best interest. I hope this ruling helps other children in similar circumstances, be able to STAY with their adoptive families.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2013 7:20 p.m.

    1.2%? Seriously? Ridiculous!

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    June 25, 2013 6:47 p.m.

    What a beautiful child!

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    June 25, 2013 6:31 p.m.

    If the father really wanted to be a part of that child's life, he would have helped the mother out before the child was born, and made it known to her that he wanted the child. He basically gave up rights until the adoption process went through, and then chose to challenge the court system with the 1.2% ethnicity of the child being a Native American.
    This just smells awful. I feel the child will be the rope in this tug of war for some time to come.

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    June 25, 2013 6:17 p.m.


    I think you misread John Pack Lambert's message. It seems to me that he was saying basically the same thing you iterated. He was saying that the child should never have been removed from the custody of the adoptive family. My reading of his words indicates that he would agree with you.

    The birth father gave up his parental rights when he chose not to take any parental responsibility. Taking the child from the adoptive parents and giving her to the custody of a father who denied responsibility for the child is wrong. I am so thankful that my son was able to adopt the child of a father who also denied responsibility for the child. I would hate to think that at some time in the future, the father would be able to change his mind and sue for custody.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    Yank the kid out of her home for the first two years of her life, send her somewhere else. Now yank the kid out her home for the last year. How about doing whats best for the kid, not the adults.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    June 25, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    This poor little girl. Taken away from her parents at 27 months. Now she has to readjust all over again.

    You'd think that the SC Supreme Court would have erred on the side of not uprooting this 2 year old girl from her parents. Shame on the biological father as well as the SC Supreme Court.

    Causing her little heart such grief over 1.2 per cent Cherokee blood. What a travesty.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    June 25, 2013 3:36 p.m.

    I'm sorry to disagree with you John Pack Lambert of Michigan, but that man had a chance to be a father and he chose not to. He had probably close to a year to change his mind. I'm adopted, although I was 13 at the time. One of the best things to happen to me. My birth father just up and left when I was 10. I've forgiven him for it, but some wounds don't fully heal. That child should never have been taken from the adoptive family. The kid's welfare should always come first. I'm certainly glad mine did.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    June 25, 2013 2:54 p.m.

    The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that this case does not involved ICWA at all. I am glad the Supreme Court held that, although I am not sure they held it strongly enough.

    ICWA is about adopting out of children after birth, taking them from families that exist in some sense. Here, the father never had a family at all.

    The lower courts made a bad decision, and the courts should have prevented removal of the child at all until the case was fully decided.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    June 25, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    In this case the "Indian Child Welfare Act" is functioning as the "Indian Child Endangerment Act". Children adopted at birth should be kept with their parents, the removal of the child was the wrong move, and I have to agree with the Supreme Court here.

    People need to start valuing the good of a child over collective goods of groups. The anti-adoptionist rhetoric has given us a condition where too many children are aborted.

    A father who had not provided support should not be able to kill an adoption after the fact.

    We need new adoption laws in this country that do not take race into account.

  • ArizonaDad flagstaff, AZ
    June 25, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    Wonderful! Some glimmer of hope and common sense coming out of the Supreme court. Keep it up!