Indian Child Welfare Act

Because an alarming number of Indian children were removed from their homes and their tribes, in 1978 Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA),a federal law designed to protect Indian families from "abusive child welfare practices that resulted in the separation of large numbers of Indian children from their families and tribes through adoption or foster case placement." ICWA puts in place federal safeguards for the removal of Indian children from their homes to both protect the interests of Indian children, and gives Indian tribes a voice in the process.

 

An Important Victory for Indian Tribes

An Important Victory for Indian Tribes

By Peter Beauchamp, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 1:20pm
This week, the ACLU won an important battle on the road toward protecting the rights of American Indian children and their parents and tribes. Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken of South Dakota's federal District Court ruled that a lawsuit filed by the ACLU in March of 2013 can go forward, rejecting motions filed by the defendants that sought to have the case dismissed. The suit, brought on behalf of the Oglala and Rosebud Sioux Indian Tribes and a class of Indian parents, aims to ensure that state courts in South Dakota respect the rights granted to Indian parents by the Constitution's Due Process Clause and the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA). The defendants include a state court judge, a county prosecutor, and the director of the South Dakota Department of Social Services.
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