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Opinion

Readers React: Letting go of foster children is never easy, but it’s required

To the editor: I worked with foster parents as an L.A. County social worker many years ago. From newborns to adolescents, the emotional connections were deep but complicated. Each parent knew the rules — and each one had conflicts when it was time to end the placement. (“Santa Clarita foster parents appeal to state Supreme Court in tribal custody battle,” March 23)

Some of the foster families tried to adopt. Some of the children in our care went on to happy placements, but there was always emotional residue. Our goal was permanency where we could obtain it, and of course the laws covered these situations.

The Page family, which wanted to adopt a 6-year-old girl who was placed with them, was caught up in the complicated social problems of our time, and the federal Indian Child Welfare Act is an example of the complications.

The anguish in the faces of foster mother Summer Page and her children as the 6-year-old was being removed says it all. I weep with them and with the natural family of the girl who, tragically and by law, remains unnamed.

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Ralph Mitchell, Monterey Park

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To the editor: Has anyone connected with the removal of the 6-year-old girl from the family she has known as her own ever taken a course in developmental psychology? If they did, they must have slept through it.

The bonds we create with our family serve to form the core of our being. These bonds are tampered with at great cost to the psyche and to the future well-being of the individual, the family and society.

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If the legal system knows that placement of a child could be long term, then there must be an interest in protecting family bonds. Clearly breaking up a healthy family is not in the best interest of the child. The law must be flexible in these cases.

Kathleen Trinity, Acton 

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