Oklahoma can place some tribal children in foster care without tribal sign-off, state high court rules

In a novel ruling, the Oklahoma Supreme Court found the exclusivity does not cover children who belong to one tribal nation but live on the reservation of another. The state can assert decision-making power over the lives of those children without the consent of the reservation tribe, the court determined. Read the full article at … Read more

Oklahoma Supreme Court’s opinion challenging parts of the Indian Child Welfare Act is flawed, experts say

The Oklahoma Supreme Court used the reasoning of the 2022 ruling in Castro-Huerta v. Oklahoma, which rolled back parts of McGirt, to come to their decision. The Oklahoma Supreme Court say that states have jurisdiction over child custody proceedings, and ICWA only limits the state’s jurisdiction when a member child is on their tribe’s reservation. Read the … Read more

In the Matter of J.W.E., I.W.E., and J.W.E. April 11, 2018 (Oklahoma)

Synopsis provided by Westlaw: The Department of Human Services filed petition to terminate mother’s parental rights. The District Court, Blaine County, Mark A. Moore, J., terminated mother’s rights and denied her motion for new trial that alleged that Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) applied to proceedings. Mother appealed. Holding provided by Westlaw: The Court of Civil Appeals, Jane … Read more

For the Children: Oklahoma Inter-tribal Task Force Tackles Policy Solutions

On December 14th, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) hosted its first Indian Child Welfare Task Force meeting. This gathering brought together inter-tribal and state agencies with a focus on respecting the government-to-government relationship the State of Oklahoma has with each of the 38 federally recognized tribal nations headquartered in our state. Read the … Read more

Tribal Nations Shift ICWA Focus During National Foster Care Month

In recognition of the tireless advocacy of the many child welfare workers, foster parents, volunteers and family members who care for Native children in state custody, tribal nations have been promoting National Foster Care Month to raise awareness about the need for more Native foster homes in the United States. Read the full article at … Read more

In re Adoption of B.T.S. , March 7, 2016 (Oklahoma)

Synopsis provided by Westlaw: Prospective adoptive parents filed a petition for adoption which also sought to terminate mother and father’s parental rights and an order determining that child was eligible for adoption without mother’s consent. The District Court, Cherokee County, Sandy Crosslin, J., determined child was eligible for adoption without mother’s consent. Mother appealed. Holding … Read more

CASA Sets Fall Child Advocate Training (Oklahoma)

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Cherokee Country is a local volunteer program that recruits and trains community volunteers to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children in juvenile deprived proceedings, an volunteers are greatly needed….CASA volunteer child advocate training will be offered to individuals age 21 or older in October. Certification will be … Read more

NSU gets $735,000 from National Child Welfare Workforce Institute

Northeastern State University is one of 11 universities nationwide to receive five-year funding of $735,000 through the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, a service of the U.S. Children’s Bureau, a media release states. NSU’s Department of Social Work and the Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare entered into a formal partnership that will assist in building … Read more

Veronica’s Birth Mom Drops Challenge to Indian Child Welfare Act

Baby Veronica’s birth mother has filed a voluntary dismissal of a federal lawsuit against the Cherokee Nation and the U.S. government, which requested that parts of the Indian Child Welfare Act be declared unconstitutional, attorneys in the case announced Tuesday. Read the full article at the Tulsa World website and related articles at Indian Country … Read more

Fight for Baby Desirai Resembles Veronica Case

Protesters lined up in front of the courthouse while attorneys rushed inside for a closed-door hearing, where a biological father was fighting for custody of an Indian daughter. It was like hitting “replay” on the Baby Veronica case. Some of the same attorneys were in court again last week. And many of the same protesters … Read more

Latest Media Coverage of “Baby Veronica” Case

Baby Veronica returned to adoptive parents (Washington Post, 9/24/2013) ‘Baby Veronica’ Handed Over To Adoptive Parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco (Huffington Post, 9/24/2013) Capobiancos returning to James Island with Veronica (wistv.com, 9/24/2013) “Baby Veronica” handed over to adoptive parents, Cherokee Nation confirms (CBS News, 9/24/2013) Biological father Dusten Brown hands over Cherokee child ‘Baby Veronica’ … Read more

Latest Media Coverage of “Baby Veronica” Case

Baby Veronica case: Parents’ negotiations end with no settlement (Tulsa World, 9/23/2013) ‘Baby Veronica’ Custody Battle Returns To Oklahoma Supreme Court (News9.com, 9/23/2013) Brown, Capobiancos in negotiations for Veronica (Cherokee Phoenix, 9/23/2013) Baby Veronica case: Five days of mediation yield no agreement (Tulsa World, 9/20/2013)

Okla. tribe awarded custody of infant in case compared to SC couple’s adoption dispute

In a case that is drawing comparisons to a long-running adoption dispute over a 3-year-old Cherokee girl, an Oklahoma County District Court judge awarded custody this week of a 4-month-old infant to the Absentee Shawnee Tribe following a South Carolina couple’s attempt to adopt her. Read the full story at the Washington Post website. Read … Read more

Latest Media Coverage of “Baby Veronica” Case

Oklahoma Supreme Court to hear case involving custody dispute over 3-year-old Cherokee girl (Washington Post, 9/13/2013) Groups Argue Over Effectiveness of Indian Child Welfare Act (News9.com, 9/12/2013) NICWA, NCAI Applaud UN for Calling on U.S. to Protect Veronica (Indian Country Today, 9/11/2013) ‘Baby Veronica’ Custody Battle Continues (NPR, 9/11/2013)

Latest Media Coverage of “Baby Veronica” Case

South Carolina governor comments on Baby Veronica (fox23.com, 9/9/2013) Father of Cherokee girl in middle of custody dispute files new appeal to Okla. Supreme Court (Washington Post, 9/6/2013) Baby Veronica case: Dusten Brown files second appeal with state supreme court (Tulsa World, 9/6/2013) In re Adoptive Couple of Baby Girl (“Baby Veronica”): Okla. Supreme Court … Read more

Latest Media Coverage of “Baby Veronica” Case

Baby Veronica to stay with biological dad for now, court rules (Today, 9/3/2013) New twist in Native American child custody dispute (CNN, 9/3/2013) Okla. Supreme Court issues stay in custody case (USA Today, 9/3/2013) Father of Cherokee girl in middle of custody dispute appeals to the Oklahoma Supreme Court (Washington Post, 9/2/2013)

Trafficking Native Children: The Seamy Underbelly of U.S. Adoption Industry

Even worse, says Mason, is the blatant marketing and selling of Indian children by lawyers who make anywhere from $25,000 to copy00,000 in legal fees for these children. “Anyone can do the math and realize that this is an enormous industry in the trafficking of Indian children,” says Mason. “And they’re preying on poor, uneducated Native … Read more

Latest Media Coverage of “Baby Veronica” Case

Cherokees rally for Dusten Brown in Baby Veronica case (Tulsa World, 8/27/2013) Veronica case: Motion filed to suspend visits from Capobiancos (Native Times, 8/27/2013) Adoptive parents visit Baby Veronica, but future visits being challenged (Tulsa World, 8/26/2013) ‘Baby Girl’ Veronica Case: Lawyer Asks Judge To Suspend Adoptive Parents’ Visitation Rights (Huffington Post, 8/26/2013) Toddler’s guardian … Read more

Recent Media Coverage of “Baby Veronica” Case

Charleston County sheriff working with agencies to locate Veronica (live5.com, 8/12/2013) Dusten Brown, biological father of ‘Baby Veronica’, posts $10,000 bail, released on bond (kjrh.com, 8/12/2013) Cherokee man cleared to go to Okla. for hearing on disputed adoption of his daughter, 3 (Birmingham Star, 8/12/2013) Brown’s whereabouts unknown; Tribal hearing set for Monday (abcnews4.com, 8/11/2013) … Read more

Media Coverage of Veronica Case as SC Court Orders Immediate Transfer of Child

Baby Veronica’s biological family says their offer of shared custody was rejected (Tulsa World, 8/7/2013) Veronica’s Oklahoma family on edge as South Carolina authorities consider custody action (The Post and Courier, 8/7/2013) Baby Veronica’s family pins hopes on tribal, state courts (Tulsa World, 8/7/2013) SC judge orders Cherokee girl at center of adoption dispute transferred … Read more

Group proposes changes to Indian adoption law (Tulsa World)

As the U.S. Supreme Court hears the Baby Veronica case Tuesday, local advocates will submit a petition to change the federal law that removed the girl from her adoptive home. More than 1,000 people in Oklahoma have signed the petition, in addition to more than 22,000 other people nationwide. Read the full article from April 16, … Read more

April 2013 — 31st Annual Protecting Our Children National American Indian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect

April 7-10, 2013 Tulsa, Oklahoma Conference Goals To highlight successful strategies for developing effective services To reveal the latest and most innovative child and family service delivery practices To highlight tactics and strategies for financing and sustaining services that impact children To showcase strategies for involving youth and families in developing services and policies that … Read more

A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act

The Guide is intended to answer questions and provide a comprehensive resource of information on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The online version at http://www.narf.org/icwa was created as a complement to the print version of the Guide, which was printed by the Native American Rights Fund in 2007. While the topical sections are identical … Read more