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Lost Children Book Series

Monday, July 2, 2012

What to do if your child is taken: contact NARF

I have been asked what can an Indian parent do to protect their child if the state has taken them into custody. Obviously on reservations, poverty is often cited as a reason. Well, the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 is a federal law supposed to prevent the state from removing children to non-Indian homes.

If you are a parent, contact the Native American Rights Fund and their lawyers - first!

The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is the oldest and largest nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide.  NARF's practice is concentrated in five key areas: the preservation of tribal existence; the protection of tribal natural resources; the promotion of Native American human rights; the accountability of governments to Native Americans; and the development of Indian law and educating the public about Indian rights, laws, and issues. 

The online edition of "A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act" is intended to answer questions and provide a comprehensive resource of information on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). 

Those unfamiliar with ICWA are encouraged to first read the introduction to the Guide
While the topical sections are identical to the print version, the electronic copy has links to thousands of state and federal resources (cases, laws, etc.), updated through September 2011, not found in the print copy.

  1. Application
  2. Jurisdiction
  3. Who has rights under the Act
  4. Notice
  5. Intervention
  6. Emergency removal
  7. Transfer
  8. Role of tribal courts
  9. Recognition of tribal law
  10. Tribal-state agreements
  11. Foster care placement and removal
  12. Active efforts requirement
  13. Termination of parental rights
  1. Expert witnesses
  2. Access to records for tribal enrollment purposes
  3. Placement
  4. Voluntary proceedings
  5. Adoption
  6. Application of other federal laws
  7. Enforcement of ICWA requirements
  8. Application of standards higher than ICWA requirements
  9. Resources
To obtain a print copy of the Guide you may either download a PDF copy for research or educational use or purchase one for a nominal fee.
Appendices
Federal resources
State resources
Case index A to Z
Tribal Resources
Contacts
Flow charts
Forms
Bibliography
NICWA Training
Additional Content:
DHS Title IV-E Policy Sample Title IV-E Agreement
Brochure Copyright
NARF Publications
Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act 
Also read: Fort, Kathryn, Waves of Education: Tribal-State Court Cooperation and the Indian Child Welfare Act (April 6, 2012). Tulsa Law Review, Forthcoming; MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-06. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2035451
http://www.narf.org/icwa/print.htm

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Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

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The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

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