Lesbian second parent adoption Native American ICWA


My wife and I are wanting to start the process of her adopting our son.  We are thinking of doing the adoption ourselves without a lawyer, but I (the birth mom) am part Native American.  Our son was conceived via anonymous sperm donor at a clinic, so I think we don't have to do a home visit by a social worker, and it all seems pretty strait forward.  My only concern is the Indian Child Welfare Act ICWA and how this might impact our adoption.  Has anyone else been in a similar situation?  How did you fill out the forms that seem to only pertain to Native parents giving up the rights to their child?  I'm the birth mom, and my son's only legal parent, and am not wanting to give up any of my parental rights.  We're not against having a lawyer, but it's going to be very expensive.  Does anyone have any advice?    

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I found a lot of information online very quickly.  I recommend you first familiarize yourself with the actual laws.



ICWA only applies if your child is or is eligible to be a member of a recognized tribe.  I can't tell from your post if that applies. I am part Native American but do not qualify to be a tribal member. This is pretty common. So first establish your and your child's tribal identity and membership eligibility to find out if you even need to worry about this. Also, under ICWA, you are also entitled to an attorney if you can't afford one. 

Either way, I suggest you and your wife discuss custody issues in case of death or divorce. Sadly, sometimes courts, judges, and/or family members don't accord same-sex marriages full respect, and this could result in some unforeseen legal challenges.

Wishing you luck.