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Library: Policy

340:75-19-23. Adoptive placement of the Indian child

Revised 9-15-16

(a) Adoptive placement preference for the Indian child.  • 1Adoptive placements are defined by the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) as the permanent placement of the Indian child for adoption, including any action resulting in a final decree of adoption.ICWA establishes an order of placement preference for the Indian child in an adoptive placement.Unless the court finds good cause to deviate from the ICWA-specified, placement preference, or the Indian child's tribe has established by resolution a different order of specified preference, Section 1915 of Title 25 of the United States Code (25 U.S.C. § 1915) requires that Indian children in adoptive placement are placed in descending order:

(1) a member of the child's extended family;

(2) other members of the Indian child's tribe; or

(3) members of other Indian families.

(b) Standards applied to adoptive placement preference.The criteria for the placement of the Indian child, per 25 U.S.C. § 1915(d) includes consideration of the prevailing social and cultural standards of the Indian community in which the parent or extended family resides or in which the parent or extended family members maintain social and cultural ties.The court, where appropriate, considers the preference of the Indian child or parent.

(c) Adoptive placement with non-Indian family.Adoptive placement in a non-Indian resource is considered only after the Oklahoma Department of Human Services determines, no:

(1) extended family are available for adoptive placement;

(2) Indian families of the child's tribe are available for adoptive placement; and

(3) Indian families of other tribes are available for adoptive placement.

(d) Good cause hearing required prior to placement in non-family or non-Indian resource.Prior to the adoptive placement of the Indian child in a placement that deviates from the preference order, the court must conduct a hearing to determine if good cause exists to deviate from the adoptive placement preference order.

Revised 9-15-16

1.Adoptive placement of the Indian child.

(1) Adoptive placement of the Indian child requires the coordination of services between the child welfare (CW) specialist and adoption specialist assigned to the case.

(A) The CW specialist:

(i) reviews the child's case record to determine if available extended family resources were explored; and

(ii) involves the Indian child welfare (ICW) worker in identifying potential adoption resources in compliance with the federal and state Indian Child Welfare Acts (ICWA).

(B) The CW adoption specialist:

(i) reviews assessments completed by the Indian child's tribe for consideration of an adoption resource;

(ii) submits the recommendations to the Adoption Section Program Unit for review; and

(iii) gathers additional information when needed.

(C) The adoption and CW specialists:

(i) review the child's case record, including legal documents, to ensure compliance with the federal and state ICWA;

(ii) consult with the DHS Legal Services as necessary and take whatever steps are needed to correct areas of non-compliance; and

(iii) advise the court of the adoption options submitted by the tribe to DHS.

(2) A recommendation for an adoptive placement is selected per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-15-41.1.

(3) When, following the adoption criteria staffing, the recommended adoptive placement is not within the first order of extended family placement preference under ICWA, the CW specialist requests a good cause hearing.A good cause hearing is required for each placement preference that cannot be met in the order of preference specified by ICWA.Refer to OAC 340:75-19-14 Instructions to Staff # 1.

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