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Supreme Court to weigh in on Native American adoption rights

Supreme Court Native Child Welfare
Posted at 11:30 AM, Nov 14, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide on a case about whether Native Americans should get priority when a Native child is up for adoption.

The Indian Child Welfare Act, which was adopted in 1978, established placement preferences after a high number of Native children were being separated from their families, according to CNN.

The law gives adoption priority to the child's extended family, then other members of the child's tribe and then other Native families, CNN reports.

The law came into question when a White Texas couple fought to adopt their 4-year-old foster child, who was born to a Navajo woman.

The couple maintains that the Indian Child Welfare Act is discriminatory.

During arguments before the Supreme Court, the justices appeared to struggle with whether to unravel the law, fearing other protections for Native Americans could become at risk.

According to The New York Times, Matthew McGill, a lawyer for the Texas couple, said predictions about protections for Native Americans being nullified are overblown.

The law is being defended by the Biden administration and numerous Tribal nations.