Utah Supreme Court Dismisses Navajo Nation Appeal


The Utah Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by the Navajo Nation to undo the adoption of two Navajo siblings by a non-Native American couple due to the tribe’s failure to file the appeal with the tribe’s signature on time, according to a piece published by the Salt Lake Tribune on Sept. 28.

The ruling, issued this week, marks the first time that the justices have held that neither the Indian Child Welfare Act nor the quasi-sovereign status of tribes trump state filing requirements, the article said.

Attorneys for the adoptive parents, Ricardo and Suzi Ramos, first argued the case on May 1, 2009.

“We think this is a very fair and just result, especially when taking into consideration the best interests of these two children,” Wes Hutchins, a Ramos’ attorney, told the Tribune.

The children, Ella and Anthony, both enrolled members of the Navajo Nation, were adopted by the couple in 2008, two years after they were brought into the family as foster children. The couple has said that they have kept the kids connected to their heritage.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Our future and valuable resource of Indian children belong with their respective tribes to learn their tribal customs and traditions. These children learn them and practice them to become a part of their tribe, the future leaders of tomorrow, parents, grandparent, elders, family and the communicty all have a part in teaching these children to belong to their tribe. Non-Indians don't know our traditional ways and view them as being foreign, how can they teach these children their tribal customs and traditions when they don't belong to the tribe.

    As a tribal member am very protective of our children and their place with the tribe, our beliefs are strong in the customs and tradtionals; it is our duty to pass these teachings to them and so on and so forth.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes, what he/she said! I couldn't have said it better! I was adopted out to whites in 1948 and not only lost what was to be so cherished, a natural mother and father, but my heritage. All I know is my Tribe is Lakota Sioux.
    Fight for your children! I missed it all!

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