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Saturday, November 17, 2012

What kind of adoptee are you? #NAAM

It's National Adoption Awareness Month. Yes, there is more than one kind of adoptee. Knowing your circumstances could really help you. Every adoptee needs history to understand their predicament.

  • Are you an orphan baby? Were your first parents deceased? Think of Orphan Trains where children were taken off the city streets and shipped to farmlands in the midwest.

  • Are you an abandoned or relinquished baby? Did your birth mother abandon you or give you up to authorities? Seven million (+) adoptees are now living in the USA, and most adoptees will fall into this category.

  • Are you a rescue baby? Were you adopted from a Third World Country like Guatemala or Haiti (such as Operation Airlift) -  the result of oppressive poverty affecting babies and children, or were you sold by unscrupulous baby-selling operations?

  • Are you an adoptee from Korea or China or Russia or _____, where your governments decided you should be sent to the US and adopted? There are statistics for some (not all) intercountry adoptions. (see below)

  • Are you a Native American adoptee? Were you taken from your reservation and parents as part of a program that systematically adopted out Indian Children to non-Indian parents - a program designed to kill the Indian in you (using cultural genocide via assmilation)? Over the past 100 years, it's hard to know the number of children who were subjected to this form of adoption.

  • Are you a kinship adoptee? Were you adopted by a member of your own biological family?

The number of orphan visas issued for intercountry adoptions is tracked by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Demographic Statistics Branch, Statistics Division. For more information on intercountry adoptions, visit the U.S. State Department's Web site, at
How Many Children Were Adopted in 2007 and 2008?
Series Title: Numbers and Trends
Author(s): Child Welfare Information Gateway
Availability: View
Download (PDF - 629KB)
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Year Published: 2011 - 32 pages
Provides national statistical estimates for the total number of children adopted in the United States in fiscal years 2007 and 2008. The report includes highlights of the data; findings on the numbers of public agency, intercountry, and other adoptions; and data aggregations in exhibits, tables, and appendices. Data were collected by State courts, State bureaus of vital records, the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs.

What other kinds of adoptees are there? Please share a comment on this blog... Trace

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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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