Hanford Criminal Defense Attorney | Criminal Defense Lawyer Hanford | Casey D. Martin | 710 N. Irwin, Street Hanford, CA 93230
THE MARTIN LAW FIRM | Serving Hanford, Lemoore, CA
Kings County ICWA Attorney / Indian Child Welfare Act Attorney
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 is Federal law that governs the removal and out-of-home placement of American Indian children. It was enacted after the federal government recognized that American Indian children were being arbitrarily removed from their homes and communities at a much higher rate than non-Native children. ICWA established standards for the placement of Indian children in foster and adoptive homes and enabled tribes and families to be involved in child welfare cases.
Why the Indian Child Welfare Act is Necessary
A look through the history books reveals why Congress determined a special law was needed to protect the rights of Indian children and their parents. Prior to the installment of the ICWA, non-Indian judges and social workers who failed to understand traditional Indian child-rearing practices mistakenly perceived day-to-day life in the Indian children’s homes as contrary to their best interests. A number of these children were taken from their homes – and their culture – simply because our legal system expected Indian families to conform to non-Indian ways. Other children were removed because of their family’s extreme financial hardships; it was used as evidence of neglect by some state courts, welfare agencies, and private adoption agencies. As many as 25-35% of the Indian children in certain states were taken from their families and placed in non-Indian homes, prior to the institution of the ICWA. The ICWA helps ensure that the Indian children who truly do need to be removed from their present environment are placed in homes that reflect their traditional Native American values.
The ICWA applies to four types of Indian child custody proceedings:
- Foster care placements.
- Termination of certain parental rights.
- Pre-adoption placements.
- Adoption placements.
Call a Knowledgeable Indian Child Welfare Act Attorney
Casey D. Martin is one of the few attorneys in the Central Valley who even understands how to proceed with an ICWA case. If you or a loved one needs help with an ICWA related matter, please call our office at 559-530-3144 for a confidential consultation.