There’s so much more to this story than the headline indicates.
The foster parents fought her removal from their home for more than 3 years. The court had ordered her to be placed with biological relatives, the foster parents hired a lawyer, and they appealed. The fact that the appellate process (that the foster parents started) dragged on for 3 years should not be used as support for their position. And then dragging the media out to her removal just makes the whole situation even more traumatic to the child.
I’m an adoptive parent myself. But let’s be clear – there are situations in which adoption is not appropriate. In this case, the father’s rights haven’t been terminated, and the state has not even tried to do so (and likely doesn’t have grounds for termination, from what the media has said even in the stories that slant in favor of the foster parents). Father is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation and requested several years ago that the child be placed with his relatives. ICWA prioritizes placements with biological relatives, then placements with other members of the tribe, for a child who is eligible for membership in a tribe. (Note: each tribe sets its own requirements for membership. So this whole “1.5% Choctaw blood” being bandied about in the media is a red herring, because the Choctaw Nation is sovereign and has the right to decide “how much” Choctaw one has to be in order to be a member of the Choctaw nation.) The court agreed that ICWA applied and ordered that the child be transitioned to father’s relatives.
That would have been the end of it. It could have been a smooth transition, with lengthening visits with the relatives, ongoing contact with foster parents, etc… But the actions of the foster parents prevented that, and made everything more traumatic for the child. Such a sad situation.