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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Part One: Victims of Adoption and Lies


Trace was born in 1956 and legally adopted in 1958.
By Trace A. DeMeyer

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 

 

3 comments:

  1. I was part of the 60's Indian Adoption Project which included forging birth certificates and removing heritage. I have found state (Washington, including the governor) and federal governments unwilling to admit or even apologize for genocide.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If Australia is a sign, we might see an apology and the truth revealed some day in America and Canada... that is my prayer and my life's work now.
    Thank you Anonymous for your comment and I am so sorry you had to go through this...you are not alone...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is beyond outrage. An unwritten part of history that begins in 1492. I don't care for these endless lies that make the whites out to be heroes in every genre of our media. I am white, searching for a missing link to the Cherokee tribe in the baby scoop of 1880-1900.

      Delete

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After forty years, ICWA has proven to be largely successful and many states have passed their own ICWAs. This success, however, is now being challenged by large, well-financed opponents who are actively and aggressively seeking to undermine ICWA’s protections for Native children. We are seeing lawsuits across the United States that challenge ICWA’s protections. NARF is working with partners to defend the rights of Native children and families.

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where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?

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.