Legally Kidnapped

Shattering Your Child Welfare Delusions Since 2007

Saturday, July 20, 2019

JUDGE: Killing The Indian Child Welfare Law Would Hurt People Like Me

Stories like mine do not get told. I was only in the fifth grade when I was removed from my classroom and taken from my family by a state social worker. A 10-year-old who is ripped apart from his family — never having the chance to say goodbye to his mother or grandmother — develops a scar that never goes away. But it is a scar that many bear because, like me, they are members of Native American tribes.

For decades, our own government did not agree with how Indian families like my own raised their children, and removed us from our loved ones to be raised in a culture that was entirely alien. I cycled through a total of six non-Native homes over the course of five years. I was forced to accept six different religions and six different cultures, impacting everything from my spiritual values to the food I ate. I was treated as unworthy of love, as an outsider, as though my background meant I was undeserving of the family that every child deserves. I waited countless nights alone in foster homes thinking my mother would come rescue me. She never did. In fact, it was recorded in my file that I was banned by the court from any contact with family members.

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