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The Indian Child Welfare Act

Intersections with Disability and the Americans with Disabilities Act

By Ella Callow

To Native American families and tribes the Indian Child Welfare Act offers procedural protections such as heightened evidentiary standards for removal of a child and termination of parental rights and a priority for placing Native American children with extended family members. Since more than one-fourth of Native Americans have a disability, advocates who work on cases under the Act must be vigilant in ensuring that disability discrimination does not result in a end-run around the Act’s protections.

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