Justices uphold law giving Native families priority to adopt Native youth


Last updated 7/14/2023 at 6:37am

Ryan Knappenberger/Cronkite News

Protesters held flags of different tribal nations and various Indigenous groups outside the Supreme Court in November, when justices listened to more than three hours of arguments on the Indian Child Welfare Act. They upheld the law in a 7-2 ruling.

WASHINGTON-The Supreme Court recently upheld a federal law that requires tribal families to get priority in the adoption or foster placement of an Indigenous child, a law aimed at stopping what one justice called the "nightmare" of family separation.

Advocates have called the Indian Child Welfare Act the gold standard of child welfare laws, but it was challenged by three families and the state of Texas, which claimed the law steps on state's rights and unlawfully uses race to keep non-Native families from adopting Native children.

But the justices, in a 7-2 ruling, upheld the 1978 law in what...

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