The complicated and emotional case of a Native American girl who was adopted by a couple in South Carolina but has been living for more than 18 months with her biological father in Oklahoma has taken another turn.
The complex and interconnected topics of adoption, race, and culture will form the backbone of a new online magazine that is starting this week. Gazillion Voices was begun with those goals in mind, says Kevin Vollmers, who created the magazine as an extension of his blog, Land of Gazillion Adoptees.
Take the usual agony of an adoption dispute. Add in the disgraceful U.S. history of ripping Indian children from their Native American families. Mix in a dose of initial fatherly abandonment. And there you have it — a poisonous and painful legal cocktail that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
At issue is the reach of the Indian Child Welfare Act, known as ICWA. The law was enacted in 1978 to protect Native American tribes from having their children almost literally stolen away and given to non-Indian adoptive or foster parents.
In 1998, John Curtis and David Wikiera adopted a son from Vietnam and named him John Wikiera.
"I had always wanted to be a parent," Curtis tells his now 11-year-old son during a visit to StoryCorps in Rochester, N.Y. "So it was a dream I had, but I never dreamed would come true because Papa and I are gay. But we had some friends who started thinking about adoption and that got us thinking.