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A. In making a placement of or committing legal custody of a child to some person in the dispositional process whether for foster/alternative care or adoption, the Court shall place the child in the following descending order of preference:

1. The natural parents, adoptive parents or step-parents as the case may be;

2. A preference for placement, in the following order, shall be given to:

a. Natural, adoptive or step-parents;

b. A member of the child’s extended family; a child’s extended family is defined to mean any familial or culturally defined clan or band relationships within the Osage Nation or another Indian Tribe;

c. A member of the Osage Nation;

d. A member of an Indian Tribe;

e. A home licensed by the Osage Nation’s Indian Child Welfare Department;

f. A home licensed by another Indian Tribe;

g. An Indian home licensed by a state;

h. A public or private institution for children approved by the Osage Nation’s Child Welfare Department or operated by an Indian organization which has programs suitable to meet the needs of an Osage child.

B. Where appropriate the Court may consider the preference of the parents and the proximity of the prospective foster/alternative care home to the child’s home in applying these preferences.

C. For each possible placement, the Court shall consider the willingness, fitness, ability, suitability and availability of each person in a placement category before considering the next lower level of placement preference.

D. The Court may place the child in the custody of the Indian Child Welfare Department for further placement pursuant to subsection (A) of this section. When the Court does so, the agency shall place said child in accordance with the preferences described above.

E. State courts shall follow the placement preference rules outlined herein.