Sunday, September 14, 2008

Examining a Way to Skin a Cat

Okay, we've come a lot, and we feel we've got a handle on the kinds of things that might work and the ones that probably won't. I personally like the one of adopting the birth mom in order to make her "family" so we can adopt her child...but apparently the Indians also get to decide after the fact that family who are legal but don't have Indian blood aren't "real" family. Sigh. It's difficult fighting an opponent that is omnipotent and has unlimited funds that ultimately come from your own pocket.

One interesting item about the things have proceeded, it has come into focus that there appears to be one lady at the tribe that is the problem. We have doubts whether the objection would have been raised at all in the first place except for her. Unfortunately for us, she's the one in charge of ICWA issues.

So our newest hobby horse is one I want some input on from anybody here who has experience. Heck, anybody who has an OPINION.

How would an "informal" adoption work? I've known of similar arrangements families have made, where without a strictly legal arrangement, people for their own reasons would simply raise a child that wasn't their own.

We would get our baby back. It also wouldn't necessarily be like that forever. Birth mom is still determined that we are her parents, and we concur. It would simply be a matter of waiting until such time as that woman is out of that position, and then re-trying. Or maybe filling out the paperwork again in 5 years or something WITHOUT checking the Native American box. The main thing is that it would bring us together with her so we stop missing her babyhood.

The main negatives I see are financial, like not being able to claim her on taxes, or legal, like the chance that somehow to government decides to take her away. If we're not her parents, we have no standing to object. I also wonder about things like health insurance and stuff.

So anybody with any knowledge or experience of such a situation is cordially invited to read the last few posts to get a handle on our situation, and then feel free to comment, stating why or why not such an arrangement would be a good idea.

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At 5:26 AM , Blogger Heather said...

An informal adoption sounds a little risky, although I don't know much about it. Would you be able to be named a legal guardian? If so, that would be better.

I can see all sorts of difficulties arising with medical decisions and the schools. What about the birth father/grandparents? Someone could always come out of the woodwork to claim the child. I guess if she were always healthy, did well in school, and didn't get in trouble with the law in any way, it would probably be just fine.
But wouldn't you always be nervous that something would happen to take her away? That's a lot of anxiety to live with. Although that feeling is not unknown to all parents. Parenting = worry.

Good luck. It's a terrible situation, and I do feel for you.


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