Law

Judge OKs adoption of Alaska Native boy by non-Native couple





A judge in New York said a non-Native couple can adopt an Alaska Native boy.

Magen M., an Alaska Native woman, voluntarily agreed to the adoption. A non-Native couple from New York took custody of the boy a day after he was born on December 14, 2010.

The judge said the adoption can move forward without notifying the boy's tribe and without consent of the tribe. The mother was not "domiciled" on a reservation at the time of birth as required by the Indian Child Welfare Act, the judge ruled.

"Here, Magen M., an Alaskan Eskimo who is a member of the NANA Corporation, does not live on a reservation," the decision stated. "Baby J. has never lived on a reservation nor with his birth mother, Magen M., and the adoptive parents took custody of Baby J. the day after his birth."

Get the Story:
Alaskan can give up child for adoption without notifying tribe: judge (Reuters 5/29)

Court Decision:
Matter of Baby Boy J. (May 23, 2012)