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AB-268 Indian children.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/24/2019 09:00 PM
AB268:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 268


Introduced by Assembly Member Waldron

January 24, 2019


An act to amend Section 224 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to child welfare.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 268, as introduced, Waldron. Indian children.
Existing federal law, the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), governs the proceedings for determining the placement of an Indian child when that child is removed from the custody of the child’s parent or guardian. Existing state law specifies that the state is committed to protecting the essential tribal relations and best interest of an Indian child by promoting practices in accordance with ICWA. Existing law requires a court in an Indian child custody proceeding to, among other things, comply with ICWA.
This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to those state provisions governing Indian child custody proceedings.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 224 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

224.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(1) There is no resource that is more vital to the continued existence and integrity of Indian tribes than their children, and the State of California has an interest in protecting Indian children who are members or citizens of, or are eligible for membership or citizenship in, an Indian tribe. The state is committed to protecting the essential tribal relations and best interest of an Indian child by promoting practices, in accordance with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.) and other applicable state and federal law, designed to prevent the child’s involuntary out-of-home placement and, whenever that placement is necessary or ordered, by placing the child, whenever possible, in a placement that reflects the unique values of the child’s tribal culture and is best able to assist the child in establishing, developing, and maintaining a political, cultural, and social relationship with the child’s tribe and tribal community.
(2) It is in the interest of an Indian child that the child’s membership or citizenship in the child’s Indian tribe and connection to the tribal community be encouraged and protected, regardless of whether the child is in the physical custody of an Indian parent or Indian custodian at the commencement of an Indian child custody proceeding, the parental rights of the child’s parents have been terminated, or where the child has resided or been domiciled.
(b) In all an Indian child custody proceedings, proceeding, as defined in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act Act, the court shall consider all of the findings contained in subdivision (a), strive to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families, comply with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 and other applicable federal law, and seek to protect the best interest of the child. Whenever If an Indian child is removed from a foster care home or institution, guardianship, or adoptive placement for the purpose of further foster care, guardianship, or adoptive placement, placement of the child shall be in accordance with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 and other applicable state and federal law.
(c) A determination by an Indian tribe that an unmarried person, who is under the age of 18 years, 18 years of age, is either (1) a member or citizen of an Indian tribe or (2) eligible for membership or citizenship in an Indian tribe and a biological child of a member or citizen of an Indian tribe shall constitute a significant political affiliation with the tribe and shall require the application of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 and other applicable state and federal law to the proceedings.
(d) In any a case in which this code or other applicable state or federal law provides a higher standard of protection to the rights of the parent or Indian custodian of an Indian child, or the Indian child’s tribe, than the rights provided under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, the court shall apply the higher standard.
(e) Any An Indian child, the Indian child’s tribe, or the parent or Indian custodian from whose custody the child has been removed, may petition the court to invalidate an action in an Indian child custody proceeding for foster care or guardianship placement or termination of parental rights if the action violated Section 1911, 1912, or 1913 of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.