Code Section

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC

DIVISION 2. CHILDREN [100 - 1500]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 369. )
  

PART 1. DELINQUENTS AND WARDS OF THE JUVENILE COURT [100 - 1455]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 369. )
  

CHAPTER 2. Juvenile Court Law [200 - 987]

  ( Chapter 2 repealed and added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1616. )
  

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [200 - 224.6]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1068. )

  
224.  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares 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 Indian child custody proceedings, as defined in the federal Indian Child Welfare 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 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, 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 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 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.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 833, Sec. 2. (AB 3176) Effective January 1, 2019.)