When it comes to the adoption of a child, his or her best interests need to come first. Is a child's best interest living with his or her own culture, community or with families of the same background? It could be the case, but in the event that those people aren't available, isn't it better to get the child out of the state's care and into a loving home?
This is a debate at the center of a lawsuit filed against the federal government. The Texas Attorney General has decided to sue the government claiming that the Indian Child Welfare Act is unconstitutional. According to the news report, the ICWA was passed in 1978 and is standing in the way of many families adopting Native American Children. The law currently limits the people who can adopt Native Americans to those within their heritage.
The ICWA, according to the attorney general, doesn't put the child's interests first. Instead, it puts his or her race first. He is challenging the law and suing on behalf of two foster parents who have been unable to adopt a Native American child who is just now two years old. They've fostered him for over a year, but the provisions of the law state that the boy has to live with an unknown Native American family from New Mexico.
The attorney also argues with the law, because the child's biological parents and grandmother are in support of the adoption. He believes that the current law is unconstitutional and discriminatory, hurting the ability of Native children to be adopted. It encourages making custody decisions based on racial preferences alone.