JM & The Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children & Families

Johnston “John” Moore has been making the rounds on some adoptee / pro-ethical adoption blogs to try and clear up his name and image, which were likely heavily tarnished after his appearance on Dr. Phil’s Oct 18, 2012 episode about the “Baby Veronica” case.

In case anyone missed it, here is the episode. John first appears at around the 18:30 mark and it snowballs from there.

On October 13th he made these comments on Ethical Christian Adoption’s blog post An Open Letter to Focus On the Family and iCareAboutOrphans Regarding Orphan Care here


His second post is particularly disingenuous.

Really one need only watch his Dr Phil appearance to see what a raging bigot he is. At one point he holds up a picture of one of his adopted sons and angrily exclaims over how inappropriate it is that a child like that is being protected by the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Like that quite clearly being a fair-skinned, dirty blond with freckles instead of the caricature Injun that John has decided are the only ‘real’ Indians. His adopted child wasn’t really Native because they weren’t red skinned, didn’t wear a headdress, didn’t run around in a loin cloth with long braided hair therefore it was ridiculous that ICWA was applied to them. Even more than a decade after the adoption (that went through) John still carries so much pent-up anger and racism that he was chomping at the bit to appear on Dr Phil to confront any Injun and wasted no time laying into people who had nothing to do with his adoption outside of sharing ethnicity.

Were his appearance not enough, John also belongs to the Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children & Families. Oh it sounds so benign and helpful doesn’t it? They always do.


In fact he’s a founding member. The Coalition takes a very Richard Pratt approach to Natives. Kill the Indian, Save the Man as Pratt stated in his writings. The Coalition wants to protect Indians…from themselves. Their entire mission, as stated, is to amend (obliterate) ICWA:

1. Ensure an Indian child has a ‘parent’ as defined by the law and the parent has properly established paternity under state law.

This is what’s known as the “existing [indian] family doctrine” and is a very controversial part of ICWA that is generally only acknowledged by a handful (such as the Coalition) for good reason. It puts the burden of proof on parents to essentially prove that they are “indian enough” to qualify for ICWA protections and makes it almost impossible for unmarried Native fathers to assert their paternal rights and contest adoptions because unmarried men (Native or not) are not considered part of a ‘family unit’ in any state.

2. Provide fit birth parents of Indian children the right to choose healthy guardians or adoptive parents for their children without concern for heritage.

The second word is key in this statement. Founding and ‘Individual’ members of the Coalition have repeatedly shown that they basically believe that there are essentially no ‘fit’ Native parents, ever. That a child is always better served being adopted by whites.

4. Clarify that the ICWA does not apply to family court disputes, not just divorce proceedings, over Indian children.

This one probably sums up the Coalitions aims better than any other. Considering that ‘family court’ can (and does) mean basically all legal proceedings that deal with children…well…saying you don’t want ICWA in any ‘family court’ means that you don’t want ICWA at all. ICWA is not being applied to cars or small loans or to criminal cases, it’s being applied in ‘family court’ issues.

6. Clarify that an Indian birth mother does not need to consent to adoption in court.

This is pretty standard for a pro-adoption group. They all constantly lobby to have less protections, less independent counsel, less time for first mothers. Requiring that first parents sign away their parental rights in court, in front of a Judge, removes them from the influence of adoption agencies (such as the one John runs), ensures they know their rights and cannot be lied to by agencies. Had this been standard in Oklahoma Dusten Brown would never have signed his rights away. They know this.

Points 5 and 7 deal with lowering the timespan parents have to rescind their consent to have their child adopted. Again, standard pro-adoption / agency lobbying fare. They’ll whittle it down until every state has immediate irrevocable termination of parental rights.

8. Clarify that final adoptions may only be vacated for fraud within limits under state law.

Again they take advantage of people’s ignorance. There basically are no rules for fraud in private adoptions and few enforcements of fraud in foster-to-adopt dependency (foster care) cases either. For examples of this one can look at the class action lawsuit currently underway in Utah precisely because of Utah’s fraud-immunity laws regarding private adoptions. Christopher Carlton’s case is a good example of what many first fathers have and continue to experience. His ex cut off contact under the advisement of her adoption agency setting up a faux “he abandoned the baby and I” scenario, placed his daughter for adoption in Utah and then told him that they’d had a son and the baby had died shortly after birth. Even after this was proven conclusively in court Carlton was unable to overturn his daughter’s adoption. An example of how fraud-immunity is applied in dependency cases is the Sonya McCaul case which saw Tennessee foster parents repeatedly lying and breaking their resource (foster) parent contract and sharing confidential information without consent (a felony in TN) with no consequence or enforcement of said contract or law. Neither the Carlton or McCaul case involve Native children but fraud-immunity stands regardless of whether a child is Native or not and is allowed to proliferate across both private and dependency adoptions and all ethnicities. So to say that adoptions should only be vacated for a fraud that can never be proven and is not even recognized as a crime by most if not all states…..

In the end no first parent can likely meet all the demands of their amendments to ICWA, thus giving their child ICWA protection, which is the entire point of their organization. To make ICWA so hyper-specific that it cannot be applied to any child ever.

JM & The Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children & Families