The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law which was passed in 1978 to regulate placement proceedings involving Indian children. ICWA was created in order to reestablish tribal authority over adoption of Native American children with the goal of strengthening and preserving Native American families, tribes, and culture.

See: When Does ICWA Apply to Your Case? (PDF)


  • Unmarried and under the age of 18 AND
  • A member of the Ponca Tribe OR
  • Eligible for membership in the Ponca Tribe AND the biological child of a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe


  • Foster care placements
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Pre-adoptive placement
  • Adoptive placements

Not Covered

  • Custody to one parent as part of a divorce
  • Placement based on an act which would be a crime if committed by an adult
  • Paternity and child support issues
  • Protection orders


Tiffani Spencer, Indian Child Welfare Act Specialist
1600 Windhoek Drive
Lincoln, NE 68521
Phone: 402-438-9222, ext. 1106