Nina Stead, Miles’s biological mother, had no history of child abuse when her son was taken after she was found drinking a beer. If the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) were adhered to, Miles could have been saved, and this injustice could have been prevented.
South Dakota for example, which is notorious for its ICWA violations, reels in $79,000 per Native American child per year, and families who adopt can claim a tax credit of $13,400. Seven tribal governments endorsed a 2013 report concluding there is “a strong financial incentive for state officials to take high numbers of Native American foster children into custody.”
“I don’t know how to put this, but if you’re drinking one beer and someone calls the police you’ll get your kids taken,” Becker said. “The state’s making money off our children.”