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Information About the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law passed in 1978 that seeks to keep American Indian children with American Indian families, in order to "protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian Tribes and families" (25 U.S.C. § 1902). ICWA sets federal requirements that apply to state child custody proceedings involving an Indian child who is a member of or eligible for membership in a federally recognized Tribe.
There are many children of Native American heritage available for adoption from foster care and photolisted on sites like AdoptUSKids, but when and how ICWA applies can often be confusing to potential adoptive parents.
Below are resources that provide answers to some of the most common questions from families about ICWA, as well as additional information you may find useful in considering providing a permanent home to a Native American child.