Attorney General Ken Paxton suing Indian Child Welfare Act

AUSTIN - Texas' attorney general has filed a lawsuit against the federal government Thursday "to protect the best interest of Texas children." 

Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) that was created by Congress in 1978, according to a press release. ICWA monitors adoption and custody cases for children from federally recognized Native American tribes and matches Native American children with Native American guardians. However, Paxton believes this goes against the Texas Family Code that states all cases of custody and adoption must focus on the best interest of the child. 

According to the press release, Paxton said "The Constitution makes clear that people are more than just their racial background," and alleged ICWA's practices could possibly endanger Texas children. 

A married non-Native American Texan couple are the basis for Attorney General Paxton's lawsuit. The couple have been fostering a 2-year-old Native American boy since he was 10-months-old, and are trying to adopt him now. Everyone is supportive, from the child's biological parents to the court-appointed neutral guardian ad litem, except a state court. They believe ICWA required the child to live with an unrelated Native American family with no previous connections solely based on race. 

“(ICWA) coerces state agencies and courts to carry out unconstitutional and illegal federal policy, and make child custody decisions based on racial preferences," Paxton said in the release.

Click here to read the lawsuit. 

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