What “ICWA” is, is something called the “Indian Child Welfare Act”. It must be proven at a higher standard than a non-ICWA case.

The Petitioner who is generally, DCF, has the responsibility to determine whether the child is a member or is eligible for a membership in an Indian tribe. It is the responsibility of all parties; including the parents to let the court know if the child is or is eligible to be a member of any native American tribe. If that is in fact the case, the tribe must be notified and may get involved with the case at any point during the proceedings. There might even be a situation where the tribe may request that the case be sent instead of a juvenile court to a tribal court.

DCF has to notify the parties of any proceedings that involve ICWA and their rights of intervention. The court now asks all parties if anybody is a member or is eligible for membership in a recognized tribe.