Washington State Implements New Indian Child Welfare Act

The State of Washington has passed into law its own Indian Child Welfare Act, designed to better protect the rights and preserve the cultural heritage of the state’s Native American children who are not able to live with their biological parents.

In the preamble to the new Act, the state declares:

The legislature finds that the state is committed to protecting the essential tribal relations and best interests of Indian children by promoting practices designed to prevent out-of-home placement of Indian children that is inconsistent with the rights of the parents, the health, safety, or welfare of the children, or the interests of their tribe. Whenever out-of-home placement of an Indian child is necessary in a proceeding subject to the terms of the federal Indian child welfare act and in this chapter, the best interests of the Indian child may be served by placing the Indian child in accordance with the placement priorities expressed in this chapter. The legislature further finds that where placement away from the parent or Indian custodian is necessary for the child's safety, the state is committed to a placement that reflects and honors the unique values of the child's tribal culture and is best able to assist the Indian child in establishing, developing, and maintaining a political, cultural, social, and spiritual relationship with the child's tribe and tribal community.

The full text of Washington’s new ICWA can be accessed HERE.
 

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
kristy dreadfulwater - June 27, 2011 9:02 AM

I am a young native mother who a has been fighting to get reunited with her baby. I am deperate for help since the ICWA has not showed interest in reunification since the removal of my baby. I am the mother and the pressure to have her adopted is high. I want my daughter back and am currently forced to go through ICWA to get her back. But I strongly feel the ICWA is going to steal her away and have her adopted. I need help with getting my daughter back and just wanted to know if you knew anything about ICWA taking native american babies out of good homes and placing them up for adoption???
Thanks for your time.

Doreen White Dirt - December 27, 2011 11:20 AM

I to have been fighting to get my one and only son from CPS. He has been in there since 2005. There is a high rate of Natives in the system. Something needs to happen more protections for parents rights. Do they get money for getting adopted out? Why do they keep them. I feel they are not trying to reunify only put more obstacles up after completing on task assigned.

Laura Stark - January 24, 2014 2:16 PM

My husband was adopted by a white family in 1967. He has not been able to find a County in the state with a record of it. In 1967, did your agency handle adoptions outside the State courts and within your own? He is having health issues and we have no idea how to find records. Please help. Thank you.

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