Effective July 1st, 2010 Assembly Bill 1325 (Cook; Stats. 2009, ch.287) established a new permanency option for Indian children who are dependents of the California Courts. Dependent Indian children who are unable to reunify with their parents may now, at the option of their tribe, be eligible for adoption by and through the laws, traditions and customs of the child's tribe without requiring termination of the parental rights of the child's biological parents. Below you will find the following information: (1) links to the legislation; (2) a summary of the legislative requirements; (3) the rules of court and forms implementing the legislation; (4) contact information for drafters of the legislation; (4) other helpful resources; and (5) a short survey on tribal customary adoption cases.
Legislation text There have also been some minor technical amendments to the bill, which you can find here.
AB 1325 places certain requirements on social workers and judicial officers in all dependency cases involving an Indian Child Welfare Act eligible child who is in foster care to consult with the child's tribe about whether Tribal Customary Adoption is an appropriate permanent plan should the family be unable to reunify. These requirements and how to proceed if a child's tribe selects tribal customary adoption as the child's permanent plan are addressed in detail in the documents below, and in particular in All County Letter 10-47 issued by the California Department of Social Services.
There are also specific reporting requirements in the Child Welfare Services Case Management System (CWS/CMS) concerning Tribal Customary Adoption. An explanation of those requirements is found at page 33 of ACL 10-47.
Rules and Forms
To see the California Rules of Court which have been amended to implement Tribal Customary Adoption:.
Judicial Council forms which have been amended to implement Tribal Customary Adoption.
Legislative Drafters' Contact Information
If you are a tribal representative looking for more information on what the tribe's responsibilities are in finalizing a tribal customary adoption, you can find more information here or you may contact the drafters of the Tribal Customary Adoption bill. Their contact information is as follows:
Director of Social Services
Soboba Tribal Social Services
Kimberly Cluff, Attorney
Forman & Associates
4340 Redwood Hwy Ste F228
San Rafael, CA 94903
Frequently Asked Questions About Tribal Customary Adoption
If you have any questions about tribal customary adoption, please contact Ann Gilmour.You can find the judicial branch report to the legislature concerning tribal customary adoption here You can find the judicial branch report to the legislature concerning tribal customary adoption here You can find the judicial branch report to the legislature concerning tribal customary adoption here