Grantee maps larger agenda behind U.S. Supreme Court case over adoption of Native children

Illustration by Hanna Barczyk.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in a case challenging a federal law preventing Native families from being separated. Non-Native foster parents who want to adopt Native children brought the case, claiming that the law discriminates against white people. With a grant from the Fund, Rebecca Nagle wrote in The Nation that the case may be part of a broader assault on the legal rights of Indigenous nations. Nagle found that numerous challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act are part of part of a coordinated strategy led by the private adoption industry, conservative organizations, anti-Indigenous hate groups and corporate law firms. Many legal scholars and Native advocates argue that the case could undercut many laws that apply to tribes as governments, such as reservation status, land use, water rights and gaming.