Stop Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) from taking our children

Stop Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) from taking our children

October 2, 2022
Signatures: 685Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Nov 9th the U.S. Supreme court is hearing why ICWA should be dismantled.

This Petition will be added to breifs already placed in the U.S. Supreme Court. 

PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE I HAVE UNTIL OCT 20th, 2022 for placement to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After 24 months Carroll County Illinois gave the Togiak Tribe in Alaska Juridiction over my grandchildren. They will be taken to Alaska on Oct 13th. 

ICWA allows Native to remove children from their Non Native Families. Native's are allowed to sue for custody under Treaty Laws however you are not allowed to Sue Native due to their Sovereign citizenship. 

They are allowed to take children they have never met or even talk to simply because they are Native heritage. 

Caleb and Casey have always been in custody of their father and I had them 5 days out of the week. My son worked 12 hour days to support his children. There wasn't a day that the children were not at my home. When my son died 8.09.2020 it was as any grandparent would think the children would come to live with them. 

DeMerle Seymour the children's mother who is 1/2 Eskimo died on Nov.23rd 2020. She did not want the children to live in Alaska or the Tribe to have custody of the children due to the abuse in the in Tribal settings. I included the statement in the petition from the CPS report 1 month before DeMerle Seymour passed away. The Tribe has funding to pay for funerals and other needs of families, however the Tribe did not pay for any expenses. 

Illinois does not have Grandparents rights so the children were deemed Orphins by Carroll County Illinois  State Attorney Scott Brinkmeier and refused Child Protective Services to release the children into my custody from Foster care.

This CASA has not yet received those documents, so cannot identify the documents. It is alleged that the Togiak wishes to seek custody of Caleb and Casey. However this was not the desire of either parent. And is questionable under Illinois law if the ICWA, Indian Child Welfare Act, is going to apply in this case, as the children have never been part of an Indian culture setting or lived on a reservation. (CASA report 3.21.2021)

After 6 months the Togiak Tribe in Alaska claimed the children. It was stated in court that DeMerle Seymour was not part of the the Tribe. DeMerle Seymour was raised in Foster care in Iowa from 12 years of age until she was 17 1/2 when she aged out. She was placed in 6 Foster home and 4 Mental instituions during her years in Foster Care due to the Tribe in Alaska refusing to allow her as a member of the Tribe. 

I had 29 Hearing for Gaurdianship and 28 Hearings for CPS in which I was never placed in the case but was allowed to sit in on the hearings. 

The Tribe only attended in person 1 time. The Tribe was given 8 month extentions to raise money to hire an Attorney. They were given 3 months extention to raise the money to come to court in person. Due to the frustration of no phone or internet connections.  Due to lack of communication the case could not move forward.

Illinois courts have not conclusively ruled on the application of the Existing Indian Family Exception, and so no mandatory authority exists on the issue. However, in the case of In re: Adoption of S.S. & R.S., Justice Heiple noted in his concurrence as follows:

[T]here is no existing Indian family and the children have never been part of an Indian cultural setting or lived on a reservation, there is no justification for applying the ICWA. It is this rationale that constitutes the existing Indian family exception and Illinois should join the majority of jurisdictions that have adopted the exception and refused to apply the ICWA where children are not part of an existing Indian family.18

Additionally, in the case of In re: Cari B., Justice Hutchinson’s stated, in dicta, that, “[W]e also believe that under appropriate circumstances a court may find that no Indian family exists for the ICWA to protect.”19

ICWA was created to protect Native American children and the breakdown of their families, cultures, and societies. However, the jurisdictional and legal protections it offers in child custody proceedings that state laws do not, allow certain litigants to use ICWA as a “trump card” to avoid unfavorable state laws. While certain courts have determined that ICWA cannot apply, even in situations in which an “Indian child” is at issue, Illinois has not addressed the question. However, two recent Illinois opinions, In re: Adoption of S.S. & R.S and In re: Cari B, provide persuasive authority that the Exception should be routinely applied in Illinois. It is crucial for Native American families, attorneys, and courts to understand the nuances of ICWA and its applicability in order to navigate child custody proceedings involving children of Native American descent. �



In general, Indian tribes have sovereign immunity from lawsuits, unless they have consented to the suit, or Congress has waived the sovereign immunity. Congress has waived the immunity in a few cases, but they are very specific. So, it is not likely that you can sue the tribe

The law recognizes that tribes have sovereignty and exclusive jurisdiction over their members who live on tribal land and establishes a process for transferring custody cases to tribal court in other instances.

A federal district court judge in 2018 ruled the ICWA was unconstitutional, which was appealed. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled some parts of the ICWA are constitutional while others violate the anti-commandeering policy of the Constitution.

PLEASE sign the U.S.Supreme Court will begin hearing breif's on Nov 9th.

I have until Oct 20th to place in a breif for the Supreme court to reconize the issues with ICWA. 

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Signatures: 685Next Goal: 1,000
Support now