How does ICWA affect a DCS (or CPS) case?
In Arizona, ICWA’s effect on a DCS case, (child welfare, foster care, adoption, and termination of parental rights) are mainly procedural. ICWA has a number of protections, but they can be summed up with two words: participation and difficulty.
ICWA affords opportunities for an Indian child’s family and tribe to participate in any DCS case involving an “Indian child.” ICWA requires increased and more difficult procedures and court findings in many states.
In states like Arizona, the law in DCS cases has evolved to closely mirror these elevated ICWA difficulties in all child welfare cases. Even so, in Arizona termination cases, the parental rights of an Indian parent cannot be removed without an elevated burden of proof and evidence.
Brittany Labadie is the Managing Partner at Lewis Labadie. She has been working with Lewis Labadie since it opened. Her current focus is with adoption cases, including juvenile adoptions, adult adoptions, foster care adoptions, same-sex adoption, surrogacy adoptions, and when necessary termination of parental rights. She works throughout the State of Arizona.