Any experience with ICWA?

We are in the middle of a foster/adopt ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) placement and I could really use some positive stories.  The news does a good job of highlighting the 'horror' stories of ICWA but I know there are positive ones out there as well.  Anyone have any experience with an ICWA case?  Or do you know someone with a positive experience? 
Without getting too detailed with our case, we have a decent relationship with our bio family, although the court hasn't moved to TPR yet.  Case worker is saying things are moving towards permanency (with us), but the tribe is the big wild card.  So far they have been uninvolved. 

Re: Any experience with ICWA?

  • I do know of a few people personally who have dealt with ICWA adoptions. I don't want to rain on your parade and it sounds like your situation is going well, but ICWA is "high risk" adoptions as they like to call it.  This is because even if the adoption is finalized, that tribe can come back at any time and say they want that child and they overrule your adoption. So until that child is 18 years old there is a risk that they could come back for the child, even if it was approved originally. Which is horribly unfair to the child and the parents. Many agencies don't divulge all this info to people up front and some agencies don't want to deal with ICWA cases at all. I happened to have an agency that gave me info up front as I live in a highly native american populated area. My agency gave me all the info because if I did adopt an ICWA placement and the tribe came back it would go on their record as a disruption, so they were very open about the issues with ICWA. With all that being said, I do know personally of one person who did an ICWA adoption that so far the tribe hasn't come back but she is still looking over her shoulder until 18 years of age. This is really the only issue I have ever heard of people having. Good luck,.
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  • Both my kids are tribal members. They were placed with us through domestic infant adoption after their birth parents chose us, not foster/adopt, and there are differences.

    There are very few instances when the tribe can come back after an adoption in finalized. IIRC mommytoconnor lives in a state where the state laws make it impossible to comply with the ICWA and the state laws at once, therefore it's technically not possible to have a compliant adoption, but this is not the case in most states.

    We have an awesome relationship with our kids, birth parents, and birth grandparents, both of whom are heavily involved in their tribes. Grandpa helped us get the kids enrolled and sent them a wonderful
    Xmas present this year.

    My suggestions to you would be to 1. Read up on the act including why it came to be and why it's important and 2. Be SURE you are working with legal counsel that is VERY knowledgable about ICWA. We chose lawyers specifically based on their comprehensive knowledge of ad experience with ICWA.

    PM me or tag me in reply if you have any questions. I'm happy to share more if you have specific questions!!
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  • summergirl79summergirl79 member
    edited January 2014
  • Yes we adopted our son who is Native American. What tribe are you working with? Each tribe is so different. We were lucky and our tribe signed off on the adoption before he was born and we had no issues with the tribe. Their only requirement was to see and review our homestudy and that he needed to be registered by the time he was 6 months. Now dealing with ICWA laws and the courts cause delays in our ICPC and finalization. We ended up with an extra court date and trip to CA.
    Brenda & Phillip married 10/10/09 

    After 6 years of failed cycles, we were blessed with our little man through adoption. 
    B born 1/3/2012. Adoption finalized 12/27/12

    Back  on the IF crazy train...
    Sept 2013 - IVF #1 -  BFP, EDD 6/4/14, born 6/8/14
    Everyone welcome


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