NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Families and states looking to change a 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving American Indian children are pushing for a new hearing.
A three-judge panel at the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in August ruled that the 1978 law is constitutional.
On Tuesday, the plaintiffs asked for the issue to be heard in front of the full panel of appeals court judges.
The lawsuit involves non-Indian families in multiple states who adopted or sought to adopt Native American children.
Opponents of the law call it an unconstitutional race-based intrusion on states’ powers to govern adoptions. But the 5th Circuit majority disagreed, saying the law’s definition of an “Indian child” is a political classification.