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Article XXI. Termination and Modification of Parental Rights
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In accordance with custom and practice, absent extreme circumstances, it is against the Karuk Tribe’s policy and philosophy to terminate parental rights for the children subject to the Tribal Court’s jurisdiction but rather to modify parental rights and allow another permanent plan for the child, including, where appropriate, an adoption as provided for in Article XXII of this chapter.

This article shall be construed in a manner consistent with the premise that all parties shall be secured their rights as set forth in the Karuk Tribe’s Constitution, that the family unit is of utmost value to the Tribal community and individual family, and that all efforts shall be made to keep the family intact. The parent-child relationship is of such vital importance that termination or modification of parental rights may be used only as a last resort when all efforts have failed to avoid separation and that it is found to be in the best interests of the child and Tribe to proceed under this article. When moving to terminate parental rights, KCWS shall document in the child’s case plan whether the preservation and continuation of Tribal customs and practice of Tribal families constitutes a compelling reason to not terminate a parent’s rights and whether termination of parental rights is in the best interests of the child and the Tribe. In such cases where a compelling reason exists to not terminate parental rights, KCWS may recommend, and the Court may order, modification of parental rights (as set forth in KTC 10.10.630) or another permanent plan.

A petition for termination of parental rights shall be filed with the Tribal Court as set forth in the below sections.

The purpose of this article is to provide for the voluntary and involuntary modification of the parent-child relationship to achieve family permanency including allowing for permanency of the child through the adoption process as set forth in Article XXII of this chapter. [Res. 22-R-037, 2/24/2022; Res. 09-R-062 Title 1 § (21)(A), 4/30/2009. Formerly 10.10.570.]