Q: Since many Native American tribes are recognized as independent governments, is Native American adoption considered a type of international adoption? Do you have any pointers on where to begin researching Native American adoption?
A: No, adoption of Native American children is not considered a form of international adoption. Adoption of Native American children is governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act, initially passed in 1978. Adoption by non Native American families has a long and controversial history. Some estimates are that one quarter of all Indian kids were removed from their families for adoption or institutionalized care between 1958 and 1967. The Indian Child Welfare Act greatly limits this practice and states a strong preference for placement with Native American families.
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