Get new posts by email:

How to Use this Blog

BOOZHOO! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.

We want you to use BOOKSHOP! (the editor will earn a small amount of money or commission. (we thank you) (that is our disclaimer statement)

This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... WE DO NOT HAVE ADS or earn MONEY from this website. The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

EMAIL ME: (outlook email is gone)


Sunday, May 20, 2012

ICWA: By The Numbers #NDN #Adoption

This information is from a presentation I gave May 18th at the Minnesota CLE.

In 2011 there were 199 ICWA cases (249 in the allstate-cs Westlaw database using “Indian Child Welfare Act” search. 50 were not ICWA cases). Of those 122 (61%) were California notice or inquiry cases. This is less than the last time we checked in 2007 (308 cases). The state continues to remand nearly 50% of all the notice cases (58 remanded, 48%). The only state even close to California on notice cases is Michigan, with 8 last year, and 5 remanded.

Of the family lore cases, there was only one additional case in 2011 from the same lower court as the others and none in 2012.

Once we take out the California notice cases, active efforts cases are the next most litigated cases (24). A large number of those are out of Alaska, and even ones that aren’t out of Alaska are using Alaska cases to define active efforts.
Otherwise, there were 8, transfer cases, 7 QEW cases, 7 notice and inquiry cases (non-CA and MI), 6 burden of proof cases, 5 placement preferences, 5 jurisdiction cases, 1 due process, 1 standing case. There were a number of cases that were ICWA cases, but didn’t really use or discuss ICWA in the final decision, which was strange. In this paragraph, some cases were counted twice, because active efforts and burden of proof, for example, are usually discussed in the same case. We’re still deciding how best to classify those.
So far in 2012, there have been 71 cases. 33 (46%) of those were California notice and inquiry cases, and 48% (16) were remanded. There were 5 Michigan notice cases. Nationwide, there were only 2.
Our current assumption is that as notice cases fall in numbers, other cases will rise–this is based on the hopeful idea that a decrease in notice cases means courts might actually be doing notice properly. Once notice is done properly and ICWA applies and/or the tribe is involved, it seems logical that other areas (specifically transfer, active efforts, and placement preferences) of ICWA will be litigated more often.
In 2012 there were 8 active efforts, 7 placement preferences, 6 transfer, 2 other notice and inquiry, and 1 QEW case.
2012 has had two disturbing private adoption cases as well. See our coverage of those here and here.
Finally, we’ve also been keeping track of all transfer cases since the passage of the law. So far our spreadsheet has 123 cases total. 37 (30%) of those have either transferred cases to tribal court or reversed a denial of transfer and ordered a hearing on the issue (7). 60 cases have affirmed an initial denial of transfer. 21 cases have reversed an initial transfer. Only 19 cases have reversed a denial of transfer. 3 did not consider the issue of transfer.
When a GAL is involved in a transfer case (60 of all transfer cases), 40 times the GAL opposed transfer, 3 times the GAL supported transfer and in 17 cases it was impossible to determine the GAL’s position. When the GAL opposes transfer, the court agrees 80% of the time (32 cases). There are only 8 cases where the GAL’s position against transfer is known when the court disagrees and transfers.
Other areas we’re still looking at in the transfer cases is the different results from state appellate courts versus state supreme courts. This might change the way we ultimately count an outcome, but in this post each decision is counted individually, even if it the case was appealed up.

1 comment:

  1. Many of these notices are sent without the father's information. Tribes need to be aware of this omission of information and state that they cannot confirm whether the child is eligible for enrollment in the tribe unless that information is provided. Oregon has been sending a lot of these, as well.


Please: Share your reaction, your thoughts, and your opinions. Be passionate, be unapologetic. Offensive remarks will not be published. We are getting more and more spam. Comments will be monitored.
Use the comment form at the bottom of this website which is private and sent direct to Trace.

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

They Took Us Away
click image to see more and read more

Blog Archive

Most READ Posts


You are not alone

You are not alone

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Diane Tells His Name

click photo

60s Scoop Survivors Legal Support


Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines

Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines
click to read and listen about Trace, Diane, Julie and Suzie


As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.


Original Birth Certificate Map in the USA

Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

Google Followers