Reprinted from Westlaw with permission of Thomson/West. If you wish to check the currency of this case [or statute], you may do so by using KeyCite on Westlaw by visiting

25 U.S.C.A. § 1916

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

Subchapter I. Child Custody Proceedings

§ 1916. Return of custody

(a) Petition;  best interests of child

Notwithstanding State law to the contrary, whenever a final decree of adoption of an Indian child has been vacated or set aside or the adoptive parents voluntarily consent to the termination of their parental rights to the child, a biological parent or prior Indian custodian may petition for return of custody and the court shall grant such petition unless there is a showing, in a proceeding subject to the provisions of section 1912 of this title, that such return of custody is not in the best interests of the child.

(b) Removal from foster care home;  placement procedure

Whenever an Indian child is removed from a foster care home or institution for the purpose of further foster care, preadoptive, or adoptive placement, such placement shall be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, except in the case where an Indian child is being returned to the parent or Indian custodian from whose custody the child was originally removed.


(Pub.L. 95-608, Title I, § 106, Nov. 8, 1978, 92 Stat. 3073.)


Revision Notes and Legislative Reports

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


American Digest System

Indians 6(2), 32(11).

Key Number System Topic No. 209.



Am. Jur. 2d Indians § 151, Effect of Fraudulently Obtained Consent.

Treatises and Practice Aids

Federal Procedure, Lawyers Edition § 46:475, Consent Fraudulently Obtained; Petitions for Vacation of Order and Return of Custody.


Best interests of child 1


1. Best interests of child

Where parent of Indian child petitioned for return of child when adoption decree was vacated, child was required to be returned to her unless such arrangement was proved to be contrary to child's best interests under standards established by this section.  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. Adoption  16

25 U.S.C.A. § 1916, 25 USCA § 1916

Approved 07-28-05