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Native Relatives Can’t Reclaim Adopted Child

FRESNO, Calif. (CN) - Relatives who gave up two Native American children for adoption cannot reclaim them under pressure from their tribe, a California appeals court ruled in a case of first impression.

Justice Wiseman applied new amendments to the Welfare and Institutions Code that address Native American child-custody actions.

The two pre-school girls were placed with the relatives after their newborn sister was found still attached to the meth-addicted mother by the umbilical cord.

After the relatives gave up the girls, the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency placed the children with Native American foster parents who were interested in adoption.

Wiseman ruled that the children were best served by remaining with their current caregivers, who "help the children with the bonding process and attachment disorder issues, as well as help them decrease their behavior problems."

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