My husband and I are doing foster care for a Navajo Child. Her parents have relinquished all rights, and she wants us to adopt her. How hard is it going to be to Accomplish this?
Dear WolfSpirit,
I was replying to Butterfy-Cheek concerning whites adopting Native Children.
You have no need for what I shared-you know. You would be the ideal of any agency to be able to place Native children. I felt love and warmth in your letter, so please know I was not thinking you needed to know more. You find the ICWA agency that represents your area and get started. You would be a wonderful resource.
I would hope you would also share with those whites who have adopted Native children, so the history is not lost but shared. The world could only be a better place if we all practiced the true teachings. That could be said of most spiritual teachings, could it not?
I heard of a program in Canada for non-Native parents of Native children. I have not been able to find that near where we live. I am depending on the Grandma to help us participate in the culture. She is putting together the naming ceremony. I am very excited for this to happen.
Please keep in touch and let me know if and when you get a child.
I have not heard of the Metis or Red Path. I would like to know more. Our little one is Chippewa- Anishinaabe. I think I said our other two are Cherokee. How I wish I could know I had a drop of Native blood. My father was a great student of Native history and taught me many things as a child. He is gone now.
Perhaps I should share other things personally, so if you want to share more we can write privately.
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This is my first posting on this site, so I hope I am using this forum appropriately. I am making the same post in a couple of threads.
I am currently working on a Cree reserve in northern Canada, and am interested in providing foster care and possible adopting a particular little girl. I am not of Native heritage, and do not have any other children. The child is 6 years old, and is currently living in an unstable foster home (her grandmother). I think that her family may be interested/open to having someone provide a stable home for her. They have no idea I am interested at this point.
I have lived on the reserve for two years, and plan to live here at least another year, perhaps longer. I have learned a lot about the culture in my community and am friends with, and work with, many community members. It would be very important to me that this child would learn about and be involved in her Cree heritage. I do not plan on adopting her and then taking her away from her community and relatives forever.
Could anyone give me some information of is cross-cultural adoption is possible in Canada, and what my first steps in inquiring into adopting/fostering this child would be - talking to a Social Worker? I have read the posts about the ICWA, and realize some people's opinion about this issue. I am concerend about this child and really want to provide her with a loving and stable home. I welcome any information, comments and opinions. Thanks!
In our state it is nearly impossible to adopt a native child if you yourself are not native... I've posted several times about why, and I believe the reasons are quite well-intentioned and well thought out.
I also know that families come in all shapes, sizes and colors... if you do adopt a native american baby/child - please educate them about their culture and all it entails, get comfortable with it so THEY are comfortable with ALL of who they are your child AND native american
Jeanne21
It is not just in the US that it is so strict to adopt a native child. It is that way in Canada as well. In Canada, children of Native heritage must have approval of the tribe, in which their prospective children are enrolled, to adopt.
I am the Mother of two children through adoption. Both are of Canadian Aboriginal heritage. We were chosen by their first mothers, both Metis and they were placed with us at birth. The adoptions are final.
Not every adoption of a child with Native heritage in Canada must be approved by the Band. In our situations, our childrens' first mothers were given the choice to consult the band and chose not to consult them. They made the placement of their choice. Neither had strong ties to the band and did not live in a Native community. I just wanted to clarify that not every situation has to have the approval of the tribe. We are looking forward to giving them opportunities to embrace their Native heritage within our family, just as their first mothers' wished.
Interesting that whites can adopt any other culture/ race,etc. but native american the most difficult.
I personally know of a situation where one sibling was adopted by an aunt because the child was part N.A., but the other siblings were in foster care because they had different - non-native father. The aunt wouldnt adopt the other siblings, and the part native sibling couldn't be kept with group . very sad indeed!
I am in Ontario, but I imagine it works similar to all places in Canada.
Your first step is contact your local child and family services. After they get some info from you they would be able to tell you whether the child is:
1) Not Crown Ward (therefore not adoptable)
2) Crown Ward with access (not adoptable)
3) Crown Ward with no access (adoptable)
If the child is not adoptable, you could only apply for being a foster parent. In that case, once approved the child COULD be placed with you if the agency chose to do so.
Adopting a native child in Canada when one is non-native is generally acceptable as long as you can prove:
1) Native ancestry somewhere and/or
2) Reasonable knowledge of the native culture
Please email me if you have any questions that I could maybe help with at satinNnunu@msn.com
My husband and I recently adopted a little girl who is status. We also foster 2 boys who are status. I have native ancestry (my mother is status, I am not).
Hi, Here is a website that may help:
[url=http://www.canadaswaitingkids.ca/kids/photo_access.asp]Canada's Waiting Kids -- Photo Album Access[/url]
and another:
[url=http://www.canadaadopts.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi]Canada Adopts! :[/url]
Best wishes and good luck.
Thanks for your repiles.
y2jasmine:
I think before I talk to the local CFS workers, I will talk to a local woman (who is white) who has fostered, and I believe adopted, two children from our community. I don't know her very well, but I think I will ask her some questions, while not being specific about who the child is I would like to adopt.
I am concerned about talking to CFS for two reasons. I am afraid they will have a negative reaction to the fact that I am white (although I could be totally wrong), and also am afraid they will not keep my information confidential. Will they approach the birth family in a general way first, or will it all depend on what situation the child is in as far as being a crown ward? Would they actually tell the family that I am the one who would like to adopt this child during the first meetings? If there is a negative reaction, I envision this small community getting the wrong idea - that I want to take this child away from their birth family forever, without involving her in her culture - which is not what I want to do at all.
Hope to hear from you again soon!
I am so grateful to read these posts. My BIL was adopted and he is is Sioux. My dh and I are raising our nephew; the adoption was finalized in Florida almost 2 years ago.
I remember seeing a legal document titled the Indian Child Act and it was not an issue as my BIL, the birth father, was adopted in South Dakota in 1965.
It is our intention to provide opportunities for our son to learn about the Sioux. We live in Hawaii and great respect is given to native Hawaiian culture here.
If anyone can give me direction for websites I would be grateful.
Anyone out there from MN and is Native Amer. ? I am well versed on ICWA. We have a NA foster baby now who may need a NA home. Thanks..AnnaE
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This thread is SO helpful. We had a young teen-aged native American come across our path and her situation is heart-rending. Very similar to what has been described here. She's been bounced around from family member to family member. Alcohol and smoking are rampant there, and seemingly the only way to pass time. She wants a better life. We offered her a place with us if she ever wanted a fresh start and a few months later, she took us up on it. We are not in the same state. Her family there fully supports her living with us and we is physically in our custody now. But but with the ink only fresh on a 60-day temporary custodianship document, they've taken her off their medicaid plan. This poses a serious problem. What if she gets ill while we try to figure out a permanent solution? She is not ours legally. We are looking into adoption as an option. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Hi, it is good that you are willing to give this young person a place to live and some good opportunities that both she and her family want. Even though they took her off their medicaid plan, she should still be eligible for medical services. You should check with your state medicaid to see if the other state will reimburse them. Also look into what temporary custody involves in your state as the state laws are sometimes different. You didn't say how old she is but it may work to just keep the custody going until she is 18 or whatever age is considered an adult in your state. Another option is to put her on your health insurance plan. Since you have legal custody, that should be legal. Best wishes and good luck.
ergo
This thread is SO helpful. We had a young teen-aged native American come across our path and her situation is heart-rending. Very similar to what has been described here. She's been bounced around from family member to family member. Alcohol and smoking are rampant there, and seemingly the only way to pass time. She wants a better life. We offered her a place with us if she ever wanted a fresh start and a few months later, she took us up on it. We are not in the same state. Her family there fully supports her living with us and we is physically in our custody now. But but with the ink only fresh on a 60-day temporary custodianship document, they've taken her off their medicaid plan. This poses a serious problem. What if she gets ill while we try to figure out a permanent solution? She is not ours legally. We are looking into adoption as an option. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Like Dianna, I would assume that she is still eligible for medical & you should be able to get it for her since you do have legal standing. Since her family is happy with the situation, will you be able to turn the temporary custodianship into a longer one or even a permanent guardianship? That may give you a more secure position from which to make plans regarding providing for her needs.
As for this thread as a whole, I noticed a mistake that was made early on that I never saw corrected. The order of priority for placement under ICWA is:
1) Biological family (this is NOT limited to NA family)
2) non family members of the same tribe
3) NA homes from other tribes
4) non-NA homes
A tribe has the authority to skip any of these steps if they choose. As for the many "unfortunately"s, etc. that I noticed with regards to the Nations having jurisdiction & being able to follow these guidelines if they choose to...try to think about these adopts more along the lines of international adoption. NA tribes (at least the ones that are covered by ICWA) are sovereign nations...separate governments. No one questions China or India's authority to decide whether an American family adopts one of their children. It's essentially the same thing.
I only agree wits transracial adoption when no family of the child's race can be found. I like the idea of keeping kids with people who's culture is like theres. It's already hard enough having to be torn away from your family at least put them with a race like there own. Just my opinion