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March 19, 2019

Latest edition of ABA book outlines new regulations of the Indian Child Welfare Act

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2019 — The American Bar Association’s recently published book, “The Indian Child Welfare Act Handbook: A Legal Guide to the Custody and Adoption of Native American Children, Third Edition,” focuses on the new federal regulations of the ICWA and important cases decided during the last 10 years. Authors Kelly Gaines-Stoner, Mark C. Tilden and Jack F. Trope have expertly updated this edition with important clarifications on what the law means and how it should be applied.

Prior to 1978, Native American children were disproportionately taken from their homes by state and private welfare agencies, severing them from their families and their culture. Grounds for separation were often based upon cultural misunderstandings of Native American child-rearing practices and proceeded without due process. The ICWA aimed to reduce the amount of Native American children removed from their families and to ensure that children who needed to be removed were placed within their extended families and in an environment that reflected their cultures and traditions.

This third edition delves into some of the most significant legal developments since the law was enacted 40 years ago, most notably the new federal regulations and important state court interpretations of the Act. Featuring hundreds of new cases — including the second Supreme Court case — “The Indian Child Welfare Act Handbook” continues to be an unparalleled resource for lawyers, social workers, counselors and others involved with Native American children who have become enmeshed in the child welfare system.

Gaines-Stoner (of Cherokee descent) serves as a legal specialist for the Tribal Law and Policy Institute specializing in tribal domestic violence issues and Indian children’s issues. Gaines-Stoner has worked in Indian child welfare for over 20 years and speaks nationally on the topic and other issues affecting Indian country.

Tilden (a Navajo) represents tribal governments and Native American peoples ranging on topics from the Indian Child Welfare Act, Indian Housing law, Federal Recognition, Tribal Sovereignty, Indian Economic Development and Federal American Indian law.

Trope is a senior director in Indian Child Welfare Programs at Casey Family Programs, where he works on national and local initiatives aimed at promoting compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act and improving outcomes for children and families in state and tribal child welfare systems.  He has worked on American Indian child welfare matters since 1985, including the two ICWA cases decided by the Supreme Court.


The Indian Child Welfare Act Handbook: A Legal Guide to the Custody and Adoption of Native American Children, Third Edition


ABA Publishing



Product Code:            





6 x 9, Paperback and eBook


$89.95, nonprofit bulk pricing available


800-285-2221 or

What others are saying about The Indian Child Welfare Act Handbook:

“This invaluable legal guide addresses all things ICWA. No child welfare practitioner or policymaker should be without it.” – Sarah Kastelic, executive director, National Indian Child Welfare Association

“The third edition … introduces the most updated procedures, protocols and state codes, while taking care not to forget the important history behind the enactment of the Act and the continued need for this law to be upheld.” – Shannon Keller O’Loughlin, executive director, Association on American Indian Affairs

“… A well written, thorough and easy-to-understand analysis of the Indian Child Welfare Act, including the most current case law, regulations and guidelines.” – Jerry Gardner, executive director, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

Author interviews and review copies of this book are available by emailing Amelia Stone at [email protected]. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Amelia Stone, ABA Book Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.