Are there unique permanency options for indian children?

Tribal Customary Adoption

Tribal customary adoption (TCA) is a unique permanency option in California that does not require termination of parental rights. It is a state court adoption that incorporates the customs, traditions, or laws of an Indian child’s tribe, in that the tribe creates a Tribal Customary Adoption Order.[3439] The Tribal Customary Adoption Order dictates the terms of the adoption, including continued contact with biological family and the tribe.[3440]

Tribal customary adoption is only available where the tribe determines it is the most appropriate permanency option in a given case.[3441] This is a very important option for Tribal parents who realize at a certain specific time when faced with having to determine a permanent plan for their child that does NOT include them as a full time custodial parent they still have a responsibility to make the best plan for their child and protect their child’s tribal and family ties. Ask your tribe, attorney and the social worker assigned to this case to explain and explore this option.

  1. 3439

    Judicial Council of California, Tribal Customary Adoption FAQ,

  2. 3440

    Welf. & Inst. Code §366.24(c)(10).

  3. 3441

    See CA Courts, Tribal Adoption FAQ,