Third Fletcher Commentary on ICWA in Cato Unbound

Here is “A History Lesson“:

An excerpt:

Reformers are still trying to save Indian children by taking them away from Indian families and tribes. Mr. Sandefur would rather force Indian children into state court systems by undoing ICWA, perhaps because they can be more easily plucked from state systems by the private adoption market. There have even been calls to greatly expand the number of Indian children in foster care. Literally no ethical person seeks to put more children in foster care. Studies show what should be inherently understood—plucking children out of a community they know and putting them in stranger foster care is actively harmful to kids (there’s a reason Casey Family Programs is putting a billion dollars into reducing the number of kids in foster care). Eighty percent of child welfare removals are due to neglect. Our children do deserve better: better services, better wrap around care, a better understanding of the mental health issues and chemical dependency that plagues their parents. They don’t deserve to be taken from everything familiar—their neighborhood, schools, and extended family—because of system failures in our society.

Imagine a child welfare proceeding where the judge meets with the parties for two hours before the hearing to engage in problem solving and to brainstorm creative ideas to best serve the child, followed by a formal hearing that may last two or more hours. Compare that to a state court hearing that lasts mere minutes, and where there are systematic financial pressures for “permanency,” in other words, to place children in foster care, terminate parental rights quickly, and adopt them out. It’s not even a comparison.

Prior entries here and here.

This entry was posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, ICWA, Michigan Indian and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Third Fletcher Commentary on ICWA in Cato Unbound

  1. Lara/Trace says:

    Matthew, you have my deepest gratitude for this writing.

  2. Candace Mae Odom says:

    Children should be placed in their own tribal culture. Many children cannot learn their identity unless they have access to their own culture. I was able to have my adoption records opened by a Judge in the area that was in my tribal community. Lots of kids never know their identity with their own tribes because they live too far from their own tribes. It was a blessing to be able to find my biological birth parentage. Any adoptee should be able to grow up knowing their identifiable Native Heritage.

  3. Valveeta J. Hunt says:

    i hear what you are saying here. Its really hard on everyone all the way around….. i’m a concerned single grand parent that is below proverty and have a hard time with state and tribal standards. what is our inherent right thats in our hearts to love all children. miss my grand children in foster homes out of state and off the reservations… gee. really heart retching….

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