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December 13, 2008 permalink
The press reports on the distress of a Utah couple compelled by the courts to give up their adopted baby. The press rarely reports on the more frequent cases of distress of natural parents compelled to give up their babies on pretense of protection.
Family must give up adopted boy
Reported by: Dan Rascon, Last Update: 12/12 6:47 pm
Imagine only having two days left with your son or daughter.
A bureaucratic process involving federal law and Native American rights has caused that exact situation for a South Jordan family. Their adopted son is getting taken away from them by court order. The boy is expected to be removed Sunday night.
“I can’t believe that it's happening.” said Clint Larson, who is the adoptive father of six-month-old Talon.
Talon was born in Salt Lake City in June.
Talon's birth mother, who is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Indian tribe in Minnesota, came to Salt Lake City to have the baby.
She place Talon for adoption through the Heart & Soul adoption agency.
According to the tribe, when she returned home to the reservation after giving birth she changed her mind. She wanted the baby back even though the adoption had already gone through.
The Larsons have been fighting in court to keep their child. This week a third district court judge ruled in favor of the birth family, citing federal laws. The Indian Child Welfare Act states that the tribe has a legal right to claim the child.
The tribe says the adoption agency never received the birth father's approval and acquired the mom's signature while she was still drugged after the birth.
The Heart & Soul adoption agency says they did everything according to the law.
The Larsons cannot imagine life without their son.
“He's our son and they are going to take him from us on Sunday. We've waited five years for a child and have cared for him as well as anyone could. They are taking him away right before Christmas. It was going to be his first Christmas with us,” said Heather Larson, Talons adoptive mother.
Frank Bibeau, an attorney for the Tribal council, says the child was never the Larsons to begin with. "The child is not the Larsons and the Larsons are not Indian as far as I know and this is an Indian child.”
The Larson's attorney, Paul Tsosie, argues the child is not a quarter or more Native American so the tribe cannot claim him or enroll him, according to the tribe's own constitution. But
Bibeau says that is not true. "We watch out for our members and our next generation of members. What would be the point of watching out for our children who are quarter blood or more and we don’t care about their children and take care of their children?”
Source: KUTV CBS-2 Salt Lake City