Missionaries in Hawai’i | More Attacks on ICWA | Is Tulsa Indian Country? | MMIWG epidemic

Sending you all a big thanks for reading this news roundup and Happy Turkey “Big Food” Day tomorrow… Lara/Trace

An Exhibition Critically Explores the History of Missionaries in Hawai’i

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — In August 1806, five students on the campus of Williams College took refuge from a sudden thunderstorm beside a haystack and vowed to commit themselves to spreading the Gospel around the world.  This is Ground Zero of the American overseas missionary movement.

For many people, this moment marked the start of an outpouring of generosity and benevolence that saved souls and brought distant lands into the modern world.  Only recently has another narrative been recognized — one of shameless spiritual imperialism that trampled native cultures and eventually devolved into explicit political and economic oppression.

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The unexpectedly deep connection between the college in Williamstown and the Pacific islands, 5,000 miles away, is outlined with an extensive timeline along a wall, which highlights what was happening in each place. It mentions figures such as Sanford B. Dole, the son of missionaries who came to Williams in the 1860s, where he and other missionary descendants called themselves “the Cannibals,” and were active in the Lyceum.  Dole and two others from that group would help draft the “Bayonet Constitution” of 1887, which accelerated the process of undermining native Hawaiian leadership. When the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, Dole would serve as the Republic’s first president, until completing the handover to American power a few years later.

READ: An Exhibition Critically Explores the History of Missionaries in Hawai’i


The Indian Child Welfare Act is vital to our continued survival. (There has been much written on this blog about ICWA and the book series Lost Children)

BIG READ: Why conservatives are attacking a law meant to protect Native American families – The Washington Post


How can that be? In 1832, President Andrew Jackson pushed through the policy of “removal” of Indian nations from the eastern U.S., which destroyed the historic land base of the “civilized tribes.”  He promised the tribes new land in the West to be theirs “as long as the grass grows or the water runs, in peace and plenty.”  After the Trail of Tears, the U.S. signed a treaty that “solemnly guarantied” the new reservation lands in what is now Oklahoma. Many tribes elsewhere have found to their regret that Congress is permitted to decide that the grass ain’t growing any more. It can abrogate some or all treaty obligations—and even “terminate” a tribe altogether. But case law says there is a “clear statement” rule: If Congress wants to end a reservation, it has to say so.

READ: Supreme Court Must Decide If Tulsa Is ‘Indian Country’ – The Atlantic


Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG)

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) highlighted the report in a press event in Washington, DC, this week where she talked about the importance of addressing the MMIWG epidemic. Murkowski was joined by U.S. senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Patty Murray (D-WA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI 4th District), and Juana Majel-Dixon (Pauma Band of Mission Indians), Executive Board Member and Recording Secretary of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). The UIHI report identified the state of Alaska as the fourth-leading state for number of cases of MMIWG. Also, in the top ten states are New Mexico, Washington, Arizona, Montana, California, Nebraska, Utah, Minnesota and Oklahoma.

NEWS: New Report Identifies 506 Urban Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & girls – Native News Online


Mental Midgets | Musqonocihte: “…it’s a miracle we’ve survived this far…”

How is that for a book title? I just published a “short” book – I call it short because our attention spans are short… 🙂 LINK

Vermont’s Uncomfortable Eugenics History | #ICWA Custody Case | Dawnland | Paradise Papers | #NAAM

Vermont’s Uncomfortable Eugenics History

Read the full article by Stephen Mills in the Rutland Herald.

Dormancy Concept Trailer from Luke Becker-Lowe on Vimeo.

Link to the GoFundMe site for this production.

via Filmmakers Explore Vermont’s Uncomfortable Eugenics History

My earlier post on this


The Supreme Court refused to hear an Arizona case that pitted a non-Indian mother and Indian father each other in a fight over custody of their children.

READ: Supreme Court won’t hear Arizona case on custody fight over tribal kids | Cronkite News


“Dawnland,” an upcoming documentary film, follows the stories of several key individuals involved in the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

READ: The Wabanaki people are taking back their narrative | Public Radio International

***Offshore Billionaires (If they don’t pay US taxes and hide their money offshore, then THEY need to move offshore.)

click: America’s Future In One Image — What’s Really in the GOP Tax Plan 

The GOP tax plan would allow generations of the super wealthy to live tax-free. It is a plan so outrageous that one of America’s top experts in helping the wealthy avoid taxes finds it abominable. Read our explanation from David Cay Johnston.

*** November is National Adoption Awareness Month #NAAM

By LT (adoptee, top photo from my memoir book cover)

I have written on this blog about my story, my own search, my reunion, my work to help other adoptees, and the Lost Children Book Series. So MANY times. And I appreciate you have all hung in here with me on the adoptionland coverage, and the human trafficking issues. (If you have not read the coverage, use the search bar on this blog, or the Category tags.)  There are so many stories, after meeting so many adoptees. Not just Native adoptees – adoptees from everywhere.

Where are we now? Not far at all… I wrote this a few years ago:

Now more serious stuff…. It’s National Adoption Awareness Month. I call it Be-Wareness Month. Why? The billion dollar adoption industry tries its best to recruit new people to adopt. Few want to adopt a child(ren) from foster care. Why? They are too old, come with baggage (not just luggage), or already talk.  Foster care kids are the ones who truly are in need of good parents, definitely.

Over at American Indian Adoptees, I’m post lots of adoption news as it relates to American Indian Adoptees. Visit: http://www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com.  

It is a crazy world out there as more people are waking up to the reality of adoption myths (like “babies are blank slates”)(and some of these orphans are not orphans). As an adoptee I am in favor of legal guardianships for children who cannot be raised by their first families, and their kin. Children need their own name, ancestry, medical history and names of both parents, never erased but part of their legal records.

No more fake amended birth certificates that follow us our entire lives. PLEASE!

Here is a revealing 2015 post about the Evolution of Birth Certificates.

Ignorance of biological ancestry has had devastating consequences for some. In the U.K. in 2008, twins that were separated and adopted at birth unknowingly married each other. This year, a Brazilian couple found out after they were married that the same biological mother had abandoned them as infants. Random meetings amongst half siblings are not uncommon, as many have reported in the news, and on the DSR. One mom realized that a distant relative, one whom she and her children had spent time with at family gatherings, had donated sperm and was in fact the biological parent of her children.

From my friend Amanda:

Adoption Statistics That Matter. Right now, private adoption agencies are figuratively peeing their pants about the Adoption Tax Credit because they can charge more when the tax credit is in tact and as high as possible. They claim that the numbers of adopted children will drop drastically as a result (no they won’t, BTW). Blah. Here is some gross stuff that matters more:

-Black and Native children are disproportionately more likely to be taken into foster care than white children.

-Black children, specifically black boys, are less likely to be adopted.

-Adopted children are more likely to become foster children than any other child.

-It costs more to adopt a white female infant, privately, than any other child. The “fees” to adopt a boy of color are at least half of this.

This is an industry. Racism, sexism, adultism, and classism fuel it.

p.s. THANK YOU for reading this long post and watching the videos. YOU ROCK!

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Thank YOU

about me iconBy Lara/Trace (or whatever you want to call me!)

I am popping in to say thank you for 100,000 hits on this blog. REALLY!

That is no small feat for a journalist writer who writes about adoption, ICWA, Native American history and other serious dark matters.

Chi Megwetch, Pilamaye, Gratias and Merci Beaucoup!

I have a full schedule ahead that will prevent me posting now and in the month of April… Life is good, full, busy….

See you back here in May!

Part One: Interview with Anishinabe Scholar Elder Carol A. Hand

By Lara Trace Hentz

Hi everyone. The following interview with Anishinabe/Ojibwe Elder Carol A. Hand (Voices from the Margins blog) (Professor in Social Work and Sociology, Author, Guest Lecturer) will run over the next few weeks on this blog. Carol and I have roots in Wisconsin. I’ve been admiring her work and scholarship for quite some time. Please follow this important interview by this extraordinary woman. I am truly humbled and grateful that Carol has agreed to answer some questions. Our Elders are to be respected, listened to, and honored, so with that note, let’s read on….

Photo Credit: Carol Hand – Lake Superior - Duluth, MN – 2010 (Photographer – Jnana Hand)
Photo Credit: Carol Hand – Lake Superior – Duluth, MN – 2010 (Photographer – Jnana Hand)


Carol, please tell us, when did you begin blogging? [LINK]

Honestly, I don’t see myself as a writer, Trace, although I do write and sometimes say I am a writer when people ask me what I do.

In the past, writing was something I only did in the context of school or jobs that required concrete results – state policies, grants to address specific issues, or program evaluation reports (e.g., elder abuse, infant mortality, access to health services). I only started writing in my own voice as a means of surviving in the brutal context of academia, a new career for me when I was in my early 50s. The essays I wrote weren’t shared with others. Instead, they were a way for me to understand the senseless oppression I witnessed in institutions that I had formerly romanticized as the bastion of innovation and liberation. I wrote to save my life, to find my foundation. Through writing, I began to discover the roots of my differences with the competitive, oppressive paradigms that governed academia. The values and skills I learned from my (Ojibwe) mother were profoundly different and influenced how I understood the world, how I worked with students, and how I approached research. Based on the belief that all people were born in a state of original sanctity, an idea I found words for through Rupert Ross’s (1992) work Dancing with a Ghost, the ethics that guided me were always at odds in institutions that were based on the taken-for-granted assumption that education should be founded on saving people from their nature as beings born into a state of original sin.

Although my academic research and writing gained some national attention, my focus on Indian child welfare was not viewed as important by my Euro-American colleagues. At the same time, my critical stance on Indian child welfare policies, practices, and paradigms was also threatening to many people whose jobs and positions depended on preserving the existing policies and structures despite serious needs for greater tribal innovations and sovereignty. Rather than compete, I shifted research topics to Indian health, and again realized that the forces defending “business as usual” were too well established to yield before the modest work of a small number of researchers.

So for a while, I put my writing on hold and simply tried to teach and model how to apply Freire’s (2000) liberatory praxis ideas in the classroom. Rather than seeing my students as “empty vessels” who needed to memorize and accept whatever “experts” said as truth, I worked from a dialogic framework, asking students to consider issues from a variety of different perspectives and come to their own conclusions after critical reflection. But how can one transform a system that is controlled by insecure people who need to be “right” (and I use that word in both of its connotations) and whose socially-constructed hierarchical positions of power perpetuate “expert” knowledge, individualism and self-interested competition? After one too many battles defending vulnerable students and colleagues from destructive oppression, I left academia earlier than I planned. Writing then became a way for me to heal, and then a way to share stories that I hoped could touch people’s hearts and open their eyes to new possibilities. Journals were not interested in publishing these hybrid essays that often interwove stories and critical analyses.

And then I discovered blogging, but it wasn’t until the spring of 2013.

After my first retirement in June of 2011, I reconnected with a group of people that I had known in my early 20s when I experimented with living on a commune. (In case anyone is interested, the following link describes my commune years and insights: https://carolahand.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/in-search-of-community/.) One of the friends I reconnected with was a writer and editor. When I mentioned the challenges I was having finding some place to publish what I was writing, she suggested that we start a blog together. I had no idea what that meant. I had never even seen a blog before.

Given her background with technical writing and publishing, she did the initial research on blogging platforms and suggested WordPress. I drafted a title and purpose statement and she figured out the technical aspects of actually creating the blog. We agreed that neither of us would publish anything on the blog unless we both agreed it was appropriate – a promise I would later regret. My first post (June 18, 2013) was a story I wrote about an issue of particular interest to my blogging partner. Gradually my topics and style shifted. I had so many backlogged stories that were waiting to be told that some days when I sat down at the computer it felt like the words were literally pouring out of my heart and my mind through my fingertips. My partner was a gifted writer, but rarely posted. Because of our agreement, I was constantly emailing drafts and pestering her for feedback. I know I was annoying.

My writing style was (and still is) eclectic, a blend of storytelling and academic analysis. Long ago, I learned to make up some of my own grammatical rules while other stylistic conventions were deeply ingrained habits from years in academia. As an editor for technical and literary venues, my partner didn’t approve of some of my punctuation – too many commas. (When I write, I hear the flow of language and try to show it on the page.) She did not like my failure to use contractions because it made me sound too academic, as did my use of citations – an absolute no-no from her perspective. And my long poetic titles had to be shortened. Many of her suggestions helped me improve immeasurably as a writer, but some were not negotiable. I listened to her suggestions thoughtfully but after reflection, I decided that citations – giving people credit for their words and innovations – were absolutely essential and non-negotiable. Eventually, we did agree that it was time to dissolve the partnership and I removed all my posts from her blog and created a new one in February of 2014, Voices from the Margins. My first post on the new blog was one my soon-to-be new partner liked: https://carolahand.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/in-honor-of-caregivers/. My new blogging partner (Cheryl Bates) and I have a different agreement. We agreed that each of us has the right to post whatever we choose, although we often read each other’s drafts and give whatever level of editorial assistance is requested.

In retrospect, I can’t imagine what my life in retirement would have been like without blogging. I have met so many fascinating people like you, Trace – gifted, kind-hearted, committed to social justice. They have opened up new worlds for me and enriched my life immeasurably. In my effort to give something back to them in return, I have been willing to address new topics and experiment with new ways of writing. I have learned a lot about myself through writing, and I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people who are now part of my life. I hope readers will visit Voices from the Margins and consider being guest authors. Cheryl and I welcome dialogue and guest submissions.

Works Cited:

Paulo Freire (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th Anniversary Edition). New York, NY: Continuum.

Rupert Ross (1992). Dancing with a ghost: Exploring Indian reality. Markham, Ontario, CA: Octopus Publishing Group.


About Carol:  About my enrollment, “My mother was initially enrolled in Mole Lake – the “Sokaogon Chippewa Community – Mole Lake Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa,” and it’s where my brother and I were enrolled as children. As you write in your book, One Small Sacrifice, tribes do have some authority over determining their enrollment policies. At the time my mother was enrolled, Lac du Flambeau (LdF) only allowed reservation residents to be counted as members, while Mole Lake allowed non-resident descendants of those on the original tribal roll to be recognized as members and enrolled. Although LdF later changed their residency requirement and my mother and brother shifted their enrollment, I decided to remain on Mole Lake’s roll for a number of reasons. Mostly, it’s a tribute to the grandfather, Ray Ackley, whom I never had an opportunity to meet. It’s a lost opportunity I have always grieved. The stories elders and relatives have shared about him paint a picture of a kind and gentle man who took other children “under his wing” when he realized he would never be able to be part of his own daughter’s life. (Here’s an older post about my mother’s relationship with her family: https://carolahand.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/a-life-lived-as-a-song-for-her-people-an-ojibwe-womans-story-part-two/ ).”

Lara/Trace, I had an opportunity to read your book – I have learned so much from your experiences and insights. Your work helped me see new dimensions of harm caused by the colonialism that continues to underlie child welfare policies and practice paradigms in the US. It also touched my heart to read about you and glimpse your incredible tenacity and resilience.

(to be continued)


What a crazy world, right? #flipthescript #adoption


By Lara Trace

After Ben left us recently, a new baby arrived. Yup, we have a new bundle of joy, our second grandgirl. (Note: that’s all I will share on a public blog.)

An endless cycle we humans are in, someone leaves, another soul arrives.

When I held her, I could not believe how tiny and fragile and fresh she was. Then it hit me that I was fragile and tiny myself, a very long time ago. I cannot imagine losing her. I cannot fathom how I felt when my own mother disappeared. That sadness didn’t escape me.

There are miracles in being human. I try not to miss anything. I try to be grateful every minute of every day.

A new grandchild’s smile does that to you.


all month long

Now more serious stuff…. It’s National Adoption Awareness Month. I call it Be-Wareness Month. Why? The adoption industry tries its best to recruit new people to adopt. Few want to adopt a child(ren) from foster care. Why? They are too old, come with baggage, or already talk. Foster care kids are the ones who truly are in need of good parents, definitely.

Over at American Indian Adoptees, I’m posting lots of adoption news. Visit: www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com.

Warning: Adoption propaganda is not pretty.

It is a crazy world out there as more people are waking up to the reality of adoption myths (like “babies are blank slates”). As an adoptee I am in favor of legal guardianships for children who cannot be raised by their b-families, their kin. Children need their own name, ancestry, medical history and names of both parents, never erased but part of their legal records. No more fake amended birth certificates that follow us our entire lives. I’ll be back soon with more thoughts…

In the News

Descendants of slave Solomon Northup visit Cenla

By Melinda Martinez | The Town Talk | November 2, 2014

It was a day of reflection for descendants of Solomon Northup, a freed black man from upstate New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery.

Northup’s narrative, “Twelve Years a Slave,” recounts his time in Central Louisiana. The book was made into a movie which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2013.

Northup’s descendants, as well those of the people recounted in his narrative, came together Sunday to follow the Solomon Northup Trail. The trail follows sites in Central Louisiana that are noted in the book.

“This is a dream come true for me,” said Evelyn Jackson of Altadena, Calif., one of Northup’s descendants. “I always wanted to walk in his footsteps.”

Read more: http://www.thetowntalk.com/story/news/local/2014/11/02/descendants-slave-solomon-northup-visit-cenla/18382607/


These Stark Reminders of Slavery Will Be Rebuilt on U.S. President’s Estate

Nov. 1, 2014 | The Blaze |  Dave Urbanski

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homes of slaves who served President James Madison at his Montpelier estate in Virginia will be rebuilt for the first time over the next five years, along with other refurbishments to the home of one of the nation’s Founding Fathers, thanks to a $10 million gift announced Saturday.

David Rubenstein, a leading Washington philanthropist and history buff, pledged the $3.5 million needed to rebuild the slave quarters next to the mansion in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Another $6.5 million will be devoted to refurnishing parts of the home where Madison drafted ideas that would become the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Read more: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/11/01/these-stark-reminders-of-slavery-will-be-rebuilt-on-u-s-presidents-estate/

Headlines: trafficking, adoption, Indian Child Welfare

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, the House of Representatives unanimously approved H.R. 4980, the “Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act.” This bipartisan, bicameral bill reflects agreements reached between House and Senate leaders on three separate bills designed to prevent sex trafficking of children in foster care, increase adoptions from foster care, and increase child support collections for families, among other purposes.

House Committee on Ways and Means sealRead the full press release at Chairman Dave Camp’s website.


Alaska Supreme Court sides with Interior tribe in child custody, sovereignty case

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled Friday in support of an Interior tribal court in a child custody and tribal sovereignty Native American Rights Fund logocase that was contested by Gov. Sean Parnell’s administration.

The case, Simmonds v. Parks, started almost six years ago as a custody dispute in the Village of Minto, a town of 200 people about 130 road miles northwest of Fairbanks.

Read the full article at the NewsMiner.com website.

Learn more about the case at the Native American Rights Fund website.


Why Are These Indian Children Being Torn Away From Their Homes?

Imagine entering family court and knowing that what’s at stake is the person you hold most dear – your child. Now imagine having a judge tell you that he’s removing your child from your custody, from your home. When you ask him why, the judge’s replies, “I honestly can’t tell you.” The judge then signs an order giving custody of your son to Social Services.

You might think that such a court proceeding could never happen in the United States – but you’d be wrong.

Read the full article by Stephen Pevar at the ACLU website.




The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Tribes (NRC4Tribes) is one of the new resource centers within the Children’s Bureau Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) National Network. The NRC4Tribes joins the Children’s Bureau’s Child Welfare Training and Technical Assistance Network (T/TANetwork) which is designed to improve child welfare systems and to support States and Tribes in achieving sustainable, systemic change that results in greater safety, permanency, and well-being for children, youth, and families.

The Children’s Bureau is located within the Administration for Children,Youth and Families (ACF) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Tribes continue to be able to access training and technical assistance (T/TA) through various national resources centers within the Children’s Bureau national T/TA Network.The NRC for Tribes is the focal point for coordinated and culturally competent child welfare T/TA for Tribes within theT/TA Network.The NRC4Tribes works collaboratively with Tribes and the T/TA Network to assist Tribes in the enhancement of child welfare services and the promotion of safety, permanency and well-being for American Indian/Alaska Native children and families.


“Those are Our People and That’s our Family” written by Erika Bjorum

August 7, 2014

“Those are Our People and That’s our Family”, written by Erika Bjorum, who conducted a graduate research project with Maine-Wabanaki REACH, is published in the latest edition of Journal of Public Child Welfare. Her study examined the perspectives of Wabanaki community members and child welfare staff on state child welfare involvement in Wabanaki communities.

In the acknowledgements, Erika states, “The author gratefully acknowledges the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Convening Group and the staff from the Muskie School of Public Service for their partnership in developing and carrying out this project, as well as their valuable contributions to the editing process.”

10 years already? How has adoption perception changed?

a2880-tornadobyocalBy Lara/Trace

If you had asked me in 2004 what I had planned for myself, I would have not said “writing” about adoption and human trafficking. I had just left my editor’s job at the Pequot Times in Connecticut in August and by September I was married, my second time. How life changed so dramatically for me is documented in my memoir in much greater detail.

It doesn’t seem possible 10 years zoomed by so fast – it’s like a time tornado hit. Time sped up to warp speed and still has me in its grip!

I know many bloggers on adoption (many good friends to me) had hoped we’d made a strong and lasting impact by now. I had that dream myself.  I am not sure we can actually gauge or measure how world views of adoption have changed. (If books on Amazon are an indication, adoptee memoirs are now climbing the ranks over all the propaganda books about how to adopt a baby.)  If the statistics on adoption are any indication, the number of babies adopted by Americans are dropping each and every year. There is definitely a demand for infants (primarily because of infertility) but there is still a short supply of newborn flesh to adopt.  (I do believe the adoption traffickers are constantly reinventing new ways to grab a fresh supply of infants. Think of what new poor countries or communities they will invade as the demand increases!! Read THIS)

What hasn’t changed fast enough for me are adoption laws, sealed adoption files or the old views of promised secrecy and confidentiality for first mothers. If you gave birth, wouldn’t you want to know what happened to your own baby? If you are an adoptee, don’t you want to know what happened to your mother (and father)?  Haven’t we moved past shaming women for unwed pregnancies? Yes, but not enough, apparently.  Lawmakers are still being wined and dined by adoption agency lobbyists so I don’t expect to see much change in the laws – but I hope I am wrong.

What I’d hoped would change faster is the perception of adoption, that it’s not as great for adoptees as people were made to think and believe.  As much as I’ve read in these past 10 years, blogs and books changed me beyond recognition!  Many times I emailed legislators (like in New Jersey and Illinois) and offered my memoir (as a free ebook) hoping they would see the light and change existing adoption laws. Maybe it helped?

Open Adoption- when adoption is necessary – is also an indication that times are changing! But we have a long way to go…This is a quote I saved about open adoption:

…ignored by the adoption agencies is the reality of “open adoption.” Only 22 of fifty states in America recognize open adoption agreements, but failure of the adoptive parents to comply with the agreement is not legally enforceable by the surrendering mother.

There are many excellent writers making profound statements too.

A quote by adoptee-author-blogger Elle Cuardaigh:  And adoption certainly is “worked.” When supply of newborns decreased in the 1970s, the adoption industry had to put a new spin on relinquishment  to stay in business. Since women could not be so easily shamed by single motherhood, they changed tactics. Potential suppliers (pregnant women) are now encouraged to “make an adoption plan.” She reads the “Dear Birthmother” letters and interviews hopeful adoptive parents. She is provided with medical care and possibly even housing.  She is promised this is her choice, and that she can have ongoing contact with her child in an open adoption. It would seem she has all the power, but she is being systematically conditioned to accept her role, her place. She doesn’t want to hurt the baby’s “real parents,” feels indebted to them, emotionally invested. She is soon convinced they are better than she is. She becomes “their birthmother.” It almost guarantees relinquishment.  READ Elle’s blog and new book THE TANGLED RED THREAD.  Or visit: http://ellecuardaigh.com

READ LAURA DENNIS and the guest post: Welcome to the Adoptionland Carnival, Next Stop: The End.

Read any and all posts at THE LIFE OF VON.

Such powerful WRITING!

If you want insight into The St. John’s/Montclair University Adoption Initiative conference from attendee Jae Ran Kim, an adoptee/social worker who I admire greatly, read this.  “Adoptive parent scholars and scholars without any connection to adoption sometimes just miss asking certain questions that adoptee scholars ask,” she wrote on her blog Harlow’s Monkey. (Check out the books too while you are at Harlow’s Monkey!)

The number of excellent powerful blogs and books by adoptees and first parents (and some APs) has exploded in the past 10 years and for that I am so very grateful! Writing three books about the Indian Adoption Projects and Programs and that history (and exploring my own journey) and contributing to new books like ADOPTIONLAND certainly changed me.

I am happily shocked my blog AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES reached over 220,000 hits! If that is any indication, the times really are a changin’.  That blog came about when my memoir One Small Sacrifice was about to be published in 2009 and experts claim if you have a book, you have to have a blog. Well it worked!

I never would have guessed my life would move in the direction it did but I see that there was much more I needed to write about my life and experience.  I let Great Spirit use me and this was the path.

I want to thank those brave bloggers and hundreds of adoptees who have inspired me so much over past 10 years. Keep it coming!

There is a FACEBOOK PAGE by Carol Schaefer that lists many books: https://www.facebook.com/adoptionbookslist

So what will the next 10 years be like? I don’t have a clue.

Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age: An Anthology (on Amazon now)
Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age: An Anthology (on Amazon now)


available as an ebook on Amazon


my well-worn copy
my well-worn copy
on Amazon

Meet the Authors/Editors of Two Worlds

Book Talk on March 25
Book Talk on March 25

Patricia and I will be giving a book talk in Ontario – very exciting! Come join us – open to the public! Our anthology is being offered to the entire community as part of a Summer Reads Program! Click link to read more: Two Worlds

60s Scoop: Stolen Generations

Origins Canada website

cropped-aialc.jpgThe 60s Scoop refers to the adoption of First Nation/Metis children in Canada between the years of 1960 and the mid 1980′s. This period is unique in the annals of adoption. This phenomenon, coined the “60′s Scoop”, is so named because the highest numbers of adoptions took place in the decade of the 1960s and because, in many instances, children were literally scooped from their homes and communities without the knowledge or consent of families and bands. Many First Nations charged that in many cases where consent was not given, that government authorities and social workers acted under the colonialistic assumption that native people were culturally inferior and unable to adequately provide for the needs of the children[1]. Many First Nations people believe that the forced removal of the children was a deliberate act of genocide[2].

Statistics from the Department of Indian Affairs reveal a total of 11,132 status Indian children adopted between the years of 1960 and 1990[3]. It is believed, however, that the actual numbers are much higher than that. While Indian Affairs recorded adoptions of ‘status’ native children, many native children were not recorded as ‘status’ in adoption or foster care records[4]. Indeed, many ‘status’ children were not recorded as status after adoption. Of these children who were adopted, 70% were adopted into non-native homes. Interestingly, of this latter group, the breakdown rate for these transracial adoptions is also 70%![5].

Many of the adoptees, who are now adults, are seeking to reunite with birth families and communities. A substantial portion of these adoptees face cultural and identity confusion issues as the result of having been socialized and acculturated into a euro-Canadian middle-class society[6]. For transracial adoptees, identity issues may be worsened by other problems arising during the search and reunion experience. As one author put it, the identity issues of adoptees may be compounded by being reacquainted with one of the most marginalized and oppressed group in North American society.

There are lots of adult adoptees searching for families, and families searching for adoptees. As a result, several First Nation/aboriginal reunification programs have sprouted up in Canada. These links are available below, and some have toll-free numbers. For adoptees who are not sure where their roots are, calling any of the agencies can be a first step. They will direct you to an agency or band or provincial post-adoption office that can help. Although Saskatchewan currently does not have a Native repatriation program, Saskatchewan Social Services has a part-time Repat worker who can assist at Post Adoption Registry, 1920 Broad Street, Regina, SK S4P 3V6, (306)787-3654 or 1-800-667-7539.

For many adoptees and birth families, it has been beneficial to utilize the services of experienced Repatriation workers. These individuals can assist all parties in the emotional and psychological preparation for reunion.

By Dr. Raven Sinclair ravsin@sasktel.net

(See bibliography list below)

1. Kimelman, 1985; Sinclair et al., 1991

2. Kimelman, 1985: see also the UN Convention on Genocide at this site.

3. RCAP, 1996 (Search under “Adoption”)

4. This knowledge is based on personal experience and knowledge as an adoptee with adoptive siblings, and as an adoption worker.

5. Bagley, Young & Scully, 1993

6. Hall, 1995; Gilchrist, 1995; Richard, 1998

A short reference list of of Scoop material:

Bagley, C., Young, L., & Scully, A. (1993). International and transracial adoptions: A mental health perspective. Northern Social Work Practice, Northern and Regional Studies Series, Volume 4.116-135.

Fanshel, D. (1972). Far from the reservation: the transracial adoption of American Indian children. New Jersey: The Scarecrow Press. 116-135.

Fournier, S. & Crey, E. (1997). Stolen from our embrace: The abduction of First Nations children and the restoration of Aboriginal communities. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre.

Gilchrist, L. (1995). Urban survivors, Aboriginal street youth: Vancouver, Winnipeg & Montreal. Research report presented to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, January, 1995.

Hall, L. (Speaker – Vancouver, BC 93-06-02 13).(1995). For seven generations: An information legacy of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Libraxus Inc.

Kimelman, Judge E.C. (1985). No quiet place: Review committee on Indian and Metis adoption and placements. Manitoba Community Services.

Lyslo, A. (1960). Adoption for American Indian Children. Child Welfare, 39(6). June 1960. 32-33.

Lyslo, A. (1961). Adoptive placement of American Indian children with non-Indian families. Child Welfare, 40(5). May 1961. 4-6.

McRoy, R., Zucher, L.,Lauderdale, M. & Anderson, R. (1983). The identity of transracial adoptees. Social Casework: The Journal of Contemporary Social Work, 65. 576-583.

Richard, K. (1998). A submisssion on the matter of cross cultural aboriginal adoption. Unpublished paper submitted to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. (Available from Toronto Native Child & Family Services).

Sinclair, Judge M., Phillips, D. & Bala, N. (1991). Aboriginal Child Welfare in Canada. Bala, J., Hornick, J.P. & Vogl, R. (1991). Canadian Child Welfare Law: Children, Families and the State. Toronto: Thompason Educational Publishing. 171-194.

Sobol, M. & Daly, K. (1993). Adoption in Canada: Final Report. National Adoption Study, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario.

Stevenato & Associates, J. Budgell. (1998). Aboriginal Healing & Wellness Strategy Research Project: Repatriation of Aboriginal families. Toronto: Author. (Available through Toronto Native Child & Family Services.)

Ward, M. (1984). The adoption of Native Canadian children. Cobalt, Ontario: Highway Bookshop.

9781479318285_COVER[I’d like to add that the anthology TWO WORLDS: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects covers this controversial history in depth… It’s available on Amazon and Kindle…Trace/Lara] Also available in our store at http://www.bluehandbooks.org

Adoption Coercion Checklist

what is modern day slavery

This is reprinted with permission from Origins Canada

Common Coercion Methods Used on ‘Unwed’ Mothers In Canada:

Below is a list of some common practices used systemically by the adoption industry on “unwed mothers” in Canada from about 1950-onwards, as means of obtaining babies for adoption. Many of these methods may have been applied to you by social workers, clergy, nurses, nuns, clergy, doctors, Children’s Aid Societies, and others with a vested interest in obtaining a baby for adoption. None of these methods were invented for the purpose of this article: All of them were reported first-hand by members of three online post-adoption support groups..

Use this checklist to validate your personal experience of coercion:

A. Psychological Coercion. Purpose: To convince you that you were unfit as a mother and thus had to give your baby to people “more fit’ or “more deserving.”

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

You were told you that you were unfit to be a mother because you were ‘unwed’.

You were told that you would be inadequate as a mother.

You were told that keeping your baby would be selfish.

You were forced to draw up a list comparing what you could give to your baby with what adopters could give.

It was stressed to you that your baby “needed a two-parent family.”

It was stressed to you that the needs of your baby came before your own needs and that you could not fulfill your baby’s needs.

The doctor who delivered your baby told you that you must sign-over your baby to him for adoption. (Did you later find out that the baby was adopted by friends of the doctor?)

You were told that if you did not surrender your baby, that your baby would be put into foster care until you did sign.

You are told that surrendering your baby is an expression of how much you love your baby (message: if you keep your baby then you don’t love your baby).

You are told that adoption is “thinking about what is best for your baby.” (message: adoption is best for your baby).

You are told that adoption is “putting your baby’s needs first.” (i.e., before your own needs. Message: your baby does not need you.)

B. Psychological Coercion. Purpose: To convince you that you have an emotional obligation to surrender your baby.

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

You were told to think only of the joy that you’d “give to a couple who could not have children of their own.”

You were told that if you changed your mind, you would be disappointing a wonderful mother who was “waiting for her first baby.”

You were told that you could not keep your baby as your baby has been promised to someone already.

You were encouraged to have the adopters pay your medical or living expenses such that you felt you “owed” them your baby.

You were encouraged to meet with the adopters and after meeting them felt you could not bear to disappoint them by choosing to keep your baby

You were encouraged to establish a relationship with the adopters, and then “fell in love with” with them prior to surrender.

You were told by your parents that you could come home once you had “disposed of the problem” (i.e. surrendered your baby).

You were encouraged to have the adopters in the labour or delivery room with you, for the birth of “their” baby, and thus you felt you could not bear to disappoint them by “changing your mind.”

C. Psychological Coercion. Purpose: To remove from you all personal support systems and make you reliant on adoption professionals for advice, counselling and emotional support. To distance you from any person who might try to provide alternatives to surrender.

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

Your family members or boyfriend were discouraged by adoption professionals from helping you..

Your family members and/or boyfriend were prohibited from seeing you.

You were incarcerated by your parents in a maternity home or wage home where adoption was stressed as “the loving option” and/or “the only option.”

Contact with your parents, boyfriend, fiance, etc. was restricted by the agency, maternity home, or social worker(s).

Your correspondence in or out of the maternity home or wage home was screened.

Telephone use was restricted in the maternity home or wage home.

Your boyfriend was lied to by adoption professionals that the baby was not his.

You were told that your parents were coercing you by encouraging you to keep your baby, that “they only want to be grandparents.”

You were encouraged to distrust anyone who didn’t support you surrendering your baby.

D. Psychological Coercion. Purpose: To psychologically and physically distance you from your baby in order to increase the probability that you would surrender. To ensure that surrender of your baby was seen by you as “inevitable.”

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

Your baby was taken from you at birth by either medical professionals or prospective adopters.

Your access to your baby in the hospital was severely restricted by medical and/or nursing staff.

You were put into a ward other than the maternity ward for recovery, a distance away from your baby.

Your baby was immediately transferred without your consent to a different hospital.

While still pregnant you were labelled a “birthmother,” to put you into the mind-set that your only role in the life of your child was to give birth.

You asked for your baby and were told “No!”

You were told that you were not allowed to see your baby unless/until you signed the surrender papers.

You asked for your baby and were told that it was best that you did not see your baby.

You were given general anesthetic for the birth and kept under anesthetic until your baby was removed for adoption.

You were given mind-altering drugs such as scopalamine by medical staff for several days after the birth in order to induce amnesia.

Your signature was obtained while under the influence of mind-altering drugs administered to you by medical staff..

The drug Stilboestrol was administered to you as a lactation suppressant without your consent.

You were bound up physically to prevent you from breastfeeding.

You asked for your baby back and the adopters stalled until the “revocation of consent” period had expired.

you were introduced to the term “birthmother”, “birthfather”, “birthparents” and only referred to in this context

you were encouraged to write letters to your child and told you must refer to your child as “my birthchild” and refer to yourself as only “your birthmother” or your “birthfather”

you were encourage to emotionally detach from your child prior to birth, that when thinking of the child, think of the child as belonging to the adoptive parents already.

you were asked to describe your child’s “ideal parents” and then received a prospective adoptive parents profile that matched exactly what you had described

you were told to ensure that all hospital professionals knew of your “adoption plan” immediately so that they could ensure they would do what “was best to encourage your to follow through with your plan”

E. Psychological Coercion. Purpose: To psychologically traumatize you to decrease the chances of you bonding with your baby.

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

Information about labour and delivery was deliberately kept from you such that you were scared and traumatized by the unfamiliar process once labour began.

You were left isolated and alone during labour.

You were physically assaulted and/or mutilated by hospital personnel during labour and/or birth.

You were called derogatory names or otherwise derided by doctors, nurses or medical personnel during your pregnancy, labour or birth.

The episiotomy was cut, or sewn-up, without anesthesia.

The episiotomy cut thru ligaments, was cut down your leg, or was otherwise unnecessarily large.

F. Financial Coercion. Purpose: To make you feel financially pressured to surrender. Note: young single mothers are often in a financially-vulnerable situation anyway and thus financial coercion is often a major factor.

You are told, or led to believe, that no social assistance was available that would provide you with the financial support necessary to enable you to keep your baby.

The hospital refused to release your baby to you unless you pay them a large sum of money beyond your ability to pay.

You were told your baby would suffer because you had no money.

G. Fraud. Purpose: To guarantee the surrender of your child.

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

Your baby was taken immediately into foster care with no explanation and kept there with the location kept secret from you until the social worker could use “abandonment” as a basis for revoking your parental rights.

You were told at some point that the adoption was “final” and found out later that it wasn’t.

You were told that your baby had died at birth and later found this was false. Note, this is known in the adoption industry as “rapid adoption” – see the article “Rapid Adoptions.” ALL single mothers who were told that their baby was stillborn and were not permitted to see the body should demand to see the certificate of death!

You were told that the adoption was “final” and found out later that it wasn’t at that point in time.

You were told that there were no other alternatives. (information about social assistance was withheld from you).

You were led to believe that a promise of open adoption was a legally-binding agreement and the adoption later closed.

You were told you would “get over it” and be able to return to your “normal life.”

The documents were signed by someone else forging your signature without your knowledge or consent.

You were informed after signing a “pre-birth consent” that it would be held binding in a court-of-law.

H. Withholding information from the mother. Purpose: To ensure you would surrender by withholding known information about risks or negative consequences.

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

Information withheld about the known lifelong implications, risks, and emotional consequences of surrender (see http://www.birthmothers.info for information adoption professionals are aware of but commonly withhold)

Information withheld about options that would enable you to keep your baby (i.e. financial assistance, temporary foster care, foster care for you and your child together, temporary guardianship, or filing through court for child support from your baby’s father)

Information withheld about your right to independent legal counsel to explain the legal document you were signing and the legal ramifications of it and to be present in the room to protect your rights as you signed it.

Information withheld about the existence of a “revocation of consent” period.

You were not permitted to read the documents you were signing.

You were not given a copy of the documents you signed.

You were pressured to decide on adoption while still pregnant, or to surrender your infant without being able to first care for your infant for several weeks post-partum in order to make an informed decision about motherhood?

Information withheld from you about your right to take as many days, weeks or months as you needed before deciding on adoption, if you decided on it at all.

Information withheld about your right to care-for and nurture your baby in the hospital.

Information withheld about your right to take your baby home from the hospital with you.

In Contrast: Your Rights as a Mother:

These are some of the rights that may have been denied to you, no matter what your age or social situation was when you gave birth:

  • You had the right to see your baby after he/she was born.
  • You had the right to hold, nurse, and care for your baby.
  • You had the right to be told the sex of your baby.
  • You had the right to independent legal counsel to explain the legal documents you were signing and to be present when you signed them.
  • You had the right to care for your baby without feeling pressured to decide about adoption within ANY certain time period.
  • You had the right to adequate financial support which would have enabled you to keep and raise your baby.

These rights come from application of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html), which has since 1948 guaranteed ALL citizens of Canada, the U.S. and other nations these protections:

  • Article 12. – No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, FAMILY, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
  • Article 16(3) – The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
  • Article 25(1) – Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Were mothers “choosing” adoption?

DECISION: The ability to make a fully-informed, non-coerced choice between two or more viable options. Starvation, homelessness, or harm to our children are NOT viable options.

How they committed a crime by taking our babies: The Criminal Code of Canada states, “(281) Abduction of Person Under Fourteen – Every one who, not being the parent … unlawfully takes, entices away, conceals, detains, receives or harbours that person with intent to deprive a parent … of the possession of that person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.”

”They had no “legal authority” to take our children away from us any more than they would have had the legal authority to do it to an older, married mother.

Copyright © 2010 Origins Canada Inc. Permission to reprint granted as long as this article is reprinted in its entirety and with copyright statement included.

Their website: http://www.originscanada.org/adoption-practices/adoption-coercion/adoption-coercion-checklist/

Part One: Victims of Adoption and Lies

laramie harlow hentz

I woke up with thoughts: there are two victims of adoption who need help and not necessarily from each other: the adoptee and the first mother. Each has its own burden and neither can heal the other.

By Lara/Trace

Speaking with adoptee friends on Facebook, many added their own ideas and reactions when I posted my thoughts above.
One friend quickly injected: what about the mother who made the choice (freely) to give her up as a baby.
Well, that is true – she was free to decide – but also consider she had the adoption industry, churches, family and society insisting that was her only option: Give up her baby to new parents.
Had this mother known her child would suffer emotionally from being adopted, would she have made the same choice?
No one imagined a child was injured or hurt being adopted – not until recently.
We know this mother had to live with her choice and live with the loss of her child. That was obviously a burden.
Finding and meeting her child again in reunion – after many years – will not and cannot reverse or ease or erase that pain and loss.  Each mother who relinquished a baby will have to deal with this on her own terms, and hopefully receive counselling, and find support from other mothers who also lost their child to adoption.

Some mothers are adopting their child back, what I call “adoption in reverse.”

One adoptee friend found out the social workers told her natural mother that she was being placed with a doctor’s family – so I guess that would have put her mother’s mind at ease – thinking of the prosperity and safety her baby girl would have had growing up. But the truth was my friend was not placed with a doctor’s family.
If her mother had found out this was a lie, how would she have reacted? Wouldn’t she worry about her baby and carry that burden for years?
In my friend’s case, her birthmother never told the man (the birthfather) she was expecting his child.  It’s possible my friend’s dad would not have allowed this adoption to take place. He loved kids and would have raised his daughter on his reservation in Michigan. Why? The Ojibwe used kinship adoption (babies are adopted by relatives).

[Since the 1900s, governments swept up children with their Indian Adoption Projects (which were closed adoptions with non-Indian parents). Adoption meant assimilation. It was meant to make the child “white.”]

Even though her mother did tell the social workers her baby was also Indian, did it matter? Back then, no. This was in the 1960s. The social workers would prefer not to mention a child had some Indian blood.  Even social workers displayed overt racism and wrote lies in the paperwork. They practiced “matching” which meant a “mixed race child” who looked white would not have to be told their ancestry was American Indian.

My friend’s adoption (like my own) was before the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.
If it happened after 1978, and social workers knew my friend was also Indian, the tribe and her father would have been notified. The tribes would’ve handled the baby and her placement. That’s federal law in every state now (and sadly it is not always upheld, even now in 2014.) In 2011, it was reported 32 states are in violation of the ICWA.

Each story like this gets complicated with lies and omissions of what is truth.  My friend’s mother was a victim of lies and so was her Ojibwe father – who was never told.

My point here is the adoption industry created “lies” for everyone to believe.

Originally posted at http://splitfeathers.blogspot.com/2012/08/part-one-victims-of-adoption-and-lies.html

To be continued

Talking About Adoptee Rights To Legislators or Anyone Else Part II

Claudia Corrigan DArcy

At the most basic level Adoptee Rights is about civil rights and being treated equally. I mean why should we have special laws for people just because they happen to be adopted after they were born? That’s just not right. So for many adoptees, they want to right to have this piece of paper because it is theirs.. it’s their original identity. It has their name on it. It’s their documentation and why shouldn’t they be allowed to have it?”

Come on by to Musings of the Lame to read the rest of this post. Come on, you know you want to!

Read on »

my crazy: human trafficking, historical trauma

Historical traumaBy LARA

I have written here on this blog about my becoming Lara, integrating parts of my persona that were buried or stunted or created as an adoptee growing up with strangers.

I had posted on Facebook (as Trace) how I experienced huge chunks of CRAZY, had patterns of unhealthy behavior and even how big blocks of memory seemed hazy or gone. This does not make me any different (or better off or worse off) than others.  If I am to heal myself, I need to know and see how I coped as this little girl who lived in fear and confusion.

My thoughts now?  My crazy hazy chunks of time were in fact self-preservation – it was the only way I could handle what I had to face to avoid fracturing or destroying my delicate developing mind. (And this did happen to others living in a dysfunctional setting in childhood.) I am now aware I had various coping tools, as did my friends. One of the best tools was a vivid imagination. Another one: listening to the small voice inside, a voice of sanity and clarity. Another tool was determination. I was determined to survive and very determined to create a safe environment for myself as a young adult, when I could move physically and emotionally away from where I was raised. I was determined to open my adoption and find my relatives and my ancestry. I never lost that determination. I grew strong.

I had a conversation a few days ago with my friend and co-author Patricia [Our anthology is Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects] about this process of integration, how we created little people who could handle situations, a character and persona tougher than us – and now as grown-ups, these little people are no longer needed.  I am not suggesting we had multiple personalities. That is too psycho-speak for us.  As babies and toddlers, we were confronted with strangers who called themselves our parents and they had their own instability. (Both of us had an alcoholic parent). Their imbalance caused our childhoods to be terrifying and unstable. That can put us in a situation of weakness and vulnerability. Our real fears made us very unstable and untrusting.

We chose to survive so we had to be creative in some way. Being creative is an outlet for a grief this enormous. Patricia is definitely an artist and I was a musician – and we both kept journals.

Add to that we are abandoned as infants and not nurtured and denied the bonds with our mother-creator. That also created an instability and frailty that carried forward from childhood to adulthood. This trauma is called the PRIMAL WOUND. Read Nancy Verrier if you are curious.

Remember the movie The Three Faces of Eve? Though Eve was an adult, she had created personalities who could stand-in for her. One movie that terrified me was SYBIL. Sally Fields played a child who was terribly abused and created numerous personalities who stood in for her while she underwent the abuse.  In therapy, these movie characters found out they had created stand-ins, what I call the little people. When they are no longer needed they can melt away. Or integrate back into the soul.

9781479318285_COVERSplit Feathers, what American Indians call adoptees or their lost children, have this integration challenge.  It has nothing to do with being crazy, though adoptees tell me they feel like they acted crazy in trying to deal with the strangers who raised us.  I don’t see how we could not be crazy. What other method would work? We had to be split.

Patricia and I are both Native adoptees.  We know this history now. We know it’s historical trauma in our DNA. We know we have the tools to heal this ourselves.

Even as kids we could see we were very different from our stranger parents, yet adoption forced us to pretend, be good and show we were grateful.  Isn’t that crazy?

Anyone who questions the Adoption Cartel (and their propaganda and billions in profit) will be called crazy.

What is crazy are the people who believe “adoption” works so well. How a closed adoption is good – that is crazy. Punishing a woman for having a baby while unmarried and forcing her to give up her child – that is crazy. Sealing our adoption records – that is crazy.  Giving people the idea they can buy an orphan – that is crazy. Believing an adopted child won’t want to know the truth or find their birth relatives – that is crazy.

There are couples right now holding a bake sale, asking their friends to raise money so that they can adopt an orphan. That is crazy – dangerously crazy! Read The Child Catchers if you want the truth about orphans (and how many of these children are not orphans at all but have living parents!! They are sold into adoption as a commodity.)

The fact is adoption is human trafficking.  If a child is taken from their natural parent(s) and sold to strangers, that is trafficking.  If money is exchanged for children and babies, that is trafficking. If lawyers and judges and adoption agencies charge money to handle babies for sale, they are trafficking in humans.

I do write this as a survivor of human trafficking, what was a closed adoption that I opened.  I write this from a place of sanity and balance, after years of working on myself, knowing myself, finding my relatives, and yes, learning the truth.

No, I am not crazy.

I do plan to keep blogging about HUMAN TRAFFICKING in 2014. Patricia and I are working on a new collection of adoption narratives by Native American adoptees that will be published in 2014. The new anthology CALLED HOME will also include adoptees who cannot access and open their sealed files.

Thanks for following this blog!  I’ll be back right after the holiday season! xoxox

Happy Holidays!