On Sunday, December 16, 2008, in South Jordon, Utah, Clint and Heather were forced to give the baby they had adopted and cared for to one of the worst reservations in the United States.
In the Spring of 2004, the Minneapolis Star and Tribune had done a series called the “Lost Youth Of Leech Lake.” In it, the reporter described the horrible environment children are being raised in on that reservation, as well as the treatment of children by tribal social services.
I myself have witnessed first hand plenty the neglectful and downright dangerous treatment and care of children on that reservation, and twenty years ago, my husband, a member born and raised there, made a decision that our children weren’t going to be raised anywhere near it.
It is NOT safe, and the United States Government is CRIMINAL to be forcing children to be raised there when they have the option to live in a safe and loving home.
As a matter of fact, one of the worst cases of the U.S. forcing children out of a good home and into a dysfunctional home in Leech Lake was reported in the series, the “Lost Youth of Leech Lake.” It involved three little girls. That decision by the tribe – as well as every one of our US Congress that voted for this awful ICWA law – resulted in these little girls being placed in an awful home. The final result was a murder and attempted murder. And that isn’t the only tragic story involving ICWA in Leech Lake.
I urge every parent with a conscience to speak up against this law. After all, you never know when it might affect you. We have adoptive families that have written to our organization, in pain and fear because the child they have adopted is being pursued by a tribe, and the child has only a small fraction of blood quantum. in one case, the child is 98% NON-Indian. We also have had birth fathers write to us when they lost custody because they weren’t Indian. We’ve also had grandparents write because they were denied custody because they weren’t Indian.
Please, check out https://www.caicw.org/familystories.html to read many letters from families affected by ICWA.