The deadline has passed to submit comments on the BIA’s proposed ICWA regulations. I submitted what ended up spiraling into a short treatise on the topic. My comments may be useful to those trying to grasp the changes that would be made by the proposed regulations, as well as some of the substantive changes of the new guidelines. My comments are generally critical in nature, as I commented on parts of the proposed regulations with which I disagree. Full text of the ICWA, the 1979 Guidelines, the 2015 Guidelines, and the proposed regulations are linked in this previous post. The proposed regulations, and my comments on them, are linked below. The PDF file with my comments contains bookmarks for easier navigation.
At some point, most of the submitted comments on the proposed regulations will be published on the regulations.gov website. At the time of this post, that website indicates that 713 comments were submitted, but only 400 were available to view. Many of the submitted comments are short statements of approval or disapproval, and many are obvious form letters. Linked below are some of the more substantive comments that I have found.
- 2015_04_19 AAAA Comments on Proposed ICWA Regulations – These American Academy of Adoption Attorneys comments are the best-researched critical comments I have yet come across.
- 2015_05_14 Bertram Hirsch Comments on Proposed ICWA Regulations – Lengthy comments by an attorney that was involved in the drafting of the ICWA and 1979 Guidelines. Generally pro-regulation, but containing a lengthy section-by-section analysis and proposed changes. Have a copy of the proposed regulations handy, as the proposed regulatory language is generally not reproduced in the comments.
- 2015_05_08 Judicial Council of CA Comments on Proposed ICWA Regulations – Comments from the California judiciary highlighting issues that would be caused by the proposed regulations.
- 2015_05_19 Anderson et al. Comments on Proposed ICWA Regulations – Twenty one law school faculty signed onto these comments, which are generally pro-regulation.
- 2015_05_18 NICWA Comments on Proposed ICWA Regulations – Lengthy pro-regulation comments by the National Indian Child Welfare Association.
- 2015_05_14 AAIA Comments on Proposed ICWA Regulations – Lengthy section-by-section comments by the Association on American Indian Affairs. Have a copy of the proposed regulations handy, as the proposed regulatory language is generally not reproduced in the comments.
- This Turtle Talk post compiles many comments made by Tribal Nations.
Hopefully the Department of the Interior gives serious consideration to these comments, makes revisions, and seeks further input from all interested parties. There are obviously a substantial number of issues identified that would benefit from additional discussion.