Parental Notification of Indian Status Form In California

In In re N.E. (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 766, the juvenile court did not order the father to complete a Parental Notification of Indian Status form and SSA did not question him about possible Indian heritage. The mother informed SSA, however, that the father had no Indian heritage and he stipulated ICWA did not apply to the case. (Ibid.) On appeal, the father argued the order terminating his parental rights must be reversed because SSA and the juvenile court failed to comply with their duties to inquire about Indian ancestry. (Ibid.) He did not assert on appeal that "he in fact has any Indian heritage." (Ibid.) The appellate court affirmed the juvenile court's order, stating: "Even if the juvenile court and SSA failed in their inquiry responsibilities, we cannot disturb the juvenile court's order without a showing the father was prejudiced by the claimed error. and in this case, where there is absolutely no suggestion by the father that he in fact has any Indian heritage, he has failed to demonstrate the requisite prejudice." (In re N.E., supra, 160 Cal.App.4th at p. 769.)