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The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and Adoption

What is ICWA and How Does it Affect Domestic Adoptions?

The federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was passed in 1978 when an estimated one third of Indian children were being forcibly removed from their homes and placed into foster care and with non-Indian families. ICWA was passed to erect barriers to adoption outside the tribe, thus ensuring that Indian families were kept together and that Native American history and culture would be preserved for future generations at a time when tribe numbers and membership was declining dramatically.

About 5 percent of adoptions at American Adoptions involve a child with Native American heritage. American Adoptions is committed to following ICWA legal procedures in all of our adoptions.

Our social work staff has received ICWA training from Jay McCarthy, one of the country’s foremost Indian Child Welfare experts. Additionally, we work with qualified and experienced adoption attorneys, many of whom are members of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA) and have experience with the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Every time an adoptive family finds an adoption opportunity with a birth mother, they will be briefed on the financial, legal and birth father situation of the adoption, including any details related to ICWA.

To find out more about ICWA, call 1-800-ADOPTION or request free adoption information.


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