Adoption Triad

August 21, 2012

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Welcome to the August 2012 edition of Adoption Triad, a monthly e-brief for adoption professionals. This month we focus on the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), the Federal law governing the removal of and out-of-home care for American Indian children. This law was needed because American Indian children were being removed from their homes and communities at a much higher rate than non-Native children. ICWA enabled Tribes and families to be involved in child welfare cases. Explore the resources below to learn more about the law and its implementation, the history necessitating its passage, and current programs created to mitigate the effects of historical trauma.

  1. Understanding and Implementing ICWA
  2. Historical Trauma
    • Unseen Tears - The Impact of Native American Residential Boarding Schools in Western New York
      Watch powerful testimonies from boarding school survivors illuminating some of the history that led to the need for ICWA. Produced by the Native American Community Services of Erie and Niagara Counties, Inc. and funded by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.
    • Trauma in Indian Country
      Defines trauma, explores factors that increase vulnerability for American Indian and Native Alaskan populations, and provides tips for professionals working with Native children and families. Developed by the Indian Country Child Trauma Center.
  3. Programs to Address Historical Trauma
    • First Nation's Repatriation Institute
      Connects First Nations' adopted people to each other, providing healing ceremonies and cultural education to child welfare and legal professionals.
    • Tribal STAR
      Provides resources about Tribal customary adoption, including factsheets for Tribal workers, county workers, agency memoranda, and sample forms for Tribal customary adoption orders.

Watch for additional information in Information Gateway’s updated web section, "Working with American Indian Children and Families" coming early Fall 2012.


Adoption Triad is published on the third Tuesday of each month. We welcome your feedback on Adoption Triad, as well as on our website and publications.


Phyllis Charles
Adoption Program Manager
Child Welfare Information Gateway

Adoption Triad is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (, a service of the Children's Bureau/ACF/HHS ( It provides adoption professionals with practical information to help them identify, recruit, train, and retain families for children and youth, and provides resources on all aspects of adoption for members of the adoption triad: birth parents, adopted people, and adoptive parents.


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