ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KSWO) - Under a new federal law, judges in all states are now required to ask whether a child is Native American during foster care and adoption proceedings.
The ruling was announced Wednesday by the interior department.
Judges are also require to take into account a child's tribal member status during proceedings to terminate parental rights.
The ruling will go into effect in December as part of the Indian Child Welfare Act. The Indian Child Welfare Act is intended to reunite Native American families who are broken up at disproportionately high rates.
The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs says the rule aims to establish more consistency within state courts in handling child welfare cases involving Native American youth.
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