Cases Involving The Indian Child Welfare Act

The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, more commonly referred to as ICWA, governs the jurisdiction of Native American tribes in cases involving child welfare such as child custody, adoption and child relocation. The intention of ICWA is to protect and preserve Indian culture; this can result in significant complications in family law matters involving Indian children.

At Laura Dale & Associates, P.C., in Houston, Texas, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve successful results in cases that are affected by ICWA. To learn more about how our lawyers can help you, or to hire them as ICWA experts or consultants to assist in your case, contact our firm today.

Members Of The Tribe Are Given Priority

In practice, the ICWA presumes that Indian children are better off remaining with Indian families. Therefore, when children are being removed from a poor living situation or being adopted, members of the tribe are given priority.

While the ICWA does not cover child custody as part of divorce proceedings, it does allow for Indian tribes to request that custody proceedings be moved to the tribal court: such requests will be granted unless there is good cause demonstrated as to why the transfer should not be made. This can be extremely problematic for non-Indian parents, who are placed at a distinct disadvantage in the court system of sovereign tribes.

Understanding The ICWA And Adoption

Having a lawyer who understands ICWA is a must if you are seeking to adopt an Indian child. If not handled properly, these adoptions could be declared invalid due to ICWA, resulting in heartbreak, lost time and lost money.

Protect Your Rights

To make sure you are protected from the unforeseen consequences of ICWA, it is in your best interest to speak with our attorneys. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.