Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Unknown Source

Hey everyone. I got this from an unknown source and thought you might be interested. Also, I have a friend that is planning a trip to Washington D.C. If there is anyone out there who would be interested in joining her to try to get ICWA laws revamped PLEASE let me know!!!

Have a great week, and let me know what you think about this story.

To whom it may concern,

We are foster parents to a little girl, age 3yrs 2 mos. She came to us at 2yrs 4 mos., in April of ‘08, so it has almost been a year now. When we picked her up at an emergency rendezvous at Wal-Mart at midnight, we knew nothing about her, except that she had siblings. We quickly learned that she had been horribly beaten, and worse, neglected/starved to the point of a bloated belly, hair loss and complete apathy, no language and a developmental delay. She had a fractured skull, and numerous other injuries. As we later learned, she had been substance exposed and removed at birth, then reunited after a year in foster care only to have suffered greatly at the hands of her birth mother/boyfriend (we are not sure which or both). The mother has various substance abuse issues (meth and alcohol at least). This child, among the birthmother’s other children, was singled out for abuse. She alone was not fed and took the brunt of the beatings. In July ’08 we learned that she is part Native American, though how much we do not know. ICWA did not take the case until October. Since then the mother was incarcerated on aggravated DUI charges. She is out now. The case plan is still for family reunification, even though all parties (except birth mom) have noted that birth mom favors the other children. There are 3 different dads for birth mom’s 5 children. Her current boyfriend is the father for the other two remaining siblings that are still in foster homes (her other two sons have been placed with their fathers). He is not her father. As far as we know; the birth mom is the Native American, though all the case workers have been very hush-hush. Her birth father has never participated in any of the custody proceedings.
We fear that this child will be sent back to live with her birth family, at great danger. The mom is not bonded with this child, and L was so traumatized when we got her-both physically and emotionally. She has just blossomed with us, and we would be happy to adopt her. We live in Phx, AZ. Does anyone know someone that can help us? We have a GAL, but would like to get as much help as possible. Since learning the case was moved to ICWA I have spent a lot of time researching ICWA case law. We feel really helpless to help this little girl. She has already been in 4 homes and has had bonding and attachment issues. To us, although I understand the basic premise of the ICWA law, it seems almost like it is reverse discrimination. Her GAL told us if it were a regular CPS case they would already have moved to terminate parental rights. But because she is part Native American, she has to be subjected to torture and neglect. I am certain this was not what the laws were designed for.
If anyone knows someone who could legally assist us, please give us the contact information.


stayc said...

oh heather! i can't believe icwa clearly disregards the safety of these children? it really makes me wonder how many more children are in similar (or worse) situations such as yours & these foster parents. when will the tribes learn that the children's safety & happiness should be the ONLY concern? i hope that as more of these types of things come to light, something can be done to stop it from happening in the future. you are in my thoughts often, & i'm here if you ever need anything! luv you!