There is no legal adoption of adults, to make them full tribal members. There are just a small handful of tribes that allow for adopted children to gain tribal citizenship. But, this has to be a formal adoption through recognized legal channels.
Most tribes require a specific percentage of Native “blood,” called blood quantum, in addition to being able to document which tribal member you descend from. Some tribes require as much as 25% Native heritage, and most require at least 1/16th Native heritage, which is one great-great grandparent.
Here are some real, practical and meaningful ways that you can give support to indigenous people in your community and around the country.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs uses a blood quantum definition—generally one-fourth Native American blood —and/or tribal membership to recognize an individual as Native American. However, each tribe has its own set of requirements—generally including a blood quantum—for membership (enrollment) of individuals.
For a person to be considered Native American by the United States government, they must either have a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) card or be enrolled in a tribe. A CDIB card is issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) an agency under the United States Department of Interior.
If your baby has any Native American heritage, your adoption plan may be subject to a federal law called the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). This law is meant to help preserve Native American families, tribes and culture by regulating the adoption of Native American children.
According to the federal government, in order to be a Native American, one must enroll in one of the 573 federally recognized tribes, etc. An individual must connect their name to the enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe. Please see the link of the list of federally recognized tribes. 6
In California, the answer is yes. In fact, it’s possible to adopt anyone of any age in the state. But, there are stipulations. For the most part, unless you are a relative like a cousin or sibling, you need to be at least 10 years older than the person you are adopting.
The Indian Law Resource Center is a non-profit law and advocacy organization that advocates for the protection of indigenous peoples human rights, cultures, and traditional lands.
10 ways to be a genuine ally to Indigenous communities
All major ABO blood alleles are found in most populations worldwide, whereas the majority of Native Americans are nearly exclusively in the O group. O allele molecular characterization could aid in elucidating the possible causes of group O predominance in Native American populations.
Members of some Native American tribes receive cash payouts from gaming revenue. The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, for example, has paid its members $30,000 per month from casino earnings. Other tribes send out more modest annual checks of $1,000 or less.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all individuals, including Native Americans, are subject to federal income tax. Section 1 imposes a tax on all taxable income. Section 61 provides that gross income includes all income from whatever source derived.
A DNA test may be able to tell you whether or not you’re Indian, but it will not be able to tell you what tribe or nation your family comes from, and DNA testing is not accepted by any tribe or nation as proof of Indian ancestry.
While 23andMe can reveal genetic evidence of Native American ancestry, it cannot identify specific tribal affiliations. Take a DNA test with 23andMe and get a breakdown of your global ancestry, connect with DNA relatives and more.
For people researching the potential of a Native American past, you can: Look at available immigration or census records. Look for Native American adoption records. See if genetic disorders which are commonly associated with Native American people also run in your family.