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Children being stolen

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Something is terribly wrong with our health and social service child care system. Granted, there are some families that have done well by them. There are also many who have had their hearts torn to pieces. I really feel this situation needs to be looked into. Many families have lost their children to the system. This is not an adoption agency. They are supposed to be helping families stay together. Where do we go? Who do we go to? How do we defend ourselves? If we do not have the money to hire a good attorney, we lose our children.

I have always heard that foster parents were not supposed to get involved. Yet when a mother was trying to bond with her child again, the foster parents were given visiting rights. At the same time, the parents'/grandparents' visiting privileges are spaced further and further apart, thus weaning the child away from their natural family. I've seen a child very bubbly and happy with their family. When they were taken into custody, their countenance became sad and withdrawn. It was almost as if they were sedated or afraid they would get into trouble for talking to you. When I visited my own grandchild, she would be very happy to see me. When the visiting time was over, she would start to whine and cry because she did not want to leave. I overheard the case worker tell her that if she cried she would not get to visit anymore. The child soon learns to say and do what is expected of them. Meanwhile a case is being built against the parents, so that an adoption can be justified.

Grandparents have rights too. When there is a hearing concerning their grandchild, they should be allowed to be there. At the very least, we should be allowed visiting rights with our grandchildren. The law says we have to be at the hearing to request our visiting rights. How can we do that if they do not allow us into the adoption hearing? Sound familiar? Then let your voices be heard. Call your congressman. One voice can be a stream, but many voices can sound like thunder. Eventually the wall will have to come down.

Georgia Albert

Juneau



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