Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (10/14/1978)

(Measure passed House, amended, in lieu of H.R. 12533)

Indian Child Welfare Act - =Title I: Child Custody Proceedings= - Declares that it is the policy of Congress to establish minimum Federal standards for the removal of Indian children from their families (extended families) and for the placement of such children in foster or adoptive homes which will reflect Indian culture.

Grants an Indian tribe jurisdiction exclusive as to any State over custody proceedings involving an Indian child who resides within the reservation of such tribe or is a ward of a tribal court except where jurisdiction is vested in the State by existing Federal law.

Allows the Indian custodian or the Indian tribe of a child to intervene at any point in a State Court proceeding for the foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights to, an Indian child.

Stipulates that, upon application by an Indian individual who has reached age 18 and who was the subject of an adoptive placement, the court which entered the final placement decree shall inform such individual of the tribal affiliation, if any, of his or her biological parents, and provide such other information as may be necessary to protect any rights flowing from his or her tribal relationship.

Allows any Indian tribe which became subject to State jurisdiction pursuant to Federal law to reassume jurisdiction over child custody proceedings upon approval of a petition by the Secretary of the Interior.

Provides for emergency removal of an Indian child, who is a resident of or domiciled on a reservation but temporarily located off the reservation, from the parent or Indian custodian and the emergency placement of such child under applicable State law, in order to prevent harm to such child. Stipulates that such removal or placement must be terminated immediately when no longer necessary to prevent imminent physical harm to such child.

=Title II: Indian Child and Family Programs= - Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to make grants to Indian tribes and organizations for the establishment and operation of Indian child and family service programs on or near reservations and for the preparation and implementation of child welfare codes. States that the objective of every Indian child and family service programs shall be to prevent the breakup of Indian families.

Authorizes every Indian tribe to operate and maintain facilities for: (1) the counseling or treatment of Indian families or individuals; (2) the temporary custody of Indian children; and (3) legal representation and advice to Indian families involved in tribal, State, or Federal child custody proceedings.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to Indian organizations to establish and operate off-reservation Indian child and family service programs.

=Title III: Recordkeeping, Information Availability, and Timetables= - Directs the Secretary to collect and maintain records of all Indian child placements which are affected under the date of this Act. Requires the Secretary to insure that the confidentiality of such information be maintained where the court records contain an affidavit that the identity of the biological parents remain confidential.

Directs the Secretary to promulgate, within 180 days of enactment of this Act, such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.

=Title IV: Miscellaneous= - Directs the Secretary to prepare, in consultation with appropriate agencies in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, a report on the feasibility of providing Indian children with schools located near their homes, and to submit such report to the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs and House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.