Aunt, tribal, “ICWA is doing children more harm than good”

 

April 2, 2006

Comment: Two months before my nephew was born, my sister approached me about raising him as my own and after much thought I agreed.  He was born on 11/28/04 and I grew to love him like my own child.  I also have three teenage daughters and two step sons who are ages 6 and 7.  They love him so much.  On 1/23/06 my sister entered my home unannounced and uninvited and took my “son” with her back to the reservation.  I found through many conversations with friends and relatives that she is using him as leverage to get an abusive husband back into her home and wanted my baby back so they can be “a real family again”.  This man is a registered sex offender and went so far as to remove a door and a locking doorknob from my nieces’ bedrooms.  One even woke with him standing over her one night.  My sister has only herself in mind and not the safety of her children.  This man is the alleged father of my son but he doesn’t claim him and has even tossed him on the bed at two months of age calling him a little F***er and saying “this ain’t my kid”.  I’ve heard that my sister leaves my boy and her two year old alone with a 11 year old while she’s out partying.  I petitioned the tribal court the day after my baby was taken from me and still did not get a court date for the temporary custody.  So on 3/23/06 I filed an adoption petition and the court date for that is set for 4/20/06…three months after he was taken.  I’ve lost much sleep over this and shed many tears because I miss my baby so much.  The Indian Child Welfare Act is doing children more harm than good with its many tribal interpretations.  The white mans way of keeping us Indians dysfunctional I suppose.  I’m outraged and helpless at the same time.

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