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.