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Mississippi Weighs in on Indian Adoption Case

By Daniel Cherry | Published 23 Apr 2013 06:08pm | comments
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has joined 17 other state attorneys general in support of a law called the Indian Child Welfare Act. 
 
The U.S. Supreme Court could determine the impact of a federal law that gives jurisdiction over adoptions of American Indian children to tribal councils rather than state courts. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has filed a brief in support the tribes.
 
"It wouldn't really change anything, the way it's been all along. The question was is, would the state laws of adoption trump the Indian Child Welfare Act, and we don't think that it will."
 
In 1978, Congress found  one third of Native American children were being taken from their parents and given to white families. Hood says tribes are treated as sovereign and states shouldn't be able to interfere with adoptions.
 
"It would be inappropriate for a state to come in and pass laws that try to preempt agreements that we've reached with American Indian tribes and not recognize their sovereign authority."
 
The Court took up the case only once before in a case involving the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The Court reaffirmed the tribe's jurisdiction over adoptions.

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