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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Letter to anyone willing to help by adoptee Leland P. Morrill (Navajo)

By Leland P. Morrill, Adopted Native American Citizenship Affected by The REAL ID Act of 2005
[on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 6:41pm]

To: Those willing to help provide resources:
Thank you. Please read and reply. I invite you to read my Facebook information, my notes and blog entries. Hopefully this Facebook Page will begin the process of Change for Native Americans Affected by THE REAL ID ACT of 2005.
I, Leland P. Morrill e-mailed Representative F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) sometime in early 2010 with the express concern that H.R. 419 The Real ID ACT of 2005 is affecting me and asuming, many other Adopted Native Americans or Native Americans who will apply or renew their State issued Identification or State issued Drivers License and will no longer qualify for lack of documentation. Rep. Sensenbrenner or his office did not reply by letter or e-mail.


REAL ID ACT of 2005 passages affecting me and possibly other Native Americans:
(pg 43) Minimum document requirements:
(pg 44) (2) The person’s date of birth.
(pg 45) (B) Documentation showing the person’s date of birth
(i) IN GENERAL.—If a person presents evidence under any of clauses (v) through (ix) of subparagraph (B), the State may only issue a temporary driver’s license or temporary identification card to the person. (ii) EXPIRATION DATE.—A temporary driver’s license or temporary identification card issued pursuant to this subparagraph shall be valid only during the period of time of the applicant’s authorized stay in the United States or, if there is no definite end to the period of authorized stay, a period of one year.
There will be undocument Native Americans who will find through their respective state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) they no longer have the eligible documentation to maintain or be issued an Identification Card or Drivers License. Some will be issued a temporary "paper" 1 to 6 month extension, up to one year, as per The Real ID ACT of 2005. Others will not. Once the State issued temporary extension, Identification, Drivers License expires, these Native Americans (me included) will become undocumented, thus illegal with no papers.
One of the main reasons for me setting up this Facebook page is because I never received correspondence from Representative Sensenbrenner. In addition, through 22 years of research, my own research has resulted in obtaining a State of Arizona Certificate of No Birth, keep in mind the Navajo Nation adopted me out in Chinle, Arizona.
My State of Arizona "Certificate of No Birth," was issued December 21, 2010, the result of my continuous research since September 07, 1989.
So far, with the help of my close friends, and people willing to help, my own financing, tens of thousands of USdollars later, I now have a State of Arizona Certificate of No Birth and a second State issued 6 month temporary paper Drivers License expiring July 13, 2011. My United States of America CITIZENSHIP expires on that date, again JULY 13, 2011. By virtue of the REAL ID ACT of 2005, States may only issue temporary Drivers Licenses and Identification for those who currently have one for an additional year. I am one of those cases. Representative Sensenbrenner's Real ID ACT of 2005 will make me an ILLEGAL ALIEN who cannot work, and cannot access medical care, obtain a credit card, bank account, vote, and any right that is afforded a United States Citizen because of not having a current State issued Identification Card or Drivers License. My citizenship expires July 13, 2011 after my second 6month temporary State issued Drivers License does.

SPECIAL NOTE: The Navajo Nation adopted me, a Navajo Orphan, out of the tribe on July 15, 1971 throught their Trial Court of the Navajo Tribe, Judicial District of Chinle Arizona without a Birth Certificate, Navajo Census Number or Navajo Certificate of Indian Blood.
My adopted parents Stan and Gwena Morrill attempted to obtain a Birth Certificate but the Navajo Court system never granted one through reasons of their own. (this is an update because of a February 25, 2011 8:00am conversation with Alisia at the Window Rock Navajo Nation Vital Statistics Office and me verifying this with my adopted mother, Gwena Morrill)

There will be others who will follow behind me, who may or may not have been adopted out of their respective Native Nations within the boundaries of the United States of America. Myself and all who follow need the help, financial resources, and a path to secure United States of America Citizenship. This is an expensive and lengthy process. What I am proposing is to set up some type of agency, be it non-profit or what-ever because the path to maintain citizenship will be very costly and time consuming without one. There are legal fees, postage fees, Notary Fees, and in some cases livelihood, such as employment will be affected. Some Native Americans who do not have access to their respective Nations services will become homeless, jobless, and unable to access any services such as unemployment, social security, health, etc simply because they no longer have a current State issued Identification Card or Drivers License.
WE NEED TO HELP...I can't accomplish this on my own. I need help.
I need to obtain my own State Issued Birth Certificate, Certificate of Indian Blood, or Census Number so I can maintain my US Citizenship requirements through The REAL ID ACT of 2005.
I need to raise funding to create awareness, become politically active, stand in front of U.S. Congress, talk to State and and U.S. Representatives, Tribal/Nation Leaders/Presidents, State DMV Directors and their staff. This takes immense amount of resources: Money, Talent, Time are among them.
I am willing to be the National Face of Native Americans who are affected by The REAL ID ACT of 2005. I am willing to testify, provide public comment in front of political decision makers, presidents of native nations, foundations or those who are willing to provide funding, keeping in mind it takes more than my own funds to accomplish this.
PLEASE read my Facebook Page Information, notes and my blog entries for my story, then ask yourself: AM I WILLING TO HELP?  WHO IS WILLING TO HELP?
My contact information is: Leland P. Morill, email:
Please use the subject line: Adoption: Leland Kirk

[note from Trace: I emailed Leland today and offered my book and my help. Please email him a letter of support. He is correct. He is not the only adoptee this will affect. Visit and share his Facebook page.]

Friday, February 25, 2011

The unhappy politics of interracial adoption (1989)

[SOURCE: U.S. News & World Report, November 13, 1989]

“…Unfortunately, the world of interracial adoption is governed by a tangle of emotions and public policies that defy simple logic. The adoption community today is haunted by a bitter debate over whether interracial adoptions rob children of their cultural heritage, sowing identify crises and low self-esteem. A small but vocal group, led by the National Association of Black Social Workers, goes so far as to assert that interracial adoptions are “cultural genocide” and that only a black family can equip a black child with the psychological armor needed to fight racial prejudice.

“No one disputes that, everything else being equal, matching the racial and ethnic backgrounds of children to their adoptive families would be preferable. But due to the decreasing stigma of bearing children out of wedlock and a surfeit of Third World orphans, the number of non-white babies available for adoption has soared in recent years.

“Of the 60,000 children adopted by U.S. families in 1988, about 20,000 were minority children and about 10,000 of them were from abroad, estimates William Pierce, president of the national Committee for Adoption, a research and lobbying group. But while there are a hundred applicants for every healthy white infant in the United States, thousands of black, Hispanic and Third World babies still are going homeless. With such a statistical mismatch to contend with, social-service agencies’ traditional notions of what constitutes a “model” adoption are increasingly impractical.

“…For Native American children, a longstanding dispute over interracial adoption was resolved legislatively, but some troubling issues persist. The children fall under the jurisdiction of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, passed into law because tribes felt they were being used as baby breeders by child-welfare agencies and state courts. The law generally gives tribal courts exclusive power to make custody and foster-care decisions for children considered legal residents of a reservation. But critics, including Pierce of the National Committee for Adoption, have raised questions about whether the law’s application in thousands of custody cases best serves the interests of Indian children or merely gives tribes extra clout in their quest to remain independent and self-governing.

[I will be publishing more of my research (since 2004) in coming days on this blog...Trace]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

First Nations children sold to Americans - new book

The Traffic in Babies: Cross-Border Adoption and Baby-Selling between the United States and Canada, 1930-1972, by Karen Balcom. University of Toronto Press May 1, 2011
Trade Paperback

Between 1930 and the mid-1970s, several thousand Canadian-born children were adopted by families in the United States. At times, adopting across the border was a strategy used to deliberately avoid professional oversight and take advantage of varying levels of regulation across states and provinces. The Traffic in Babies traces the efforts of Canadian and American child welfare leaders-with intermittent support from immigration officials, politicians, police, and criminal prosecutors-to build bridges between disconnected jurisdictions and control the flow of babies across the Canada-U.S. border.
Karen A. Balcom details the dramatic and sometimes tragic history of cross-border adoptions-from the Ideal Maternity Home case and the Alberta Babies-for-Export scandal to trans-racial adoptions of Aboriginal children. Exploring how and why babies were moved across borders, The Traffic in Babies is a fascinating look at how social workers and other policy makers tried to find the birth mothers, adopted children, and adoptive parents who disappeared into the spaces between child welfare and immigration laws in Canada and the United States.
[this book will be available in May 2011]

Saturday, February 12, 2011

About The Indian Adoption Projects and Programs

I realize many people think that the Indian Adoption Project was small, and involved a few hundred children. In fact, the BIA's Indian Adoption Project studied 395 cases. What did happen was in states like New York, they did their own Indian adoption programs. In fact, 16 states removed 85% of Native children for closed adoption, which is a staggering amount of children. No one knows exactly how many!

The following is an excerpt from Working Together to Strengthen Supports for Indian Children and Families: A National Perspective, Keynote Speech by Shay Bilchik at the NICWA Conference, Anchorage, Alaska on April 24, 2001

For a long time in the early history of child welfare, many educated middle-class Americans sincerely believed that the world would run smoothly and sweetly if everybody would just make the effort to think and behave like they did. In the name of improvement, Irish and Italian children were scooped up from city tenements that looked crowded and dirty, away from “unfit” single parents and the smells of unfamiliar cooking, taken to the countryside in orphan trains, and parceled out to rural families. Most of them never saw their parents or siblings again.

These were terrible acts, no matter how noble or “professional” the intentions of their perpetrators. Next to the death penalty, the most absolute thing a government can do to an individual is to take a child away. But these were acts against individual immigrant families, and no European national group was singled out for these removals to the point of being imperiled.

One ethnic group, however - American Indians and Alaskan Natives - a people of many cultures and governments, and the original citizens of this land - was singled out for treatment that ranged over the decades from outright massacre to arrogant and paternalistic “improvement.” CWLA played a role in that attempt. We must face this truth.

No matter how well intentioned and how squarely in the mainstream this was at the time, it was wrong; it was hurtful; and it reflected a kind of bias that surfaces feelings of shame, as we look back with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.

I am not here today to deny or minimize that role, but to put it on the table and to acknowledge it as truth. And then, in time, and to the extent that each of us is able, to move forward in a new relationship in which your governments are honored and respected, our actions are based upon your needs and values, and we show proper deference to you in everything that concerns Native children and families.

These are the facts. Between 1958 and 1967, CWLA cooperated with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, under a federal contract, to facilitate an experiment in which 395 Indian children were removed from their tribes and cultures for adoption by non-Indian families. This experiment began primarily in the New England states. CWLA channeled federal funds to its oldest and most established private agencies first, to arrange the adoptions, though public child welfare agencies were also involved toward the end of this period. Exactly 395 adoptions of Indian children were done and studied during this 10-year period, with the numbers peaking in 1967. ARENA, the Adoption Resource Exchange of North America, began in early 1968 as the successor to the BIA/CWLA Indian Adoption Project. Counting the period before 1958 and some years after it, CWLA was partly responsible for approximately 650 children being taken from their tribes and placed in non-Indian homes. For some of you, this story is a part of your personal history.

Through this project, BIA and CWLA actively encouraged states to continue and to expand the practice of “rescuing” Native children from their own culture, from their very families. Because of this legitimizing effect, the indirect results of this initiative cannot be measured by the numbers I have cited. Paternalism under the guise of child welfare is still alive in many locations today, as you well know.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Patti Hawn memoir

Denise's blog speaks to the indifference of publishers and agents to sell our stories since we are not famous.
Goldie Hawn's sister Patti had no problem getting her memoir published about giving her son up for adoption.
Amazing, huh?

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You are not alone

You are not alone

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Diane Tells His Name

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60s Scoop Survivors Legal Support


Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines

Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines
click to read and listen about Trace, Diane, Julie and Suzie


As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.


Original Birth Certificate Map in the USA

Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

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