Indian Child Welfare

201 South Muskogee Ave. Tahlequah, OK 74464

Indian Child Welfare Act

The authority to provide adoption programs and court advocacy and permanency services was established by the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act passed by Congress in 1978. This act was passed to ensure that Indian tribes remain intact and families remain connected to their individual family members and communities. By establishing this act, Congress gave authority to tribes to exercise their status as sovereign nations by administering child welfare services for their tribal citizens. This act defines the tribe's role in child custody and welfare proceedings and recognizes that "there is no resource that is more vital to the continued existence and integrity of Indian tribes than their own children." The Indian Child Welfare Act recognizes three placement preferences:

  • Within that child's extended family
  • Within that child's tribe
  • Within another federally recognized tribe

Divorce custody matters are not part of the Indian Child Welfare Act. For more information on the Indian Child Welfare Act, please visit http://www.nicwa.org.

Read The Act

Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.

Key Terms

Key terms relating to the Indian Child Welfare Act.