by Matthew L.M. Fletcher
Here is the opinion in Navajo Nation v. Arizona Dept. of Economic Security:An excerpt:The Navajo Nation (“the Nation”) appeals the juvenile court’s judgment finding good cause to deviate from the placement preferences set forth in the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (“ICWA”), 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901 to 1963 (2006), and allowing the child (“Z.”) to remain with his current non-relative, non-Indian adoptive placement. We affirm. The juvenile court properly found good cause to deviate from ICWA placement preferences because the placement family provided good care for Z., Z. had attached and bonded with the family, Z. would suffer severe distress if he was removed from that placement, the placement family would expose Z. to his Navajo culture, and the placement family had been approved to adopt Z. While the interest of the Nation and the Congressionally-presumed interest of Z. in maintaining his heritage weighed against a finding of good cause to deviate from ICWA’s preferences, on this record we cannot say the court erred in weighing all these interests.
- About Trace
- LOST CHILDREN BOOK SERIES
- Karen Vigneault - Helping Native Adoptees Search
- How to Open Closed Adoption Records for Native American Children
- The reunification of First Nations adoptees (2016)
- You're Breaking Up: Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl #ICWA
- FAQ ICWA 2016
- About the Indian Adoption Projects
- How to Search
- Soaring Angels (search help for adoptees)
- THE PLACEMENT OF AMERICAN INDIAN CHILDREN - THE NEED FOR CHANGE (1974)
- NEW: Study by Jeannine Carriere (First Nations) (2007)
- Split Feathers Study
- NEW STUDY: Post Adoption (Australia)
- Help for First Nations Adoptees (Canada)
- Oklahoma Supreme Court RULING: Brown v.Delapp (9-2...
- Dr. Raven Sinclair
- Laura Briggs: Feminists and the Baby Veronica Case...
- Lara Trace Hentz blog
- Adopt an Elder: Ellowyn Locke (Oglala Lakota)
- TWO NATIONS: Navajo (Boarding School)
- #MMIWG MAY 2019
- Survivor Not Victim (my interview with Von)
- Adoption History
How to Use this Blog
This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
August 29, 2012
“I am Not Alone Anymore” a Short Story by Karl Minzenmayer
I will never be the same.
I was 27 years old that day and John was 23.
I have alway know that my sister and I were not related and both adopted. We were given details regarding my Chippewah heritage, my birthmother being only 15 and unable to care for me. To me this meant I was not wanted before and my Adoptive Parents did want me. No one wondered aloud (near me anyway) why my white parents had these two olive skinned Indian looking kids. Maybe they all knew we were adopted, but I knew I was different.
I felt alone.
As I sit in the Seattle airport across from my brother (who by now is concerned for my vocabulary skills), I am not alone anymore.
Author Karl Minzenmayer was adopted in Washington State by a military family, and has lived in Alaska, Texas, Taiwan, and Colorado. As an adult, Karl found his birth parents and discovered an entire biological family. Being part Ojibwe, he has reconnected with his Native roots. Karl calls Colorado Springs home where he has been a self-employed optician for 29 years. He is a single father of four amazing kids and one great dog. As an Eagle Scout and brother of a special needs sister, Karl is passionate about community service. He is active in non-profit eyewear for kids through the Lions Club and Native Vision, and a volunteer at the Colorado Springs Indian Center. He has been a Camp Counselor and a Special Olympics volunteer. Karl is also an active supporter and member of the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA).
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
There is just a little over a week left to prepare for the September training institutes in Portland, Oregon. Register now for either "Promoting Youth and Family Involvement" or "Promoting Best Practices in Engagement and Recruitment of Tribal Foster Homes."
NICWA is looking for dynamic and powerful American Indian and Alaska Native artwork.
The deadline in our annual Call for Artists is September 28, 2012, which means that there is just a month for Native artists to put their inspiration to work and send in a piece that they feel will best represent the spirit of "Protecting Our Children".
Information is available online http://www.nicwa.org/ for NICWA's annual competition for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) artists. The winner gets $1,500 and the exposure of having their work incorporated into conference materials reaching thousands!
NICWA's Call for Presentations information is now available online at http://www.nicwa.org/.
The 31st Annual Protecting Our Children National American Indian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect is being held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, April 7-10, 2013. NICWA's annual call for workshop presentations is officially underway, and we are looking for people hoping to share their research, stories, successes, and lessons learned in their work as champions and advocates for American Indian and Alaska Native children and families.
Want to Know More? To learn more about this training institute, please visit the September training institute page of the NICWA website. If you have any questions about course content or travel logistics, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page, or you may contact Event Manager Laurie Evans at laurie@nicwa. org or by calling (503) 222-4044, ext. 124.
Information on the 2013 Protecting Our Children conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is available on the conference page of the NICWA website.
The deadline for workshop content is October 19, 2012. Save the Date!
Other Upcoming NICWA Events
December 4-6, 2012
ICW Training Institutes
Information on the next round of ICW training institutes available at www.nicwa.org/ training/ institutes.
April 7-10, 2013
31st Annual Protecting Our Children National American Indian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
Information on this conference is available online at www.nicwa.org/ conference.
April 13-16, 2014
31st Annual Protecting Our Children National American Indian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Information on this conference is available online at www.nicwa.org/ calendar.
For answers to questions regarding the upcoming training institutes, the Call for Artists competition, and NICWA's annual "Protecting Our Children" conference, please contact NICWA Event Manager Laurie Evans at laurie@nicwa. org or by calling (503) 222-4044, extension 124. http://www.nicwa.org/
NICWA is a national nonprofit and the most comprehensive source of information on American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) child welfare and works on behalf of AI/AN children and families.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
|Trace was born in 1956 and legally adopted in 1958.|
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.
Speaking with adoptee friends on Facebook, many added their own ideas when I posted my thoughts.
One friend 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 telling her (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 2012.) Last year, 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.
PART TWO will continue in a week... Please share your thoughts in the comments... Trace
Friday, August 24, 2012
|by Matthew L.M. Fletcher|
Turtle Talk on the web
Here is the opinion:An excerpt:In 2010, legislation was enacted establishing “tribal customary adoption” as an alternative permanent plan for a dependent Indian child who cannot be reunited with his or her parents. Tribal customary adoption is intended to provide an Indian child with the same stability and permanency as traditional adoption under state law without the termination of parental rights, which is contrary to the cultural beliefs of many Native American tribes. In this case, the Yurok Tribe (the tribe) intervened in the dependency proceedings prior to the jurisdictional hearing and recommended tribal customary adoption as the permanent plan for the minor. The tribe now contends the juvenile court erred in terminating parental rights and selecting traditional adoption as the permanent plan. We disagree with the tribe's contention that the court was required to select tribal customary adoption as the child's permanent plan simply because the tribe elected such a plan but conclude that, in the absence of a finding that tribal customary adoption would be detrimental to the minor, the court erred in failing to select such a permanent plan in this case.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Imagine if you grew up away from your tribal community and had no clue that you were an Indigenous person and the only identity that you had to hold onto was from a non-Native family who was raising you as one of their own. Now just what would you do if you felt the call of your people and the reservation wanting you to come home? Would you act on it? Is it easy for a person who has been adopted out to come home when they feel the need? What does it mean to discover your Native roots? Do our tribal communities welcome those that have the urge to return? Join us as we talk with Sarah Koi (Cree) a Native adoptee discovering her Native roots, adoptee Adrian Greywolf (Sisseton/Wahpeton) and Rachel Banks-Kupcho (Leech Lake Ojibwe) Anu Family Services.
"The implication here is that the adoptee also traverses the phases of being “colonized”: coddled by the seeming safety of his new-found place, seduced by the imposed mythology of a dominant culture, and abetted by the willfully distanced memory of his generational past. ...a clear definition for what is often referred to within adoptee circles as “the fog”, or “drinking the Kool-Aid”: the acceptance of a fragile notion of security sustained by a false sense of self within an alien and alienating environment....
"As our activism has grown over this near decade, I have been greatly inspired by adoptees in South Korea, for just one example, who have helped shut down adoption in that country as of this year. Other source countries are following suit, and I am further heartened to see an expansion of this activism, here citing just a few examples: mothers in Guatemala, demanding the repatriation of their kidnapped children; in Argentina, demonstrating for an accounting of the infants born to the imprisoned and then disappeared; in Spain, investigating the stolen children of the Franco era and beyond; in Russia, criticizing the despicable treatment of their children exported abroad; in indigenous American Nations, parents reclaiming their stolen progeny. This list grows longer every day.
"I invoke this term (abolition) fully aware of its weight as concerns the movement to abolish slavery, and to clarify this usage, I define adoption as follows:
Adoption is, in and of itself, a violence based in inequality. It is candy-coated, marketed, and packaged to seemingly concern families and children, but it is an economically and politically incentivized crime. It stems culturally and historically from the “peculiar institution” of Anglo-Saxon indentured servitude and not family creation. It is not universal and is not considered valid by most communal cultures. It is a treating of symptoms and not of disease. It is a negation of families and an annihilation of communities not imbued with any notion of humanity due to the adoptive culture’s inscribed bias concerning race, class, and human relevancy..."...And thus American Indian reservations, secret bases of extradition, Japanese internment camps, urban and rural ghettoes, the corporate-industrial prison complex, vigilante terrorism directed against immigrants, the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. Shamefully added to this list are the children sent to adoption rehabilitation camps in Montana, Russian boys returned alone on airplanes, disrupted adoptions, deported adoptees, the stockpiling of children by adoptive collectors and hoarders, RAD therapies, rebirthings and other pseudo-treatments bordering on outright torture, over-medication of our “mental illnesses”, as well as our “treatment” and study by an army of therapists, social workers, academics, assorted quacks and other misery-industry profiteers. The very existence of this cavalcade of systemic jerry-builders is a greater condemnation of the dysfunctional societal structures undergirding the industry of adoption than anything possibly expressed by the critics thereof. This, in and of itself, should give us great pause...."
Daniel Ibn Zayd currently lives in Beirut. This article is distilled from a book in progress comparing the political and economic aspects of adoption. He can be reached by email at:email@example.com. Read other articles by Daniel, or visit Daniel's website.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
|Maine signs Historic 'Truth and Reconciliation' Agreement with Indian Tribes|
Chiefs from all five of Maine's tribes joined Gov. Paul LePage today (06/29/2012) in signing an historic agreement to create a Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
It will examine child welfare practices that once resulted in large numbers of Indian children being forcibly removed from their homes. The ceremony in the State House Hall of Flags marks the first time that such an effort has occurred in the United States between Indian nations and a state government. Tribal members consider the agreement crucial to their healing process.
The statistics are sobering. Chief Brenda Commander of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians says at one time, 16 percent of all Maliseet children were in state custody. In the 1970's the Federal Indian Policy Commission backed that up with a report that found Indian children in Aroostook County were being placed in foster homes 60 percent more often than non-native children.
Chief Kirk Francis of the Penobscot Nation says children were placed in foster homes or sent away to boarding school in a cruel attempt at assimilation. They were separated from their families, their language, their cultural identities--and in some cases, he says, subjected to horrific abuse.
Read article here:
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
|Transracial Eyes logo|
Tell us about you, what you do, where you are, and how did you come to know so much about adoption:
I was impressed you have been covering the issues surrounding the Christian group in Montana who is advocating for changing the Indian Child Welfare Act and lobbying legislators in the US. How did you come to learn about American Indian adoptees and the ICWA?
Daniel: When I arrived in Beirut I was working in academia, and I took advantage of this position to further research aspects of resistance to the above economic and political realities that govern our lives. Much of this research focused on groups who culturally expressed their resistance, for example, the artists of the Mexican Revolution or the Black Panther Party (I was teaching graphic design and illustration). In expanding on notions of dispossession and the like, the Indigenous Nations of the Americas came into focus, especially concerning the political changes in South America, but also in terms of attempts to reclaim culture, language, and community. It was an obvious addition to such research. More personally, my parents had retired to a town in the southwest next to a large Navajo reservation, and an old school to "deculture" Indian children existed near their house.
I am obsessed by the benign destruction that such "innocent" places represent, and the economic and political position such "adoptions" hold in the imperial forays of the U.S. In one of my classes I used the case of Leonard Peltier and the movie "Incident at Oglala" to portray much of this, making parallels with the local occupation of Palestine. I've also had many debates with those tribal members who reflect locally here in Lebanon what Frantz Fanon calls "native intellectuals": those who advocate for their own oppression and domination, and who take on the colonizing narrative as their own. It is absolutely imperative that we understand historically speaking the derivations of adoption, and its use as a tool by imperial nations against their former/current colonies, and how this relates to the destruction of indigenous peoples in the Americas, Australia, as well as in French overseas territories for just a few examples. This reflects more the true basis of what adoption was designed to do.
Are you a journalist by trade? Tell us about your activism:
Daniel: I'm not a journalist by trade, but have published a fair bit of writing. My activism is currently tending to mix the visual, written, and philosophical realms. In 2009 I started a collective of artists that we called Jamaa Al-Yad; roughly translated it means "Clenched Fist", which we take as a sign of resistance. Much of our initial work required of us bylaws and charter that would pass evaluation by the Lebanese government. We were given a template to use that in many ways reflected French and American influence on the country, taking for granted such things as parliamentary procedure, fifty-percent plus one voting; hierarchies of officers/members, etc. We took almost two years to write from scratch bylaws and charter that avoided all of this. We based them in research gleaned from Iroquois sources and the methodology of Quaker meetings to very local ways of communal associations; the best of many worlds. We received our approval three years ago, and many other non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have adapted our charter and bylaws for their own use, which is very satisfying. My sense of activism is that it must be lived, not just theorized or super-mediated. Anything else is just preaching or hypocritical advocacy.
Have you been able to find your natural family and reconnect? What was that like for you?
Daniel: I haven't. I have instead been introduced to a bottomless abyss of trafficking, displacement, dispossession, and marginalization the knowledge of which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I have managed to integrate myself into my neighborhood as well as various communities that I never expected would welcome me back, and this along with the support of my adoptive family allows me to persevere here.
For adoptees out there who are transracial (adopted outside of your culture), many who read this blog are Split Feathers who have questions about this, have you any suggestions on how we can change the views on international adoption and adoption in general:
Daniel: I'm actually writing a book on this subject that shifts the burden here. Why try and change an inherently broken and corrupt system? In my research it quickly becomes apparent the uses of adoption originally were never for family creation, but for everything having to do with political and economic domination, including indentured servitude, emptying of poorhouses, populating of colonies, destruction of tribes and indigenous peoples, etc. So for us to go along with the "lie" that adoption is about family creation is to be accomplices in our own dehumanization. Much more important is our own grounding not in terms of our adopting class but in that of our originating communities. Even if we are transracially "American" or acculturated "American", what does this mean when many groups who have managed to assimilate were formerly considered Other within American society?
These groups were forced to give up their language, culture, and identity that, when studied, are amazing sources of resistance, strength, and self-awareness. This is hard work because none of this is part of the dominant cultural mode, and we have to go out of our way to find such material. But it's out there, and it is much more grounding than pretending to be "American", whatever that even means these days. I'm not advocating claiming this or that identity; actually I'm saying the opposite: Find the cultural roots of resistance that existed in communities before they were assimilated into dominant societies, themselves historically full of mixes, overlaps, and interconnections. This gives us much more in the way of common cause, and will do more to bring us back to a sense of community than walking around manifesting affected cultural references that the dominant mode deigns allows us.
Daniel Ibn Zayd currently lives in Beirut; in 2009 he founded the artists' collective Jamaa Al-Yad, http://www.jamaalyad.org. He has helped form a collective of transracial adoptees, Transracial Eyes, at http://www.transracialeyes.com, and he is also active on the discussion boards of Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change at http://www.adultadoptees.org. He is currently working on a book that examines the political and economic aspects of human trafficking including adoption. He can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or his blog: http://danielibnzayd.wordpress.com/
Visit Daniel's blog. It is eye-opening and thought-provoking! There is so much we learned from this interview... Thank you Daniel.... Trace
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012
WHAT WE DO
I just downloaded Chosen Children 2012: http://www.amfor.net/ebooks/chosenchildren2012.pdf
There have been reports of cases in the United States of government-run foster homes that turned
out to be fronts for child trafficking rings. A study in the United Kingdom found that 55% of child
trafficking victims, who are identified and rescued, eventually again go missing. Worldwide, the
numbers concerning child slavery are staggering. More than 150-million children younger than 14
are child laborers; one in six children worldwide. Some girls as young as 13 are trafficked as mail
order brides and nearly 90% of domestic workers trafficked from West and Central Africa are young
girls. American children who go missing from foster care are rarely found.
On 3-13-04, Ted Gunderson, FBI Senior Specialist Agent (Ret.) delivered a speech to the
Congressional Hearing on Child Protection, stating that during his career he “investigated public
officials at all levels of government, which reached as high as the White House. Most of all I have
chisled-in-stone documentation of an international criminal enterprise involving kidnapping,
murders, including human sacrifices by Satanic Cults. Specifically, in regard to Child Protective
Services, in some areas and some states, I have been told by reliable sources that a planeload of 210
children from CPS was flown out of Denver, Colorado, on 11-6-97, to Paris, France.
Later, a second plane load of children, also under care of CPS, was flown from Los Angeles to Europe.
I have also developed information through reliable sources that, in the past, children have
been taken from foster homes, orphanages, and Boys Town Nebraska, and flown by private jets
from Sioux City Iowa to Washington DC and forced into sex orgies with politicians. I have
interviewed witnesses who were active in an international child kidnapping ring, who advised me
that, of the thousands of children who disappear every year, many are auctioned off, at various
locations throughout the country. This kidnapping ring involves a case under investigation known
as ‘The Franklin Coverup.’ I developed information from a credible source in a major city in the 9
Southwest U.S. that there is collusion between judges, attorneys and underworld criminals.
Children in that system become adopted, four thousand dollars is given to the people who adopt, and the children’s names are changed, and each child is re-adopted up to 75 times, with four thousand
dollars going to each adoption every time. The federal Government Adoption Bonus is given
to these judges, attorneys, and underworld criminals; it is split among the three groups of
As an outgrowth of my involvement in the Franklin Coverup Case from Omaha, I learned
that a covert CIA operation known as ‘The Finders,’ based in Washington DC, was actively involved
in kidnapping and trafficking of children since the early 1960s. This matter was brought to the
attention of the FBI and State Department in 1997. A report by the Metropolitan Police Department
was classified ‘Secret’ in the interest of National Security. The investigation by the FBI was closed
down, however, according to the U.S. Customs investigation report. ‘The Finders’ became an
I have given this information to the FBI on seven occasions, and have demanded an
investigation for the international kidnapping and trafficking of children.
click to listen
Listening to The Other Side of Adoption with Trace A DeMeyer by Fire Talk Production https://t.co/6SGuMcotmn— TraceLHentz (@StonePony33) January 17, 2019
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