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Name: In re Santos Y.
Case #: B144822
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/19/2001
Subsequent History: Modif. opn on rehg. without chg in jmt., Rev. Denied 2/13/02

In this dependency case, the trial court ordered the minor removed from his fost-adopt parents in California and pursuant to the ICWA, placed him in a home on an Indian reservation in Minnesota. In this opinion, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s order, finding application of the ICWA to the minor to be unconstitutional as applied to the minor. The minor was of mixed heritage and had never lived with an Indian family. (He was placed with the fost-adopt parents at birth.) Since there was no Indian family to preserve, “repatriation” to the Tribe solely because of genetic heritage was an unconstitutionally impermissible application of the statute. The court further held that the Tribe had waived its assertion of ICWA placement preferences by its prolonged inaction.