< Back to All News

Congratulations to the National Indian Child Welfare Association on decisive victory in the United States Supreme Court

The Our Children Our Way Society offers our heartfelt congratulations to the National Indian Child Welfare Association on a decisive victory in the United States Supreme Court. In a decision released today, the court upheld the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

ICWA was passed in 1978 after hundreds of thousands of American Indian children were removed from their homes by child welfare agencies, and placed in institutions or foster homes with no tribal connections. ICWA established minimum federal standards for removing Native children from their families, and requires that children be placed preferentially with extended family or other members of their own tribe.

The state of Texas and several families attempting to adopt American Indian children challenged the law, arguing that it amounts to an unconstitutional racial preference, and that the federal law intrudes on state autonomy. The Supreme Court rejected every aspect of the challenge, upholding the work that Tribal Nations have done for millennia to ensure Native children stay connected to their families, communities, and cultures.

“We know how important it is to keep children close to home where they can maintain family, community and cultural connections. Those connections contribute enormously to their happiness and well-being. The American court has made a good decision today,” says Mary Teegee, Chair of the Our Children Our Way Society.