To ensure compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in any court action regarding an Indian Child, staff may refer to the following checklist.
Note: To determine whether a court action falls under the ICWA, see Appendix 1226A, Child-Placing Requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act and Related Guidelines and Regulations.
1. Does the petition for custody include the following elements?
· the child's name, age, and address;
· the parents' names and addresses;
· a record of the diligent search for each missing parent, if any;
· information needed to determine the child's residence (including the name and location of the reservation, if applicable);
· the child's and the parents' tribal affiliation(s);
· a record of the efforts made to transfer the proceeding to a tribal court;
· the facts leading to the child's removal from his home; and
· a specification of the reasonable efforts made to provide remedial and rehabilitative services to the parent(s) in order to prevent removal.
2. Has the court served notice of the suit on the parents and the Indian tribe? The notice must include
· the child's name;
· the child's date of birth;
· the child's place of birth;
· the names of the child's parents, the dates and places of their births, and the mother's maiden name;
· a copy of the petition;
· the name of the petitioner and his attorney;
· a notice of the right to intervene;
· a notice of the right to appointed counsel;
· a notice of the right to request 20 additional days to answer or prepare for the suit;
· a notice of the right to transfer the suit to tribal court;
· the number or name, the mailing address, and the phone number of the court;
· a notice of the potential consequences to the parents' rights; and
· a notice of the confidential nature of the proceeding.
3. Have staff verified the child's status with the tribe? If the tribe is unknown, have staff sent notice of the suit by registered mail with return receipt requested to the following address?
Anadarko Area Director,
Bureau of Indian Affairs,
P.O. Box 368,
Anadarko, Oklahoma 73005
4. Have all notices of the suit and all responses (if any) from the parents, the tribe, or the Bureau of Indian Affairs been filed with the court?
5. Have the parents hired an attorney? If not, has one been appointed for them?
6. Have staff made a diligent effort to find a suitable placement according to the orders of preference specified in Appendix 1226A?
7 If the orders of preference specified in Appendix 1226A have not been followed, has good cause to the contrary been shown as specified in the same appendix?
8. Have staff kept a written record of the placement decision in order to document their efforts to observe the orders of preference specified in Appendix I/1226A?
9. Have staff ensured that the Indian child is enrolled in his tribe before referring him for adoption?