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25 U.S.C.A. § 1902

 

United States Code Annotated
Title 25.  Indians
Chapter 21. Indian Child Welfare (Refs & Annos)


§ 1902. Congressional declaration of policy


The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of this Nation to protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families by the establishment of minimum Federal standards for the removal of Indian children from their families and the placement of such children in foster or adoptive homes which will reflect the unique values of Indian culture, and by providing for assistance to Indian tribes in the operation of child and family service programs.


CREDIT(S)


(Pub.L. 95-608, § 3, Nov. 8, 1978, 92 Stat. 3069.)


HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES


Revision Notes and Legislative Reports


1978 Acts. House Report No. 95-1386, see 1978 U.S. Code Cong. and Adm. News, p. 7530.


LAW REVIEW COMMENTARIES


Indian Child Welfare Act:  Guiding the determination of good cause to depart from the statutory placement preferences.  70 Wash.L.Rev. 1151 (1995).


LIBRARY REFERENCES


American Digest System


Indians 6(2), 32(11).


Key Number System Topic No. 209.


RESEARCH REFERENCES


ALR Library


103 ALR 5th 255, Restricting Access to Judicial Records of Concluded Adoption Proceedings.


Encyclopedias


2 Am. Jur. 2d Adoption § 119, Requirements Under Indian Child Welfare Act.


2 Am. Jur. 2d Adoption § 136, Welfare and "Best Interests" of Child, Generally.


NOTES OF DECISIONS


Administrative opinions and guidelines 6

Adoption proceedings 9

Construction 1

Custody disputes 8

Incompetence or brutality of parents 7

Policy 3

Preservation of children's ties to Indian values 4

Purpose 2

State regulation or control 5

  

1. Construction


Rule that court had to give effect to clear language of statute was not altered by fact that Congress included express legislative findings and policy statement in ICWA, policy statement was available for clarification of ambiguous provisions of statute, but could not be used to create ambiguity. In re Adoption of S.S., Ill.App. 2 Dist.1993, 622 N.E.2d 832, 190 Ill.Dec. 802, 252 Ill.App.3d 33, appeal allowed 631 N.E.2d 709, 197 Ill.Dec. 487, 154 Ill.2d 560, reversed 657 N.E.2d 935, 212 Ill.Dec. 590, 167 Ill.2d 250, certiorari denied 116 S.Ct. 1320, 517 U.S. 1104, 134 L.Ed.2d 472. Statutes  190;  Statutes  211


2. Purpose


One of the Congressional purposes in adopting the Indian Child Welfare Act was to prevent the breakup of the Indian family.  Matter of D.S., Ind.1991, 577 N.E.2d 572.  Indians  6.3(2)


Principal purpose of federal Indian Child Welfare Act is to protect stability of Indian tribes by preventing adoption of Indian children by non-Indians where placement in Indian families is possible.  Matter of Baby Girl Doe, Mont.1993, 865 P.2d 1090, 262 Mont. 380.  Indians  6.3(2)


Purpose of Indian Child Welfare Act [Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, §§ 2- 403, 25 U.S.C.A. §§ 1901-1963] is to promote best interest of Indian children through promoting stability and security of Indian tribes and families by establishment of minimum federal standards for removal of Indian children from their families.  Matter of Adoption of D.M.J., Okla.1985, 741 P.2d 1386.  Indians  6.3(2)


In enacting this chapter, Congress was concerned with protecting best interests of Indian children and promoting stability and security of Indian tribes and families.  A. B. M. v. M. H., Alaska 1982, 651 P.2d 1170, certiorari denied 103 S.Ct. 1893, 461 U.S. 914, 77 L.Ed.2d 283.  Indians  6.3(2)


3. Policy


Indian Child Welfare Act restricts removal of Indian children from an existing Indian family unit and resultant breakup of Indian family.  C.E.H. v. L.M.W., Mo.App. W.D.1992, 837 S.W.2d 947, rehearing and/or transfer denied. Indians  6.5


4. Preservation of children's ties to Indian values


Judicial exception to coverage of this chapter could not be made solely on basis that application of this chapter in case at bar was not required to preserve child's ties to Indian cultural or social values.  A. B. M. v. M. H., Alaska 1982, 651 P.2d 1170, certiorari denied 103 S.Ct. 1893, 461 U.S. 914, 77 L.Ed.2d 283.  Indians  6.3(2)


5. State regulation or control


This chapter does not violate compact with the United States provision of the South Dakota Constitution.  Matter of Guardianship of D. L. L., S.D.1980, 291 N.W.2d 278.  Indians  6.3(3)


Proceedings concerning any child who appears to be child in need of care is governed by code for care of children, except in those instances when Indian Child Welfare Act applies.  In Interest of H.D., Kan.App.1986, 729 P.2d 1234, 11 Kan.App.2d 531.  Indians  6.6(1);  Infants  132


6. Administrative opinions and guidelines


Although federal guidelines promulgated pursuant to Indian Child Welfare Act and intended for use by state courts in Indian child custody proceedings are not binding on state courts, they are entitled to great weight as administrative interpretation of a statute.  In re Kahlen W., Cal.App. 5 Dist.1991, 285 Cal.Rptr. 507, 233 Cal.App.3d 1414.  Statutes  219(6.1)


Guidelines published by Department of the Interior for state courts to follow in Indian child custody proceedings do not have same legislative effect as regulations, but they do represent the Department's interpretation of this chapter.  Matter of J. L. H., S.D.1980, 299 N.W.2d 812.  Indians  6.6(1)


7. Incompetence or brutality of parents


This chapter principally applies to cases where a state court or agency attempts to remove an Indian child from his or her Indian home on grounds of alleged incompetence or brutality of parents.  Matter of Adoption of Baby Boy L., Kan.1982, 643 P.2d 168, 231 Kan. 199.  Indians  6.6(1)


8. Custody disputes


Child custody dispute involving non-Indian mother and Indian paternal grandparents did not fall within ambit of this chapter, which was not directed at disputes between Indian families regarding custody of Indian children but which was to preserve Indian culture values under circumstances in which Indian child is placed in foster home or other protected institution.  Application of Bertelson, Mont.1980, 617 P.2d 121, 189 Mont. 524.  Indians  27(2)


9. Adoption proceedings


This chapter, by its own terms, did not apply to adoption proceeding involving non-Indian mother's illegitimate child, who had never been in care or custody of putative father, a five-eighths Kiowa Indian, in that issue of preservation of Indian family was not involved as child had never been a part of any Indian family relationship.  Matter of Adoption of Baby Boy L., Kan.1982, 643 P.2d 168, 231 Kan. 199.  Indians  6.10


25 U.S.C.A. § 1902, 25 USCA § 1902



Approved 07-28-05                                  

 

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