In re M.G. for Adoption of J.D., 2020 COA 66 (April 9, 2020).

The Court of Appeals reviews a juvenile court decision not to apply ICWA in a step-parent adoption proceeding. The child was eligible for enrollment in an Indian Nation through his paternal grandfather. Neither the child nor the child’s father was enrolled in the Nation.

The Court of Appeals affirms the juvenile court decision. The Court of Appeals considers ICWA’s definition of an Indian child – an unmarried person under the age of 18 who is either (a) a member of an Indian tribe or (b) eligible for membership in a tribe and the biological child of a tribal member. The Court of Appeals determines that the juvenile court properly declined to apply ICWA because the child, while eligible for enrollment in an Indian tribe, is not the biological child of a member of an Indian tribe because the child’s father never enrolled.

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