Dear Congressman/Senator ____________:
I am writing to make you aware of an injustice of human rights that is happening in our country. The Indian Child Welfare Act is being used in ways that our Congress never intended.
Children are being ripped from loving stable homes and removed from strong family attachments. Children are being denied permanent placements or permanency is delayed because cases are tied up in the legal system in an attempt to ‘prove’ Indian heritage when there are no current Native American connections in place.
Absentee and unsupportive birth fathers are being allowed to stop adoptions because of the law, when by state law they would have no rights.
A law originally created to protect is hurting innocent people and the children are the victims!
I believe that children need protection and should not be removed from loving, nurturing environments. I understand the premise of the Indian Child Welfare Act is to protect children of heritage while allowing them an opportunity to connect with and understand their culture; however, the law is being misused and not considering the rights and best interests of these children.
These children deserve to have the same rights as other American children. The majority of these children are multi-racial children representing many cultures. The Indian Child Welfare Act in its current form and the way it is being applied is infringing upon their constitutional rights as U.S. citizens. It is tearing apart families with substantial bonds. It is created unnecessary trauma to innocent people.
As my elected official, I urge you to protect these children and the people that love them. I urge you to support legislative changes to help strengthen the Indian Child Welfare Act. Society has changed significantly since the late 1970s. We need to amend this law to better align with today’s society, other federal laws and child-attachment research.
Please let me know where you stand on this issue and if you are willing to stand up for the children and families being hurt by this outdated law. Changes can be made without jeopardizing the future of tribal cultures. Your consideration and efforts are greatly appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you.