Indian Child Welfare

201 South Muskogee Ave. Tahlequah, OK 74464

Guardianships and Adoptions

Please visit Homes for Cherokee Kids for applications and additional information.

By passing the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978, Congress guaranteed Indian children the right to stay connected to their tribe. This unit helps ensure that Cherokee children who cannot be cared for by birth parents can benefit from new and permanent ties with Native American families through adoptions or guardianships. This unit is involved in civil guardianships and adoptions of Cherokee children in all state and tribal judicial courts across the United States. The unit assists court in the compliance of the Indian Child Welfare Act. For more information on adoption services, email adoption@cherokee.org

Guardianship & Adoptions Unit offer the following services:

  • Advocate or establish the safest and most appropriate environment for a child
  • Cherokee Nation referral and networking services for parents and children
  • Home assessments to determine safe living environment.
  • Recommendations to the court that are in the best interest of the child and tribe.
  • Expert testimony on cases 
  • Monitor case activity to ensure compliance with the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act and other state and tribal laws that provide protection for Indian children
  • Education and guidance for attorneys, court appointed guardians, and families on the rights and responsibilities of the judicial system to ensure the protection of Cherokee children under federal and state law

This unit monitors and reserves the right to intervene in guardianship cases involving Cherokee children whom are registered citizens of the Cherokee Nation.  

Private Adoptions:
The unit works with private adoption agencies, attorneys and all other petitioners in an effort to assist them with compliance of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Cherokee Nation can provide home studies and profiles to agencies for birth parents that meet the federal placement preferences under the law. 

Birth Parents:
This unit provides a variety of services for birth parents who wishing to voluntarily place their child for adoption. The Cherokee Nation will provide the birth parents with a variety of home studies and profiles of potential adoptive families that are willing to comply with the birth parents desires in regard to an adoptive family.  This may include the amount of openness birth parents would prefer, the degree of Indian blood, the state in which the birth parents would like their child placed and so forth. The Cherokee Nation also provides birth parents with transportation to and from medical appointments, and assistance in setting up other services they may require. 

If you are a birth parent wishing to voluntarily place your child for adoption, you may confidentiality contact Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare by calling 918-458-6900 or emailing adoption@cherokee.org

Becoming a Placement Resource Home
Cherokee Nation welcomes a variety of Indian families from all over the United States who are willing to be a resource for our Cherokee children and other Indian children. Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare actively recruits families from ALL federally recognized tribes. 

A family willing to open their home to Cherokee children in need of temporary or permanent care may apply to become a certified “Placement Resource Home” with Cherokee Nation. The following basic guidelines must be met to begin consideration:

  • At least one of the applicants must be a citizen of a federally recognized tribe (or) be a relative of a child in the care of Cherokee Nation. 
  • Both applicants must be 21 years of age or older.

You CAN become an adoptive parent even if . . .

  • You live outside the State of Oklahoma 
  • You are a single adult 
  • You are divorced 
  • You do not own your own home 
  • You live with other family members 
  • You are a working mother 
  • You are over forty years of age 
  • You earn a modest income 
  • You have a disability 

Resource parents must be in good health, have a valid driver’s license, proof of auto insurance, be financially stable, submit to background investigation, provide references and have the child’s best interest and happiness at heart. Above all else, families must be able to provide a loving, stable, nurturing and safe environment for a child.

Children are the heart of Cherokee Nation and if you want to make a difference in the life of a child, please consider being a resource parent for our children. 

For more information or to make an application, please email homes4kids@cherokee.org or visit Homes for Cherokee Kids

To see updates on our program, "like" us on www.facebook.com/Homesforcherokeekids 

What services are provided to resource parents providing foster care? 
Resource parents providing foster care receive a monthly reimbursement for any child placed in their home. The reimbursement rate is based on the age of the child and may be increased if the child has special needs. The reimbursement is utilized to offset the cost of room and board, clothing and other incidentals. A voucher is provided for the child’s medical or dental care. If the resource parents are employed outside the home, day care may be provided for the child. Ongoing training is also available.