The soon-to-be final version of the new ICWA regulations were published on June 8, 2016. They will not officially take effect until December 12, 2016. There is extensive commentary prior to the actual regulations in both of the versions linked below:
- Federal Register Version (actual rule starts at 81 Fed. Reg. 38864)
- Department of Interior Website Version (actual rule starts at page 321)
I have not yet had the opportunity to thoroughly review the new regulations and compare them to the initial proposal, but it does appear that some significant improvements were made. I submitted comments on the the proposed regulations regarding what I perceived as the most significant flaws in the proposal. Very notably, the final regulations appear to have preserved the option for biological parents to retain anonymity in voluntary adoption situations. This option would have been obliterated by the regulations initially proposed. The final version of the regulations, while not perfect, also appear to reflect a number of other improvements from what was initially proposed.