If your child is a member of or is eligible for membership in a federally recognized Tribe, your family has rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act, and other laws. These laws give rights to the Indian child’s family and Tribe. The Tribe figures out if a child is a member or eligible for membership in the Tribe. You have these rights in any case that has to do with:
- child protection / foster care
- termination of parental rights
- runaways, if the child might be taken from the home
- truancy, if the child might be taken from the home, and
- some third-party cases where someone who is not the parent wants custody of your child.
These laws apply in juvenile court and in family court proceedings where someone who is not the parent wants custody of your child.
ICWA does not apply to juvenile delinquency cases where your child is being tried for offenses that would be crimes if committed by an adult.
ICWA does not apply to custody disputes between biological parents.