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Law governing adoptions of Native American children upheld

1 year 3 days 19 hours ago Friday, August 09 2019 Aug 9, 2019 August 09, 2019 3:13 PM August 09, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

By KEVIN McGILL
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld the constitutionality of a 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving American Indian children.

Friday's decision by a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal upholds the Indian Child Welfare Act and reverses a Texas-based federal judge. It comes in a case involving non-Indian families in multiple states who adopted or sought to adopt Native American children.

Opponents of the law called it an unconstitutional race-based intrusion on states' powers to govern adoptions. But the 5th Circuit majority disagreed, saying the law's definition of an "Indian child" is a political classification.

The decision was a victory for supporters of the law who say it's needed to protect and preserve Native American culture and families.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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