Indian Child Welfare Act

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was created to protect Native American children in cases where the termination of parental rights is possible. This federal law allows the Indian tribe to be involved when there is a forced Michigan state court proceeding determining parental rights termination, foster care for the child, and other custody disputes.

The Indian Child Welfare Act states:

In any involuntary proceeding in a State court, where the court knows of has reason to know that an Indian child is involved, the party seeking the foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights to an Indian child shall notify the parent or Indian custodian and the Indian child’s tribe.

Family sitting outsideAn “Indian child” is defined as: any unmarried person who is under the age of eighteen and is either (a) a member of an Indian tribe or (b) is eligible for membership in an Indian tribe and is the biological child of a member of an Indian tribe.

The ICWA requires all Michigan courts to notify the Indian tribe whenever the court knows or should know that an Indian child is involved in any type of custody dispute or risk of termination of parental rights. 25 USC 1912(a).

Our federal law has determined that the Native American tribes themselves are in the best position to determine whether or not the child is a member. As such, it is up to the tribe to officially decide whether or not the child is a member of the tribe or is eligible to be a member. In re NEGP, 245 Mich App 126, 133 (2001). In other words, these types of cases require courts to defer to the tribe’s experience.

Our federal law goes on to determine which Indian Tribes it will recognize. A list of those tribes is contained in our Code of Federal Register (CFR). Not all tribes are recognized under our federal law.

At The Kronzek Firm we can help you!

PowwowAt The Kronzek Firm, we have decades of experience keeping families together during cases that involve (CPS) Children’s Protect Services here in Michigan.

We also have an attorney that specializes in the Indian Child Welfare Act and who understands all the intricacies that the ICWA involves.

Having an attorney that has successfully dealt with CPS cases and knows the law affecting Native American children could make a huge difference when it comes to keeping your child.

Talk to an expert attorney today about your CPS case. We are available 24/7 online and by phone. Call us today at 1-866-766-5245.