Native American Children For Adoption

Native American adoption is regulated by federal law, instead of state laws like most other adoptions. In 1978, the U.S. passed the Indian Child Welfare Act, which allows sovereign states to regulate the adoption of tribal members. The ICWA states that Native American adoptees have a right to know of their cultural origins and maintain the opportunity to be active in the Native heritage. Depending on the child's familial circumstance, the voluntary or involuntary placement of a child in an adoptive or foster home may be handled by the federal court or transferred to a tribal court.

The federal position in Native adoption is part of a dark past in American history, when between 1958 and 1967 the Indian Adoption Project removed about a quarter of all Native children from their families because the "white man knew better." Because of this dark past and the suggested effort to keep Native adoptees interactive with their tribal roots, a Native American adoption takes extra work to make the child feel integrated in both the adoptive family and Native tradition. This is an adoption choice where an open adoption may be recommended.

Adoptive parents should familiarize themselves with the religious beliefs and practices of a Native adoptee as well as common food and social activities of the child's background. There are countless Native youth clubs and resources out there to help a Native adoptee embrace his or her roots.


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Visitor Comments (5)
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Belle - 1 year ago
0 0 1
If a Native American family is financially secure, is enrolled in a federally recognized tribe, and is looking to adopt from another reservation (to keep the potential of family drama/threats from future interaction with unstable birth parents to a minimum, etc...) who should they contact? My husband and I are thinking about adopting (I am the enrolled tribal member, as are our two children) and we don't have any idea of where to begin asking these questions. We decided not to be foster parents because I had many foster siblings growing up and I will not subject my children, or myself, to the pain of bonding with a new sibling, just to have that child sent back to their addict or neglectful parents for yet another round of trauma and abuse or neglect, then come back angrier than before. Whatever the circumstances of the child (except extreme emotional disturbance), we are ready and willing to take one in on a permanent basis. Who do we contact? #1
Ryan - 1 year ago
0 0 1
Belle: Do what we did call the tribe you are wishing to adopt from. Each tribe will have a court and most will have a children system within the court. Its a good place to start and they will be able to tell you if there is a child and family service system that works with adoption and foster parenting. #2
sharon - 12 months ago
0 0 0
hi,my name is Sharon as you know.I'm just woundering.What if your not a native and the bielefs are the same and want to adopt a child and willing to keep all tradition and beilefs and you live in Australia in Tasmania? #3
Guest - 9 months ago
0 1 0
My Name Eve. Would I be a canadiate for adoption if iam single black and chitamacha? #4
John - 1 year ago
1 1 0
If a Native American child is adopted and that child is not a Full Blooded Indian do the parents of that child have the right to come back and remove that chils from the adopted parents? #5
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