When joining a lawsuit that could deeply affect children and families for generations, an attorney general might be expected to heed the advice of a state’s child welfare agency which works directly with these families. Not so with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
In 2017, Landry joined the attorneys general of Texas and Indiana in a lawsuit brought by a non-Native Texas couple who were initially denied the opportunity to adopt a Native child they had fostered. Their adoption petition was denied based on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The federal ICWA helps ensure that child welfare systems pay attention to the unique needs of Native children and utilize the experience and knowledge of tribal nations in working with Native families and children in the child welfare system.