Searching and Indian Heritage

February 27th, 2007

The first blog on this subject is at http://birthfamily-search.adoptionblogs.com/weblogs/indian-child-welfare-act-1 which was posted February 22, 2006. The section referenced in the previous blog essentially directs the State to give adult adoptees of Native American heritage who request it, their birth information, so that they may enroll in their tribes. The section does allow for birthparents to file a veto, but even then the adoptee is entitled to tribal notification so that they may process their tribal rights and privileges. If you have any information at all that you are even the smallest bit Native American, you should use the Indian Child Welfare Act in your petition. Include affidavits from family members (adoptive and birth) who have told you that you have… [more]

Adoption Search Series – Step by Step – Part 7

February 22nd, 2007

Step 7 is to petition the court to gain access to your adoption records. Not all states allow you to petition the court for your records. However, if your state does allow this procedure, it is well worth the effort. Although it sounds complicated and a great deal of trouble, it is not nearly as difficult as it appears to be. Policies to petition courts for adoption records sometimes even vary in different counties in a state. There are paid services that will petition the court for you if you choose not to do so yourself. A lawyer could also assist you. However, I see little need in most cases to pay someone else to do the petition for you when you can do it… [more]

Petitioning the Court

April 11th, 2006

Petitioning the court is sometimes necessary to obtain access to adoption records. Here are some details to keep in mind about petitioning the court:  Petitioning the court for adoption records is required in many states in the U.S. as the only avenue to obtain copies of those records.  Even though there are services that will petition the courts in some states for a fee, it is generally not necessary to use a service or an attorney to to obtain adoption records.  When I first heard a few years ago about petitioning the court, few people seemed to be having success with obtaining their records. In the last couple of years, I hear more people being successful in obtaining their records.  If… [more]

Indian Child Welfare Act

February 22nd, 2006

Another option when petitioning the court is to use the Indian Child Welfare Act if you have Native American in your heritage. In fact, it can be the key to a successful petition to open a sealed adoption file. The Indian Child Welfare Act was passed in 1978 to address congressional findings that "an alarmingly high percentage of Indian families are broken up by the removal, often unwarranted, of their children from them by non-tribal public and private agencies and that an alarmingly high percentage of such children are placed in non-Indian foster and adoptive homes and institutions; and..... that the States, exercising their recognized jurisdiction over Indian child custody proceedings through administrative and judicial bodies, have often failed to recognize the essential tribal relations of Indian people and the… [more]

Petitioning the Court

February 21st, 2006

I have been procrastinating writing about this for some reason and today I realized why. I am not a control freak or anything like that but when I decided to do something I want to accomplish it and I usually do. I get very frustrated waiting for others and that is what petitioning the court depends on. You are waiting on the judge to grant you a court order and appoint an intermediary. Then you are waiting on the intermediary to provide you with you non-identifying information and if you have requested a search, you are waiting for her to conduct the search. I am not trying to be or intending to be negative here. The reality is that opting to petition… [more]