Meet the Brackeen Family

Meet the Brackeen Family


Texas AG Ken Paxton: I want to introduce you to Chad and Jennifer Brackeen. They are some amazing people that are part of a case that
we’re involved in that involves foster children and the rights of Texas
children and their case is gonna make a tremendous difference not just in Texas
but really across the nation. Why don’t you all tell us a little bit about being
foster parents, why your foster parents and your son’s adoption story. Chad Brackeen: Sure. So
four years ago we felt a very profound calling from God leading us about becoming foster parents and to serve children that need a safe home. In June of about
2016, we received a call from CPS actually a little different than the
other calls for an infant boy of Indian descent. Now we didn’t really know what
that meant but the caseworker told us that he would be in our home for just a
few months while they found a native family and we were happy to provide that home. Jennifer Brackeen: So he was about nine months old when he came into our home and we fell in love
with him right away. Over the next year we did everything with him. We
celebrated his birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and he was just part of our
family! We have two biological sons and they also love being a big brother
to him. AG Ken Paxton: So how’s this placement different than your other placements? Chad Brackeen: Well he’d
been our home for a year, thriving. Unfortunately at that point his parents
rights had been terminated and no other biological family would provide a home
for him. He really needed to be adopted but because of the Indian Child Welfare Act
that said the natives had the ultimate say as to what his placement will be, unfortunately with our request for adoption they simply said no. Jennifer Brackeen: So at this point after a year and over half his life they still didn’t have a
placement for him. It seemed like no one could tell us how long this baby boy
would be waiting for his forever family so we were really devastated for him. AG Ken Paxton: So
how did that make you feel when you realized that after having this child in
your home they really take them away Jennifer Brackeen: well we couldn’t
understand it. We didn’t know why
they were looking so hard to find a forever family for him because
we felt like he already had one. Normally children that can’t be
reunited with their biological family, for them to be adopted by their foster
families is considered a big success so they don’t have to disrupt their
attachment, but for him it wasn’t an option because of his race. Chad Brackeen: But we pursued
adoption anyway because we felt like that was the right thing to do
unfortunately even with the support of his biological family many other people
that were involved with the case the judge said because of ICWA he had to
deny our adoption. AG Ken Paxton: So what type of impact would have been on your son? Chad Brackeen: I remember
exactly. It was a Thursday after that denial, CPS called and said on Saturday he was going to
be ripped from our home abruptly and moved states away, from us, from his
parents in the area, his grand-parents, cousins and moved to a native
family unrelated. someone he had only spent two hours with a few weeks prior. Jennifer Brackeen: So we had to keep fighting for him fighting for his best interests and for
the best interest of other children like him. Chad Brackeen: We understand that culture is
important and the historic tragedy of native families being separated from their families,
but at some point the repeated breaking of attachments has to outweigh
those benefits. AG Ken Paxton: So you won your case to adopt your son at the state level why
did you continue? Chad Brackeen: Not all cases end the ways ours did.
In fact we hear stories of other people in the same situations across the
country, like there’s two other families in the state that are going through the
same pains and struggles we are, and fear for their children. We did that so
that we can advocate that their best interest the interest of the child is
what is considered in the adoptive placements not their race. Jennifer Brackeen: And even
though we were able to adopt our son our family is still affected by this law and
so we will continue to be passionate for this fight for our family and for many
other forever families. AG Ken Paxton: So I want to thank you both for being willing to fight for the
best interests of this little boy and it’s obviously gonna have an impact not
just on him and your family but it’s going to have an impact across the
entire nation. So as we take this case to the Fifth Circuit and argue it on March
13th stay tuned it’s gonna be interesting.

Leave a Response

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *