National Post

Saturday, March 13, 1999

Grandparents leave with adopted boy

Adam Killick
National Post

WINNIPEG . The adoptive grandparents of a three-year-old half-aboriginal, half black boy have left Winnipeg with their grandson despite promising to spend a week sharing the boy with his native grandfather, who had arranged to spend yesterday with the boy.

Yesterday, the native grandfather waited an hour in the lobby of the hotel for the Connecticut couple to return him, before discovering that they had checked out the night before.

"I took my grandson to them in good faith: he said. "He's probably wondering if I went and dropped him off there and then forgot about him. I've always been a man of my word with him."

According to an agreement, the couple was to have spent 24 hours with the boy and then return him to his native grandfather. In an interview with the National Post shortly before they checked out of the hotel, the boy's adoptive grandfather said they planned to stay until the end of next week.

The white couple, who raised the boy's mother, were granted custody of the boy last month by the Supreme Court after a protracted battle demarcated along racial lines. Manitoba native leaders, along with Assembly of First Nations grand chief Phil Fontaine, had said the decision harkened back to governmentsponsored native assimilation programs in the 1960s.

Under a court order, the boy cannot be identified.

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