Child custody issues are not exclusive to New Jersey residents. They are nationwide issues and do not exclude any ethnicities or cultures. Child custody is a sensitive issue that should be handled with utmost care. The best interest of the child should be kept in mind at all times while making any decisions. It is also a cause of great anxiety for all parties involved, especially with the precious parenting time it can take away from each parent.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice was asked to investigate the treatment of both Alaska Native and American Indian offspring who are enrolled in the public child welfare programs and private adoptions.

This was an initiative taken by national Native American groups to ensure that these children are placed in the best child care system close to their native ways of parenting. In fact, the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed by Congress in 1978 to ensure that children are kept close to their Native American roots while being placed in foster care and adoptive homes.

These acts of reinforcing child custody welfare came to light after the much-publicized case of Baby Veronica. In this case, the mother of the child had put the baby up for adoption. The father was unable to take custody of the child even after winning a custody battle from the adoptive parents. This is because he was not present in the child’s life during the woman’s pregnancy or during the child’s early years.

Cases such as these remind us that child custody can be an ongoing battle, which may be emotionally and financially draining. To ensure the best interest of the child is upheld, it is imperative to be in a position that is mutually agreeable to both parents. In cases of complexity, it may help to seek legal counsel to secure the best options.

Source: New Jersey Herald, “Native American groups seek child welfare probe,” Gosia Wazniacka, Feb. 3, 2014