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Native American/ American Indian Community

Diversity Native American Community
    Who are the children in need?
  • Native American children in custody of tribe or state.
  • Native American children ages 0-17.
  • Native American children in sibling groups.
  • Native American children with special, physical, or emotional needs.
  • Native American children mixed with another ethnicity.

The adoption of Native American children is treated uniquely in the legal system through NICWA (National Indian Child Welfare Association). The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) set Federal requirements for children in the child welfare system who are members of or eligible for membership in a federally recognized American Indian Tribe. Caseworkers must comply with the ICWA provisions related to foster and adoptive placement. Adoptions in American Indian communities, sometimes called "customary adoptions," do not always require the termination of the birth parents' parental rights. The first priority of NICWA is to foster a continued connection to Native American tribes and culture in Native American children. A Family For Every Child tries to meet children's needs while also honoring tribal values and beliefs. Historically and traditionally, adoption has been practiced in most tribal communities through custom and ceremony. In general, tribes did not practice termination of parental rights. Unfortunately, adoption became a negative thing due to forced assimilation policies; it was used as a method to destroy Indian families and culture. In customary adoption, tribes are allowed to meet the permanency needs of their children while honoring their own tribal values and beliefs. However, adoption is very possible and we hope to find these children their forever family. Couples wishing to adopt a Native American child must ensure all mandates of ICWA are satisfied in order to adopt the child.


Native American Affairs Glossary

Full Text of the Indian Child Welfare Act

A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act

Adopting a Native American Child
Between 2009-2011 in Oregon Native American children made up 2.8% of all children in Oregon and 6.9% of all children in Oregon foster care. Only 41.7% of Native American children in Multnomah County (Oregon) are reunified with family when exiting foster care, compared to a higher percentage of white children.

For more information, contact:

A Family for Every Child
(541) 343-2856
(877) 343-2856

Kim Esser
A Family for Every Child
Adoption Agency
(541) 343-2856