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“The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was enacted in 1978 in regards to a crisis affecting American Indian and Alaska Native children, families and tribes.”(ICWA) For several years, there have been many cases in which thousands of Native children were being separated from their parents, extended families and communities by state child welfare and private adoption agencies. (ICWA) For the most part the main purpose for  “The Indian Child Welfare Act” was for the child to have the best needs that including an education, health care, finding a family within the same tribe as their cultural heritage in other words to keep Indian American children with Indian American families. As a result of the ” The Indian Child Welfare Act” there was a case known as the Lexi case in which a non-Indian foster family were seeking to adopt a six year old Choctaw tribal member violating state and federal Indian Child Welfare laws.(Supreme Court Denies Hearing in Lexi Case) There is significant evidence that shows that Child Welfare Act law protected Lexi and helped her stay with her native tribe. To great extent ” the indian welfare act” ensures that the best interests of the child are served.(ICWA) For instance typically children would be removed from their household if there were instances of substantiated abuse or neglect as in other child abuse case. ( find the cite) In the case of Lexi she was placed in state custody right after her father was sent to jail for selling stolen auto parts, her mother had disappeared shortly after her birth. As a result from her biological father and his criminal history and her mother had a extensive substance abuse problem, Lexi had several failed foster placements. She then was placed with Russell and his wife Summer Page in Santa Clarita, California. The Page family began to proceed with permanently adopting Lexi despite the varies warnings from the state and the courts because after all Lexi was submissive to law under the Indian Child Welfare Act. Therefore because Lexi was considered a Choctaw child under the Indian Child Welfare Act for the fact that her father was a member of the Choctaw Nation, the tribe had agreed in placing Lexi in a non-native foster home as Walbert mentions in the article it was mainly for the fact ” to facilitate efforts to reunify the girl with her father”  basically she was placed in a non-native home for it would be an easier process for Lexi to be placed with an  Indian American family or relatives in her tribe since its the purpose of the Act. Following, the case the Pages still continued their fight to retain permanent custody of Lexi, in March of 2016 the American Indian Unit of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services had removed Lexi from the Pages home in Santa Clarita, California.(Brewer ICWA) The Page family were Lexi’s foster parents for four years for them losing Lexi was heart wrenching. Lexi was taken away from the Pages home and was moved to Utah with her relatives with two biological sisters. For the most part this can be seen that Indian tribes feared for losing native decedents. That many Indian practices such as heritage components, beliefs, languages and communities would be lost. To begin with according to the National Indian Child Welfare Association, ” The intent of congress under ICWA was to protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families.”( Indian Child Welfare Act, 1978). Therefore although the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) seem to protect many Native American children there were some issues along with this federal law. For instance, some of those issues were adoption rights options where the child would be placed and lastly the numerous parties that would be involved. As Walter Olson address in his article ” The Constitutional Flaws of the Indian Child Welfare Act” he further then discuss some of the issues that occur with the Act. Olson has stated that most of the arguments that surrounded a contemporary child custody case was based on the question of the extent to which the federal definition of an Indian “parent” under ICWA should track state definitions of “parent” which often recognize that biological and legal parenthood are two different things. (Olson, 2013). In other words a huge debate within the Indian Child Welfare Act is the rights and the role of a adoptive parent to a Native American child. In fact, in the case of Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield in which also was called into question for a child’s adoption.(Olson, 2013) This case was about the status of two twin babies in which their parents were of a Native American heritage and were members of a tribe in Neshoba County, Mississippi. (Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield, 1989). These two twin babies were adopted by a non-Native American family just as Lexi the babies were adopted by a family in Harrison County in Mississippi. The main concern issue on this case was figuring out the location of the children by figuring out the location of the children is the location were the babies were born whether they were born on Indian reservation or if  they ever lived on Indian reservation. Shortly, after the adoption had been finalized the family that had taken the twin babies had gotten a notice from the home tribe to leave the adoption as it was because of the exclusive jurisdiction in the Indian Child Welfare Act. The case on the twin babies was taken to a state trial court by the Native American tribe and their action on the process was denied. The reason why this case was denied by the court was for the fact that the twin babies had never lived on Indian reservation land and were also not born on the reservation land. Later on the tribe had appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court in which confirm the trial court’s decision. For the time being that the tribe had appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court, the court ended up granted certiorari to them. (Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield, 1989). As Justin Brennan, ultimately has stated in his article that ” Congress could not have intended to enact a rule of domicile that would permit individual Indian parent to defeat the ICWA’s jurisdictional scheme simply by giving birth and placing the child for adoption off the reservation.” (FindLaw, 2014). Brennan identify and examined Congress intent with the tribe’s reservation. Brennan stated, in the article ” This appeal requires us to construe the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act that establish exclusive tribal jurisdiction over child custody proceedings involving Indian children domiciled on the tribe’s reservation.” (FindLaw, 2014). In other words children that have been born in Indian reservation were considered a part of the exclusive jurisdiction of the tribal court.      


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