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FAQ ICWA 2016

Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Final Rule: FAQs on ICWA Proceedings

SOURCE: Bureau of Indian Affairs
SUBJECT: Child Welfare
TYPE: Report
YEAR PRODUCED: 2016
The Bureau of Indian Affairs has released a series of frequently asked questions related to its recent final rule pertaining to Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) proceedings.
ICWA, enacted by Congress in 1978, governs State child-custody proceedings in multiple ways, including: (1) by recognizing Tribal jurisdiction over decisions for their Indian children; (2) by establishing minimum Federal standards for the removal of Indian children from their families; (3) by establishing preferences for placement of Indian children with extended family or other Tribal families; and (4) by instituting protections to ensure that birth parents’ voluntary relinquishments of their children are truly voluntary.
The recent rule incorporates child-welfare best practices and promotes uniformity in State ICWA proceedings—no matter the child welfare worker, judge, or state handling the case—while still taking into account the unique circumstances of each child.
The 11-page document includes questions such as
  • What, specifically, does this rule do?
  • How does the rule clarify the applicability of ICWA?
  • How does the rule address the so-called “existing Indian family (EIF)” exception?
  • What are the rule’s requirements for emergency proceedings?
  • What are the rule’s requirements for transferring child-custody proceedings to Tribal court?
  • What are the rule’s requirements for qualified expert witnesses?
  • How do I find a qualified expert witness with knowledge of the Tribe’s social and cultural standards? What are the rule’s requirements for placement preferences?
  • Does the rule allow State courts to depart from the placement preferences if a child has bonded with a nonpreferred placement?
  • What if no preferred placements are available? How does the rule protect a birth parent’s privacy in voluntary proceedings?
  • Does this rule affect a parent’s right to choose who adopts their child in voluntary adoptions? ..
Access the FAQs here.

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adoptees take back adoption narrative and reject propaganda

To Veronica Brown

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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Customer Review

Thought-provoking and moving 11 October 2012
Two Worlds - Lost children of the Indian Adoption Projects

If you thought that ethnic cleansing was something for the history books, think again. This work tells the stories of Native American Indian adoptees "The Lost Birds" who continue to suffer the effects of successive US and Canadian government policies on adoption; policies that were in force as recently as the 1970's. Many of the contributors still bear the scars of their separation from their ancestral roots. What becomes apparent to the reader is the reality of a racial memory that lives in the DNA of adoptees and calls to them from the past.
The editors have let the contributors tell their own stories of their childhood and search for their blood relatives, allowing the reader to gain a true impression of their personalities. What becomes apparent is that nothing is straightforward; re-assimilation brings its own cultural and emotional problems. Not all of the stories are harrowing or sad; there are a number of heart-warming successes, and not all placements amongst white families had negative consequences. But with whom should the ultimate decision of adoption reside? Government authorities or the Indian people themselves? Read Two Worlds and decide for yourself.

Read this SERIES

Read this SERIES
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ADOPTION TRUTH

As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
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.

Our Fault? (no)

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