Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

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 provided by Westlaw: The Court of Civil Appeals, Deborah B. Barnes, J., held that:
1. mother was not prejudiced by prospective adoptive parents’ failure to comply with the notice provisions of the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act (OICWA);
2. the Indian Child Welfare Act’s (ICWA) heightened burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt did not apply to proceeding to determine whether Indian child could be adopted without mother’s consent; and
3. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) did not apply to interstate adoption jurisdiction dispute.

Affirmed as corrected.

Read the full opinion at the National Indian Law Library website.

Child custody case tests jurisdiction of Miccosukee, Miami-Dade courts (Miami Herald)

A South Florida custody case pivots on the Uniform Child Custody Juridiction and Enforcement Act, which establishes jurisdiction between states and tribes.

Under the child custody enforcement act, foreign countries — and under federal law, the Miccosukee reservation off Tamiami trail is a sovereign nation — are treated the same as other states when it comes to custody battles between parents.

The key provision of the law: the court with jurisdiction is the one from where the children resided “within 6 months” of the “commencement of the proceedings” for child custody.

A September 6 hearing will determine which court has jurisdiction.

Read more at the Miami Herald website.