Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

tribal application / enrollment for adopted children who's biological parents are enrolled

angdall angdall

posted on October 12, 2013 and updated on October 12, 2013

i am adopted but have been in close contact with my biological father for several years now. he is an enrolled member of the choctaw nation, and i have the information necessary to obtain my CDIB and move forward, with the exception of being stumped by the process by which he “claims” me as his biological child.

according to this website, if he wasn’t named on my original birth certificate and adoption decree, i have to produce a “Petition to Adopt”.

from this website:


If you are adopted, you must trace your Choctaw blood through your natural (biological) parent(s). We will need a STATE CERTIFIED FULL COPY BIRTH CERTIFICATE (after adoption) AND A COPY OF THE ADOPTION DECREE. If the ADOPTION DECREE does not show the natural parent(s), you will ALSO need to submit one of the following: (1) Your birth certificate before adoption, showing natural (parent(s) names or (2) PETITION TO ADOPT, that specifically names your natural (biological) parents(s). We may require additional documents that prove natural parentage.

I have been unable to locate any information on how an adult adoptee goes about obtaining a “Petition to Adopt”, only for new adoptive parents.

the people i’ve contacted with the state of missouri have been less than helpful, and when i queried with the choctaw nation i was basically told that yes, that is the only acceptable way of “proving” my lineage.

my father is willing to do whatever needs to be done so that i can secure my own enrollment as well as his grandchildren. however, since being in contact with my biological parents my relationship with my adoptive parents (my mother) has deteriorated, despite my reassurances and being sensitive to their feelings / concerns.

i thought it might be possible to obtain an amended birth certificate with my birth parents listed, but from what i can tell that would require basically replacing my original one with my adoptive parents and i don’t want to further damage an already crippled relationship.

my dad contacted a lawyer through the choctaw nation who recommended that he adopt me. (seriously.)

it would seem to me that a DNA test; paternity test; or form filled out by the biological enrolled parents claiming parentage would be sufficient, but maybe i’ve just not stumbled upon it yet.

and here i thought once i’d found my biological parents after 20+ years of searching that obtaining our enrollment was a done deal.

any suggestions ?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on October 13, 2013

you will have to speak directly to the tribe about your situation. there are different entities involved, tribal and government and you need to satisfy the tribe in order to be a member of the tribe.

you are talking about two documents, but if you do the first choice (birth certificate before adoption), then you do not need to do the second also.

the petition to adopt appears to me to be the document that began the adoption process, not a new document created now.

in my opinion, many children have been born with only one parent listed (like the mother), and it would be too burdensome to assume that all birth certificates list both parents.

i understand the tribe’s interest in only enrolling choctaw tribal members.

i think you should bring this to the tribe’s attention.

i think the tribe should allow a parent to acknowledge their child.

this would be a case where DNA could be used. if a tribal member matches significantly with a person as a very close family member, then the child should be eligible to be enrolled as the child. however, there will be others where one or both parents are deceased. worse, people can now drop their children off at fire stations and i don’t know whether this will give the child the ability to know their heritage.

you could also contact the state adoption coordinator of the state where you were born and ask them to help you find your heritage.

please post again if you have word from the tribe. unfortunately, some people have to deal with the adoption issues surrounding heritage and i think any word would be informative to others.

suzanne hamlet shatto

angdall angdall

posted on October 13, 2013 and updated on October 13, 2013

my problem is, my dad isn’t listed on either my original B.C. or any other legal paperwork.

he and my mom had broken up and he was in a new relationship when she found out she was pregnant with me, so she let him know she was pregnant and then went to live with my uncle til she had me.

since she was relinquishing her parental rights and he didn’t argue with her when she told him she was giving me up for adoption she decided claimed “father unknown”.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on October 13, 2013

i know. this has happened with a lot of people. you should contact the tribe and talk to them.

you have an advantage because you know who your father is and he wants to try to help you.

suzanne hamlet shatto