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The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

Learn about the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which governs removal, foster placement, and adoption of dependent Indian children.


I. Indian Child Welfare Act

In 1978, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA. Before ICWA, a large number of Indian children were removed from their homes at a higher rate than non-Indian children. Indian children were often placed with non-Indian families, even when there were relatives or other community homes available. In light of this problem, Congress passed ICWA to protect the interest of Indian children and promote stability in Indian tribes and families. An Indian child...