New case challenges Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act

Samuel Moose, the commissioner of Health and Human Services for the Mille Lacs Band, was named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Photo from Facebook

An Indian couple that wants their child to be adopted by a non-Indian family is challenging the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act.

The law was passed in 1985, following the enactment of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978. The goal was to keep Indian children from being taken away from their communities.

But the couple, whose identities have not been revealed, said the law goes too far. They want to be able to move forward with the voluntary adoption without the participation of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians.

"Unlike ICWA, the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act, facially and as applied, gives Indian tribes the right under the color of state law to interfere with voluntary, private adoptions," the complaint that was filed in federal court on June 3 reads.

The defendants include Samuel Moose, the commissioner of Health and Human Services for the Mille Lacs Band. The tribe has not yet been served with the lawsuit, a spokesperson told The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The couple's child was born in April and is already living with the non-Indian family, the attorney who filed the suit told the paper.

Get the Story:
Indian couple sues to allow adoption to white family (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 6/9)
Families Fight Native American Adoption Rules (Courthouse News Service 6/5)

Federal Register Notices:
Regulations for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody Proceedings (March 30, 2015)
Guidelines for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody Proceedings (February 25, 2015)

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