That’s the objective of a “Step Forward For Orphans March” in Washington, D.C. a week from today, May 17, led by Craig Juntunen of Both Ends Burning, a father of adopted children from Haiti [Daily Beast]. As one Facebook commenter put it: “We don’t really need ‘easier’ adoptions — we need to eliminate corruption, and streamline the bureacratic procedures, making the process more transparent and predictable.” And: “the solution to corruption in international adoption is to target corrupt officials, not to leave children in orphanages.” Perhaps the most appropriate target audience for the D.C. march would be the embassies of foreign governments, transnational organizations in the U.N. system, and well-meaning NGOs that have rationalized moratoria on international adoption; the U.S. government itself, by contrast, has tended to behave in ways friendlier to the practice.
Is ICWA, the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, unconstitutional, bad policy, both, or neither? Does it impermissibly hand out rights in domestic relations disputes based on forbidden grounds of race and lineage? My new Reason piece on SCOTUS’s adoption heartbreaker is now out. ICWA advocates have argued that the law should be read generously as an effort to remedy a long earlier history in which Indian kids had been improperly been taken out of their homes. More on the case: SCOTUSBlog (I recommend in particular the amicus brief on behalf of family law experts Joan Heifetz Hollinger and Elizabeth Bartholet), ABA, oral argument transcript. And for a viewpoint extremely different from mine, Matthew Fletcher and Kate Fort write up the case at the Indian law blog Turtle Talk (first, second).(& SCOTUSBlog, How Appealing)
He signed his unwed-dad rights away by text message — then, when the girl was more than two years old, the baldly race-based Indian Child Welfare Act got them back for him. Today the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, otherwise known as the Baby Veronica case. [Washington Post, Michael Schearer, earlier here, here]