The Indian Child Welfare Act was enacted in 1978, seeking to stem decades of abuse and neglect involving Indian families. Oklahoma passed its own requirements in 1982. This law applies to all Indian children, in any type of child custody proceeding, except for parental custody disputes and juvenile delinquency proceedings. Yet the law is often misunderstood or overlooked.

      Oklahoma Indian Legal Services, Inc. seeks to assist attorneys and social workers with the 22nd edition of The Indian Child Welfare Act : Case, Regulation, and Analysis.

Section 1 of the book examines case law that has shaped the Act since its inception, and compares and contrasts the different interpretations that the federal and state courts have put forward. 


“...Yet they say I am a bad Indian.  Who has ever seen me beat my wives or abuse my children? What law have I broken? Is it wrong for me to love my own? Is it wicked in me because my skin is red, because I was born where my fathers lived, because I would die for my people and my country?”

--Sitting Bull

     It also considers the meaning and impact of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, a 2013 United States Supreme Court decision, and the 2016 Federal Regulations, which significantly change the impact of the law and are final effective December 12, 2016.

    Section 2 of the book contains statutes on the ICWA and the Oklahoma ICWA, as well as the Federal Guidelines and final Regulations and commentary promulgated by the Department of Interior. This section also contains the current BIA listings of recognized federal Indian tribes and Alaskan Native Corporations.

    Section 3 contains case annotations broken down by the ICWA’s individual sections, making is easy to get a quick understanding of the cases interpreting that statute. Section 4 contains forms to assist the basic functions of the Act. Section 5 is the 2005 GAO report on the states’ implementation of the ICWA. Section 6 is the 2010 census data for American Indian populations. Section 7 is a suggested Bench Form for courts to consider.

   Case and Analysis is a downloadable .PDF file on electronic media. The text is fully bookmarked, simplifying searches in specific areas for specific topics, and costs $50.00 (including shipping and handling for physical media). It can be ordered by going to the OILS Store or by sending payment to:

Oklahoma Indian Legal Services, Inc.

Attn: Indian Child Welfare Act Book

4200 Perimeter Center Drive, Suite 222

Oklahoma City, OK 73112

    Please remember to include a current email address and mailing address for delivery.