Although removal of any child from his or her family is traumatic, too frequently Indian child removal has been performed with little prior investigation and with an absence of cultural sensitivity. The resulting inequalities in Indian child foster placement and adoption rates led to a recognition of the need for Indian child welfare reform, both on a federal and state level. This Article provides an overview of Indian child welfare issues and addresses both the evolution and nature of Indian child welfare reform. Initially, this Article discusses the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, including the cultural history behind the Act, the scope of the Act, and the resultant problems in the Act's drafting and application. Subsequently, this Article examines the history of Indian child welfare legislation in Washington State, with a focus on administrative proclamations and guidelines, and statutory enactments.
Kim Laree Schnuelle, When the Bough Breaks: Federal and Washington State Indian Child Welfare Law and Its Application, 17 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 101 (1993).