If you are on Twitter you might notice the hashtag “#keeplexihome.” There’s a petition on Change.org with the following description:
There is a 6 year old little girl who is going to be ripped away from the only family that she has ever known. Her name is Lexi. The first year of her life she moved from foster placement to foster placement. Lexi has been with a loving, stable family for nearly five years and is thriving and a happy, healthy little girl. To Lexi this family is her everything – her mommy, daddy and brother and sisters. Unfortunately, since Lexi is 1.5% Choctaw, the state of California and LA County have allowed the Indian Child Welfare Law to devastate this family and will be pulling Lexi from her Mommy and Daddy on Sunday to move her to Utah to live with a non-blood related family who aren’t even members of the tribe. I’m pleading with you to please sign our petition & pass this around to everyone you know. LA County & California need to know that Lexi’s rights, stability and permanence matter!
At this very moment on Monday morning the California Supreme Court is hearing this case and I’m praying for God’s mercy upon the girl and the family. If you are led to, please pray as well for God’s mercy with the magistrates.
The family attends Grace Community Church and even their head pastor John MacArthur has tweeted about this.
There’s a lot to the case but here in this post I want to focus on the folly of contemporary racial laws.
The ICWA wouldn’t have been invoked if the girl wasn’t 1.5% or 1/64th Choctaw. There is nothing wrong with being grateful for one’s heritage including being a Choctaw. Nothing in my post would undermine that. But does that mean the state of California and Los Angeles County has to honor that heritage by removing her from her family of the last five years? I disagree with the authority’s decision and the ICWA as a law if it means uprooting current guardian arrangement for the sake of some kind of mandatory Native American guardianship.
Lexi is at a vulnerable age of six years old. A loving family is essential for her and the mom that she’s called mom and the dad that she called dad is now going to be ripped away from her. Think of how unstablizing that is.
If the goal of the ICWA is for boys and girls like Lexi to honor her heritage, wouldn’t this be counter-productive? Instead of seeing that 1.5% of her as something to appreciate, how would a young girl process what that 1.5% percent mean, knowing that it is the basis of a legal argument that would take her away from the parents that have been there most of her life?
I’m mystified how being a certain percentage Choctaw now means a tribe from another state (Olkahoma) has a say of what’s best for the child.
There’s a saying I learned in the Marines: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Children needs the loving care of parents. That should be the goal of the foster care system. Lexi is already in a loving home for the last five years. There’s many other kids who need placement homes. If Lexi’s already in a home with loving foster parents, why go through the trouble of breaking something apart that’s already there on the basis of ICWA?
I think another issue that needs to be revisited is also the current foster care system.