Utah lawmakers want to protect Native American adoptions — no matter how the Supreme Court rules

If the law is stricken, Utah legislators talked Tuesday about plans to enact a nearly identical version statewide that would codify the same preference for continuing to place Native kids with Native foster parents. The Native American Legislative Liaison Committee voted unanimously in support of running that bill for the upcoming session that starts in January. Read … Read more

The complicated nature of Native American adoptions: Does a Utah court ruling conflict with federal law?

More than 40 years after the federal law took effect, the child welfare system continues to absorb a disproportionate number of Native American children nationally and in Utah, noted Alisa Lee, Indian child welfare program administrator for the Utah Division of Child and Family Services. Data provided by Lee’s office shows that roughly 5% of … Read more

Utah Signs Inter-Governmental Agreement to Support Navajo Families

February 5, 2019Yesterday, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes met with the leadership of the Navajo Nation, reported on the proceedings of the ICWA lawsuit, and signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (between DCFS & Navajo Nation) with Governor Gary R. Herbert. The Agreement is the result of a two-year process working with the Navajo Nation on the … Read more

Utah tribal leaders address the protection of Native American children

Utah tribal leaders gathered in the community of Wendover, Utah to discuss issues that would affect tribes at the state and national level, such as the Indian Child Welfare Act and voting issues that includes inefficient polling sites and a lack of language interpreters to aid non-English speaking Navajo people in San Juan County, Utah. … Read more

State in Interest of M.D., January 7, 2016 (Utah)

Synopsis from Westlaw: A petition to terminate father’s parental rights to his three Indian children was filed. The Third District Juvenile Court, Salt Lake Department, No. 1094548, Charles D. Behrens, J., terminated parental rights. Father appealed. Holdings from Westlaw: The Court of Appeals held that evidence supported finding that the State made active efforts to … Read more

3rd Annual Utah Indian Child Welfare Conference

Ft. Duchesne-Hosted by the Ute Tribe Conference Presentations will focus on the theme Our Culture, Our Children, Our Children , specifically: •Trends in Indian child welfare and what specifically can be done to make a difference. •A practical application of the Indian Child Welfare Act and the child’s best interest. •What happens when a child … Read more

Utahn Hopes to Recruit American Indian Foster Families

Brandi Sweet is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota, but that heritage is only partly why she is a perfect fit for the newly created post of American-Indian foster family recruiter at Utah Foster Care. Sweet knows what it is like to be a child in foster care. … Read more

A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act

The Guide is intended to answer questions and provide a comprehensive resource of information on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The online version at http://www.narf.org/icwa was created as a complement to the print version of the Guide, which was printed by the Native American Rights Fund in 2007. While the topical sections are identical … Read more