Dr. Phil: Is ICWA Racist?
To bring in another example of how the Indian Child Welfare Act has broken up families before, Dr. Phil brought in Johnston, a father who, after adopting two boys who had 1/16 (6.25 percent) Indian blood and were abandoned in an empty apartment by their mother, were almost taken by the courts when a relative sought custody under the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Johnston thinks that ICWA is racist, directly in conflict with what Chrissi Nimmo stated earlier, saying that his boys are not remotely Indian from their skin to their culture. The two boys, Chris and Anthony, now older, also came along to let everyone know just how little they were involved in the Indian culture.
Dr. Phil: Tribal Judge Les Marston Explains ICWA
Tribal Judge Les Marston said, like Chrissi, that this is not a race issue, but a governmental one. Since the Cherokee Nation is technically a different state, with a government all its own. With 30 percent of its children being adopted out to non-Indian families, the Cherokee nation feared that its culture would soon disappear, and ICWA was instituted to protect the Cherokee Indians and their culture.
Dr. Phil asked if Les Marston was suggesting that Veronica was stolen, which Les denied. On a basic legal level, Les said that the adoption was not done through the proper channels. Despite everything that Les said, however, Dr. Phil felt that this was the tribe looking out for the best interest of the tribe, not the best interest of the child.
Dr. Phil: Dr. Phil Does Not Agree With The Ruling
Dr. Phil refused to believe that there was any subterfuge on the mother’s part, and that she had every right to adopt Veronica out because the father was not paying child support and not participating in the pregnancy. Chrissi Nimmo defended this by saying that, ultimately, it came down to the fact that the biological father was never asked if his child could be adopted and that proper legal channels were not used.