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Some different talking points about Indian Child Welfare Act

BY JOHNSTON MOORE Published: July 27, 2012

Interestingly, it's the tribe that has denied our sons' rights as “tribal citizens.” We've reached out to the tribe and visited the reservation. The tribe has responded with nine years of silence. Does the tribe no longer acknowledge my children simply because we adopted them?

ICWA “protects Indian parents from having their children removed for baseless reasons,” Cross writes. No children, regardless of race, should be removed from their homes for baseless reasons. Changes in child welfare laws require that child welfare officials work hard to ensure this doesn't happen. We don't need a law that protects just one class of children from baseless removals.

Cross contends it was a failure to comply with ICWA that led to the tragic custody battle in Baby Veronica's case. I disagree. It was the unfair exploitation of the law's loopholes that gave rights to a biological father who would have had no rights under state law, resulting in an innocent little girl's world being turned upside down in an instant. Ask members of Congress if that's what they intended when they passed ICWA. I think we know what their answers would be.

Moore, of Long Beach, Calif., is an adoptive father of six children, three of whom are part Indian. He is director and co-founder of Home Forever, and a founding member of the Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children & Families. He can be reached at