Utah custody fight complicated by tribal law

Full story: TwinCities.com

Heather and Clint Larson hoped they'd be spending Christmas with a newly adopted 6-month-old boy.

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Alex

Saint Paul, MN

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#1
Dec 24, 2008
 

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This really stinks. Removing that little boy from such a loving family!!!
Sick and tired

Lincoln, NE

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#2
Dec 24, 2008
 

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This is a good example of why some middle ground needs to be found regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act. I was also harmed by this act. I was taken from the state foster care system when the tribe intervened on the child protection. The tribe without question or further investigation handed me back to an abusive parent. They did impose minimal restrictions, such as counseling, but did not follow up to make sure they were abided by. It took them 3 years to realize that I should not be with that parent. That's three years of abuse they could have prevented. Until the child protection system on the reservations is better equipped, there is something to be said for leaving a child where they are safe and loved.
babbs

Luck, WI

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#3
Dec 24, 2008
 

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why would people take a child away from somewhere he is safe and give them back to a woman who did not want him in the first place they took the baby from a loving home and put him in foster care where nobody knows him (what he needs, what he likes) It doesn't make sense to me. Now what will happen to the child when the mother goes back to using drugs do they take her child away again and then when she is sober and changes her mind will she get the child back!!??
au contrare

Saint Paul, MN

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#4
Dec 24, 2008
 

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Years ago it was common for middle-class white people to adopt Indian kids from the reservations in South Dakota. Some in my family did it. But over time, many reservation Indians grew embarassed and resentful that white people were taking Indian kids and raising them as white kids.

They lobbied to have the rules changed so that if there was any chance whatsoever for the Indian kid to stay with his own culture, that was to be the top priority.

But like any bureaucracy, the law of unintended consequences soon prevails and decisions are made for the sake of the system and not necessarily for what's best for the children.
north

Gatzke, MN

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#5
Dec 24, 2008
 

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why doesnt the mother have the kids if she couldnt take care of them.and she said they are hers why does the tribe hace them give the boy back at lease he will have a good and loving home compare to the tribal having him
Former Foster Parent

Saint Paul, MN

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#6
Dec 24, 2008
 

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The Indian Child Welfare Act is the reason why we refused to take any cases whatsoever into our home that involved Indian tribes. The nightmares are horrific. At one point we were accused of racism, but, lol, they were unaware that my husband was a member of a tribe himself.
lobster

Dugway, UT

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#7
Dec 24, 2008
 

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Great, take the kid away from a home where he will probably have a chance at life, and give him back to his loser mother. Another winner indian in the making.

“Jimmy the Greek ”

Since: Jan 08

Around the Corner from YOU!

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#8
Dec 24, 2008
 

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There is no one to blame but the agency! Native children belong with Native families! I was kidnapped by the state of MInnesota when I was young, with out the Indian Child Welfare Act, I wouldn't of been returned to my mother! Who by the way did nothing wrong, a church group thought they could raise me better!
Tybalt

United States

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#9
Dec 24, 2008
 

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i'm on the Indians' side on this one. Of course, it is worth noting that open unlimited immigration (legal and illegal) is THE public policy that most threatens American Indians.

You open borders people ever think of that?

“Jaywalking”

Since: Oct 08

Minneapolis, MN

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#10
Dec 24, 2008
 

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The article states that she has three children.

While she was in Utah giving birth to her third child, tribal officials in Minnesota began looking into reports that her two other sons weren't in a safe environment. The tribe took custody of the two sons.

The adoptive parents were told up front that the baby would probably suffer from drug-related problems (the Mother was taking Methadone, which is used to lessen the effects of heroin addiction).

So now we have an Indian infant taken from a good family and being sent to an unstable environment with an unstable mother.

Oh, by the way, I am assuming the money the mother received from the adoptive parents and the medical care provided to the mother by the adoptive parents is gone. I do not think the tribe is going to reimburse the adoptive parents.

Gee, What an interesting family and tribe this infant will be raised in.

My bet is that the mother will lose custody of the infant by April 2009.

“Jaywalking”

Since: Oct 08

Minneapolis, MN

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#11
Dec 24, 2008
 
Jimmy the Greek is Back wrote:
There is no one to blame but the agency! Native children belong with Native families! I was kidnapped by the state of MInnesota when I was young, with out the Indian Child Welfare Act, I wouldn't of been returned to my mother! Who by the way did nothing wrong, a church group thought they could raise me better!
How old are you?

What is your tribe?

Who raised you?

“Jaywalking”

Since: Oct 08

Minneapolis, MN

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#12
Dec 24, 2008
 

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au contrare wrote:
Years ago it was common for middle-class white people to adopt Indian kids from the reservations in South Dakota. Some in my family did it. But over time, many reservation Indians grew embarassed and resentful that white people were taking Indian kids and raising them as white kids.
They lobbied to have the rules changed so that if there was any chance whatsoever for the Indian kid to stay with his own culture, that was to be the top priority.
But like any bureaucracy, the law of unintended consequences soon prevails and decisions are made for the sake of the system and not necessarily for what's best for the children.
If the indian culture is composed of a 75% alcoholic rate, a 60% jobless rate, a 40% literacy rate, and a welfare mentality, then we need to reexamine.

I grew up near the Cheyenne reservation in South Dakota. In the mid 1960s, the US Government built "Swift Bird", a diesel mechanics school for Indians.

The US government also moved about 20 houses from the Eagle Peak Air Force base (903rd Radar Squadron) to Swift Bird. Free school. Free housing.

The 10+ years of operation produced two graduates, who went to a nearby town, sold their $2,500 mechanics tool sets for about 10 cents on the dollar. They partied until the cash was gone. Then they left.

The school closed. But it doesn't end there.

Within two years, a local reporter went to the school for a look.

All copper and plumbing had been removed from the houses and the school. Almost every window was broken. Sinks, tubs, and toilets were either removed or destroyed.

The place looked like a pig sty.

Everything was free and everything was squandered.

Gotta love those enrichment programs.
No Holiday

Herriman, UT

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#13
Dec 25, 2008
 

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Seems we have many Indian bashers here as well.

Oh well, bash the gays, why not the Indians, right?
Jake

United States

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#14
Dec 25, 2008
 

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Jaywalking wrote:
The article states that she has three children.

While she was in Utah giving birth to her third child, tribal officials in Minnesota began looking into reports that her two other sons weren't in a safe environment. The tribe took custody of the two sons.

The adoptive parents were told up front that the baby would probably suffer from drug-related problems (the Mother was taking Methadone, which is used to lessen the effects of heroin addiction).
So now we have an Indian infant taken from a good family and being sent to an unstable environment with an unstable mother.
The children WEREN'T in a safe environment. Apparently their father was using heroine. So they were removed from his custody while their mother was in Utah.

The mother, Natasha Roybal, was on a methadone program to kick her heroine habit. Going off methadone during pregnancy is not an option, because it results in fetal demise a majority of the time. Do you somehow think that would be a better outcome than managing the child's withdrawal symptoms after birth?

The child is in foster care with his two siblings. His mother is getting her life together. I wish her luck.

On the other hand, I feel no sympathy at all for the Larsons. They knew the mother didn't want to sign the papers, and they knew that the agency was trying to coerce her into signing by threatening to drop a dime on her in Minnesota so she would lose her other children.

They also knew the ICWA applied to this child, and tried to adopt him anyway. Any bad feelings they have are self-inflicted.
No Holiday

United States

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#15
Dec 25, 2008
 
I say they have their issues debated on The McLaughlin Group!

Screw Them!

http://www.youtube.com/watch...
Sunday Killscrow

AOL

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#16
Jan 3, 2009
 

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This mother went to Utah on her own free will, she didn't want the baby, she found out that her husband was shooting heroin while taking care of her other children, the law is that if a baby tests possitive for drugs, it is removed from the parents. She wanted to prevent them from removing her other kids because she knew that she would test positive. End of story. It is the tribe who wants the baby, it is a power play by people who could care less about him. She is going along with them so she can get her other kids back. How tragic!!!!! The ICWA laws are outdated, and need to be changed. The government is not going into reservations and stealing native babies, but maybe they should when you see the statistics regarding native children and teenagers. Culture of what? Drugs? Alcohol? Gang banging? Please......
Adopted Native

Seattle, WA

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#17
Jan 3, 2009
 
I'm 1/4 native and was adopted at birth by a white family. My parents were open about it and I knew my birth-mother was half-native but grew up identifying as white. I was the fourth out of five children my birth-mother had and was the only one adopted out. We've met although we don't really keep in close contact.

I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm grateful for the many advantages I had from growing up in a middle class suburban home. My adoptive parents did their best and I consider them my "real" parents since they raised me. But I also have to say that it was very confusing figuring out my self-identity as a young adult. I've since enrolled in my tribe, but I have to say that there are many times that I wish I had been more exposed to some of my tribe's culture when I was younger.

I went to my birth-mother's wedding a year or two ago and was struck by how weird it seemed to be around people that LOOKED like me! I'm sure most people take it for granted and don't think about it. I never really minded being adopted as a child or teenager, but it did feel very significant for me somehow to be able to be with people who I was genetically related to.

I sympathize with the Larsons but I also feel the Ojibwe Tribe has a valid interest in the future of the boy. The enrollment laws are designed to filter adults who aren't known to the tribal community from seeking membership in the tribe with small amounts of Ojibwe blood. Children of Tribal members usually are guaranteed membership, although it varies between tribes. It is possible that the Ojibwe's are making a "power play" as some say, but I haven't seen any direct evidence to support that. And without any direct information about the Tribal foster care, who's to say it is so terrible?
mad mom

North Salt Lake, UT

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#18
Jan 3, 2009
 

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The biggest problem with this sictuation is that not one person is looking out for the best interest of this child. He was ripped out of a loving home with responsible parents and put in foster care so that the tribe could have him. It is wrong sick and unjust. All anyone has to do is ask what is best for this child and he would stay with the Larsons.
kim

Taylorsville, UT

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#19
Jan 3, 2009
 

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This is outrageous! This is so unfair to the little boy most of all. He doesn't understand why he just got ripped out of his loving family. He doesn't know any of the people that are taking care of him now. How truly horrible. I am heartbroken about this story, and I'm only hearing it. I can only imagine how mom Larson must feel, actually living it. This is so wrong on so many levels. The little boy had a loving mom who obviously would do anything in the world for this little boy. And they took him from her to what???? Foster care until his druggie mom decides to put her children first? Even then, she won't be fully bonded to her kids. This story has caused me many tears the past few weeks and I wish there was something SOMEONE could do for the Larson family and for their little boy that is INNOCENT in this. I'm sure if he could express his feelings, he would want to be at his home with his big brother and his parents. I pray this will end good for him, and for his sweet mom who has more strength than I can believe. I am praying for you! This is SO WRONG. I am so angry.
Jurk

Herriman, UT

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#20
Jan 4, 2009
 
I wonder what Jimmy the Greek would say about this issue?

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