Arizona Attorney General Supports Indian Child Welfare Act In Texas Case

Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 10:41am
Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 12:48pm
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Arizona joined 18 other states in supporting the Indian Child Welfare Act in a Texas legal battle over the adoption of a Native American child.

In a legal brief filed Monday, Attorney general Mark Brnovich said the law helps protect tribal sovereignty.

The law  is “designed to safeguard “the continued existence and integrity of Indian tribes” by protecting their greatest treasure—their children,” reads the legal statement, filed with the 5th circuit court of appeals.

When placing Native children who do not live on a reservation up for adoption, the ICWA requires state courts give preference to Native American families. The law was adopted in 1978 after it was revealed about 30 percent of all Native children were being removed from their communities by states and private adoption agencies. About 85 percent of those children were placed in non-Native households, according to the National Indian Child Welfare Association.

The non-native couple in the lawsuit and the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Indiana, say the law is unconstitutional because the rules are based on race.

Last year the 9th circuit court of appeals struck down an appeal  from Arizona-based Goldwater institute to declare the ICWA “unfair and illegal.”

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