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Name: In re S.B.
Case #: E036823
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/30/2005

At the twelve-month review hearing in this dependency case, the social worker first learned of the Indian heritage of the minor, and subsequently notified the BIA. The Tribe responded that the minor was eligible for enrollment. Both mother and the minor became members of the Tribe, and the Tribe intervened in the dependency case. The minor was placed in a prospective adoptive home with parents of Indian ancestry. The Tribe supported the placement. Mother’s motion to invalidate previous orders for failure to comply with ICWA was denied, and her parental rights were terminated. On appeal, she contended that the juvenile court complied belatedly with their duty to inquire into the minor’s Indian ancestry. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. Mother waived the failure to inquire concerning the minor’s Indian ancestry. Further, there was sufficient evidence that the Department met their duty to inquire because a box was checked on the form petition indicating that the ICWA did not apply. Also, up until the 12-month review hearing, the minor was not an Indian child, because she was neither a member of the tribe nor the child of a member. As soon as she became a member of the Tribe, the Tribe intervened and the juvenile court complied with ICWA. The asserted error was harmless.