Alaska SCT Decision on ICWA Placement Preferences

Here is the opinion.

An excerpt:

This appeal requires us to reexamine policies that underlie ICWA. Though we have previously held that the preponderance of the evidence standard set forth in Adoption Rule 11 applies, upon closer review we conclude that ICWA implicitly mandates that good cause to deviate from ICWA’s adoptive placement preferences be proved by clear and convincing evidence. To the extent our prior cases hold otherwise, they are overruled. We therefore vacate the superior court’s decision and remand for further proceedings in which the superior court shall apply the clear and convincing standard of proof to the good cause determination. We do not reach all the issues raised on appeal because we are remanding, but we address some of the tribe’s arguments regarding the good cause determination to provide guidance to the superior court and the parties on remand. We also clarify the analysis necessary when a party challenges the suitability of a preferred placement.

One thought on “Alaska SCT Decision on ICWA Placement Preferences

Comments are closed.