ICWA steals adoption option from Young Mother

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My teenager is pregnant. Freshly graduated from high school, she had planned to go on to college in the fall. There is no argument, from her or me, that she made plenty of foolish decisions over the winter. But here we are, and what do we do now.

We love children, and we love this child. We won’t allow it to be hurt in any way. Abortion isn’t even a consideration. It’s not gonna happen.

But neither is adoption an option. The Indian Child Welfare Act would kick in if we tried it. But it would be over my dead body, literally, that I sit back and allow the tribe to have anything to do with the care and custody of my grandchild.

Too many childen on the reservation, under the “care” of tribal governments, are being raised amid poverty, violence, and alcohol, drug & sexual abuse. Tribal leaders claim that this is the best interest of the child. Bull.

The only ones benefiting from this set up are the tribal leaders themselves – and the money and power they have aquired by having a certain number of tribal members under their thumbs.

Quit blaming rotten reservation life on what happened 150 years ago, 100 years ago, 50 years ago, or even 5 days ago to this or that tribe or tribal member. It has to do with adults making rotten choices, same as my daughter (and I) have done. Plain and simple, everyone needs to grow up and take responsiblity for their lousy lives. And quit subjecting innocent children to the garbage they’re being subjected to.

We are faced then with only one choice – my daughter keeps custody and lets go of many the plans she had for the future, or at the very least, greatly adjusts those plans.

I will do all that I can to help her get through some type of schooling and care for her child. If I have to take physical care of my grandchild, I will do it without going to court for legal custody. I’ve seen too many grandparents robbed of their grandchildren by the tribe to want to mess with it.

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