Many parents feel a calling to foster or adopt children. Especially in the case of adoption, child custody laws can sometimes work against two parents who want so desperately to add to their family children with whom they have already fallen in love. Pennsylvania parents who have been through this process may empathize with a family who is fighting for child custody of the 4-year-old they have fostered for two years.
The parents of nine children took the boy in their home after he was taken away from his mother. The mother has now given her consent for an open adoption of her biological son, but a problem has arisen due to the boy's Native American heritage. Because of the Indian Child Welfare Act passed in 1978, the tribe to which a child belongs can intervene in foster or adoption situations.
The federal law was passed at a time when it was felt too many tribal children were being removed from their homes and were being placed in non-Indian households. It allows the tribal leaders to try and place the child with a biological or foster Indian family even if it is contrary to state court decrees or goes against the wishes of a birth parent. Many feel the law should be reexamined to reflect the best interests of the child. The prospective adoptive parents were granted a two week stay for their attorney to continue the fight for them.
There are many children in every state who are waiting to be adopted. Parents who have chosen to adopt must comply with applicable state and federal laws. Those parents facing adoption or child custody issues in Pennsylvania will benefit by relying upon the advice and guidance of an attorney experienced in handling these types of family law proceedings..
Source: cincinnati.com, "Family fights to keep tribe from taking child", Shelly Schultz, Jan. 6, 2017