Transracial and International Adoptions

The Rost Case

(Links updated 8/01/03 - D.P.)

Many links will open a new browser window or tab. Close each browser window after viewing to return to this directory or press the "Back" button on your browser menu.

The Rost case revolves around two twins who are part Native American, and the battle of their tribe, the Dry Creek Rancheria, to invoke the Indian Child Welfare Act and have the children removed from their adoptive home and placed with their grandmother. The tribe won the case initially, but lost in appeal on January 18, 1996. You can read the entire opinion from the California Appeals Court now. This case led many in the community to put pressure on the government to amend the ICWA, and several bills ensued that would have seriously undermined the First Nations' right to self-determination. In response,the National Congress of American Indians came up with their own amendments to the ICWA. These competing philosophies are still dueling it out in the United States legislature. I encourage everyone to read the bills, detailed below, and to view the other links in this category.

Titles 1 and 2 of "The Adoption Promotion and Stability Act of 1996" were added to the Small Business Protection and Minimum Wage Increase Act , and signed into law in August of 1996. Title I and II were the sections dealing with the Adoption Tax Credit and with removing racial barriers to adoption. Title III, amending the Indian Child Welfare Act, was not included. Those amendments, sponsored by Congressprsns. Pryce and Tiahrt, did not have the support of a single First Nation, and were struck from the Senate version of the bill in committee. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee began hearing testimony on June 26th, 1996 to the alternative ICWA amendments that were proposed by the National Congress of American Indians. You can read the proposed NCAI amendments here. Sen. John McCain submitted a bill that includes most of the language the NCAI proposed, S. 1962, which passed the Senate on 9/27/96. the House was to consider the companion Bill to s.1962, H.R 3828, introduced by Rep. Don Young of Alaska, however Congress adjourned before it could be considered, thus killing the bill's chances. Because S. 1962 did not include language specifically prohibiting the use of the "Existing Indian Family Doctrine," it did not have unqualified support among Native American activists.

In 1997, another version of ICWA amendments were introduced. These amendments largely have the support of the American Indian Community, as well as the National Indian Child Welfare Association. S. 569 and HB 1082 (companion bills), have as of January, 1999, been unable to make it out of Committee and to the floor of the House or Senate for a vote. Primary opposition comes from WA Senator Slade Gorton, long an enemy of the First Nations, as well as the National Council for Adoption, a radical group composed of private adoption agencies, who is also the nemesis of the Adoptee Activist community. The NCFA would like to gut ICWA so that it would only apply to on-reservation, involuntary child custody proceedings.

More information on ICWA and proposed amendments is available at the National Indian Child Welfare Association and the Indian Child Welfare Law Center.

Please contact your Senators and Representatives, and tell them you support SB 569 and HB 1082. Please also read the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 for further understanding of the issues. Also of interest are the following articles on ICWA.

Indian Child Welfare Act: The need for a separate law. Article by B.J Jones, author and attorney.

AKA World Intercountry Adoption Community, well-organized with lots of information, particularly for Korean-born adoptees

Families for Russian and Ukranian Adoption

ICHILD India adoption information and resources

Immigration Benefits for Adoption of a Child Before Sixteenth Birthday

Kiss and Goodbye Now Irish Mothers and Adoption

Korean Adoptee Homepage

Transracial Adoption Resources from MAVIN magazine for mixed race people

The Krasniqi case

This tragedy, in which two children were taken from their Muslim parents on the basis of sexual abuse charges against the child's father, Sadri (Sam) Krasniqi (of which he was later acquitted), and adopted by a Christian family who forced the children to convert, has been documented recently on the ABC news show, 20/20. You can find additional details on the case at a few places on the Web, including CAIR , the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has provided ongoing information through their action alerts. The judge that terminated the parental rights of the Krasniqis, Harold Gaither, has continued to voice his opinions on the case through the media as public opinion has been solidly on the side of the wronged Krasniqis. Appeals from individuals and organizations continue to pour into media outlets and the offices of individuals associated with the case.

Return to Adoptee's Right to Know