Indian Child Welfare Act Tears Six Year Old From Only Home She Has Known Since She Was Seventeen Months Old

Child is removed from her parents and taken into child protective custody when Child is seventeen months old.

Child is placed with California Husband and Wife as her foster parents. Child lives with them, and their other children, for more than four years.

Genealogically, Child is one-sixty-fourth part Choctaw Indian; sixty-three sixty-fourths part not.

The federal Indian Child Welfare Act subjects Child, now six years old, to the the jurisdiction of the Choctaw Nation.

Because Child’s biological parents are unfit to care for her, the tribe wishes to place Child with relatives of her biological father, in Utah, who are not Indian. But Child’s nominal half-sister resides with them.

Husband and Wife, who wish to adopt Child, have been vigorously opposing tribal jurisdiction.

Because Child has been with Husband and Wife for so long during the extensive litigation, Child underwent a psychological evaluation and a child custody evaluation was performed by a therapist.

Their conclusion was that it would not be harmful to Child to remove her from the only home she has known for more than four years starting when she was seventeen months old.

Child’s foster parents plan to continue their fight through the courts until all of their legal options are exhausted.


  1. this Los Angeles Times article: State Supreme Court will not hear Santa Clarita family’s appeal in tribal custody case and
  2. this Denver Post article: Custody case of Native American girl appealed to high court .