Thursday, July 14, 2011

DeBose reviews Atwood, "Children, Tribes, and States"

The Law & Politics Book Review has posted a review of Children, Tribes, and States: Adoption and Custody Conflicts over American Indian Children (Carolina Academic Press, 2010), by Barbara Ann Atwood.

Reviewer Cynthia H. DeBose (formerly Hawkins-León) (Stetson University College of Law) summarizes the book as follows:
In CHILDREN, TRIBES, AND STATES: ADOPTION AND CUSTODY CONFLICTS OVER AMERICAN INDIAN CHILDREN, Barbara Ann Atwood provides a thorough and compelling discussion of US statutory law, case law and policy, and their effects upon American Indian tribal law, policy and culture in general, and specifically their dual application to American Indian children. In this well-researched treatise, Atwood painstakingly documents and analyzes over 200 years of US federal and state child welfare policy and procedure regulating the custody placement and adoption of the American Indian child.
DeBose also notes Atwood's critical stance towards the subject:
From the book’s first sentence in the “Introduction” – “When sovereigns compete to determine the interests of children, fundamental questions of power and legitimacy inevitably arise” –Atwood sets the clear tone of the book. She confirms an underlying premise that “American law should respect the distinct worldviews held by Indian tribes and their richly diverse approaches to community, family, parenting, child welfare, and adoption [which are all divergent from US norms].”
According to DeBose, Atwood also gives a detailed discussion of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, which suggests that the book should be of interest to scholars of family law, social welfare law and policy, Indian law, and perhaps also federalism

The full review is here.