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Foster Parents Battle Tribe Over Custody Of “Tribal” Baby
KFOR – Canadian County, Oklahoma In Canadian County, a couple who has been caring for a little kid and a Native American tribe are engaged in a custody battle. This baby boy might not be a tribal member, which gives this case a particularly intriguing twist.
He was deprived of birth because his mother was charged with negligence. Before he even left the hospital, the baby boy E.J. was taken into state care. They were incredibly illogical and gave no responses. 2 people are detained after an unexpected collision with a stopped car at an OKC junction.
In order to place E.J. and his three siblings in foster care, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes intervened. Their father is a tribal member. “We do know who the mother and father are in that circumstance for this child’s siblings. Those kids are qualified to join this particular tribe, according to lawyer Linque Gillett.
Indian children fall under the jurisdiction of the tribe, which is how Robyn Hopkins ended up as the foster mother. When Indian Child Welfare (ICW) staff members urged Hopkins to step in and foster the newborn, she was working as an attorney for the Cheyenne Arapaho Nation.
Hopkins recalls that because he had nowhere to go, “everyone was at a loss.” So I stated I was a DHS open house and I could take him.
Courtney Hopkins And Robyn Are Wed.
They are parents to three biological kids. The nurse is Courtney. Robyn practices family law. A Big rattlesnake was discovered in an Oklahoma state park. He was an oxygen-dependent premature infant who had critical needs.
My wife and I both had preterm infants. We are experts in that, therefore. With regard to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Hopkins is in good standing (DHS). They have successfully fostered eight additional kids, each time reuniting at-risk kids with their parents or adoptive families.
The Hopkins was authorized as an ICW home by the Absentee Shawnee Tribe in order to foster baby E.J. The family paid particular attention to respect for his Native American background. Courtney Hopkins stated, “We, of course, would respect it and teach him his culture and all the things that they want you to do.
The Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes allegedly called Robyn Hopkins earlier this year to inform her that the baby’s acknowledged father wasn’t truly the father. A paternity test established that E.J.’s father is different from that his siblings.
There is not a single drop of Cheyenne Arapaho blood in this infant. After a Sunday house fire, McLoud pastor and his family are left homeless. “Paternity was proven and verified. At that time, the recognized father is not the father, according to Gillett. The tribe no longer accepts this child as a member.
There was just one more tribe nearby. We’ve received confirmation that the child is also ineligible for membership in that tribe. Despite being a member of the Puyallup Tribe in Washington State, the mother is not a tribal member. Her offspring are also ineligible.
“This child has been in the custody of my clients in this tribal court for more than a year. The tribe has not offered them any services. The worker from Indian Child Welfare hasn’t visited the family very much. They have not gotten any foster care or adoption support, Gillett said.
When the Hopkins family discovered their foster child wasn’t Native American, they applied for guardianship in Canadian County district court. Following a private session in tribal court when the tribe objected to the guardianship, a tribal judge issued a directive for the return of the child.
“I just don’t get why they are so intent on keeping hold of him. Courtney Hopkins stated, “I don’t see why they would remove him from the only family he knows. “Why won’t someone just admit we made a mistake? When I mess up, I behave in that way. I simply don’t comprehend.
ICW personnel arrived at the Hopkins house last week without warning, accompanied by deputies from the Canadian County Sheriff’s office, to remove baby E.J. Police are looking into a shooting victim that was discovered in Del City.
“He had two doctor’s appointments this week, but the tribe is now unaware of this. They are unaware of the spinal problems he is experiencing or how they will be treated. They are unaware that since we brought Sooner Start home, he has visited us once or perhaps twice a month.
They aren’t even aware of his immunizations. They are clueless. They are unaware of this child, claimed Robyn Hopkins. The Hopkins family requested that the Oklahoma State Supreme Court intervene in order to overturn the Tribal Court’s decision to take the child away.
The top court rejected an emergency stay in the late afternoon on Friday. KFOR visited the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribe to speak with the Attorney General about the reasons why the country seeks custody of a child born outside of the tribe.
Neither in front of the camera nor off, Attorney General Antonio Church declined to respond to our queries. Every situation involving a deprived youngster is private. The tribe issued the following statement in writing:
“The Tribe has acted in a legally acceptable manner, however, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes and the ICW Program are unable to comment owing to the secrecy of this situation. Any claim to the contrary is legally unjustified and profoundly wrong.
Since last week, the Hopkins family’s crib for baby E.J. has been vacant. There is currently a consensus that tribal members have sovereign immunity and that outsiders are not permitted to enter their territory or use their courts.
However, it’s quite evident in this instance that there is an astonishing amount of information, legal reasoning, and research to support the claim that they have no bearing on this child, according to Robyn Hopkins.
The tribe shelter received his belongings thanks to Robyn and Courtney Hopkins. They don’t know if they’ll ever run across him again.