How does ICWA affect the placement of an Indian child?
ICWA affects the placement of an Indian child in several ways. As we have explained in previous blogs, ICWA affords opportunities for an Indian child’s family and tribe to participate in any DCS case involving an “Indian child.” ICWA also requires increased and more difficult procedures and court findings. ICWA also influences the “placement preferences” for foster and adoptive Indian children.
In Arizona, and other states, the DCS (or CPS) agency and the Juvenile Court are required by law to consider placement of a foster child with family first, then with licensed foster parents, and then in other placements. This does not guarantee placement in that order, however, placement of an adoptive child has similar requirements.
ICWA affects those placement preferences by prioritizing Indian tribal placements for foster care or preadoptive placements of an Indian child. Again, this does not guarantee a specific placement.
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.