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Wednesday, August 29, 2018
How much I changed (Part 1) #BABYVERONICA
By Trace DeMeyer (now Trace Lara Hentz) (I'm legally dropping my adoptee name in 2014)
I started this blog in 2009! How little I knew then. I tried to write a regular post about the subject of adoption, my own experience of search and reunion, my learning curve, what I hate about the billion dollar adoption industry, and the history I was finding about the Indian Adoption Projects and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), all of it. I looked at books, academic papers, everything I could find.
First I had to learn Google Blogger then I did as the marketers suggest: use social media and share your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter to get new readers. (Thank you all for reading and adding me to your networks!)
I met many adoptees after my memoir One Small Sacrifice came out. These Native American adoptees needed to tell their stories which lead to the first anthology TWO WORLDS.
Then along came a little girl named Veronica. I was utterly changed. To think a mother would (and did) adopt out her infant (when the baby had a young Cherokee dad who was not notified), I really thought this was an odd phenomena. This was not something that happens now. It's not the 50s, 60s or early 70s! We have the Indian Child Welfare Act, even it was passed in 1978. This was not supposed to happen!
What would make a mother do this? Money was all I could think or possibly revenge. (Even if this was a supposedly open adoption, Veronica's Cherokee dad wasn't in the picture and she was not adoptable since that is a violation of federal law!)
Veronica is a Cherokee child. We see how Veronica was ensnared in the racketeering industry called adoption. Veronica was sold! We really don't know how the Nightlight Adoption Agency circumvented ICWA but they did. Veronica was moved across state lines and the tribe was not notified correctly. All this smelled rotten to me.
I know about the Supreme Court case and I know that Indians don't win cases but come on! This is a child who is not with her tribe or her own family because her non-Indian mother adopted her out? How does this happen in this century when there is a federal law that was enacted to prevent this?
Well, this case was my wake up call. And there are other cases where evidently ICWA is not being adhered to, even if it is federal law. WHY? Indians can live anywhere and do. You can find a Lakota or Inuit in Los Angeles or Miami or Dallas. We have judges and social workers in cities everywhere asking how can this be? If the mother (or father) is Lakota or Inuit, shouldn't they be in South Dakota or Alaska? NO!
These authority figures learned as little as I did about Indians in school. If they know so little, they shouldn't even be allowed to handle a case with an Indian child. If they haven't been to an Indian reservation, they should recuse themselves from any case involving an Indian family.
What they don't know is dangerous. This is how children will slip through like Veronica did. And that is not supposed to happen with ICWA.
Indians are still living here in the USA!
(continued) Eight part series is posted under HOW I CHANGED (part 4 was deleted)
How much I changed (Part 2) #IndianProblem
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.
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