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Howdy! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.
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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.

2019: This blog was ranked #50 in top 100 blogs about adoption. Let's make it #1... We hit 1 million reads! WOW!

2019: WE NEED A TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION Commission in the US now for the Adoption Programs that stole generations of children... Goldwater Institute's work to dismantle ICWA is another glaring attempt at cultural genocide.


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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

NARF’s work to protect the welfare of Indian children and #ICWA

 

Joint Press Release from National Native Organizations on the Overwhelming Support for the Indian Child Welfare Act
Screenshot of tribal amicus brief, click to see document 
(Portland, Ore., January 18, 2019)—On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 325 tribal nations, 57 Native organizations, 21 states, 31 child welfare organizations, Indian and constitutional law scholars, and seven members of Congress joined the United States and four intervenor tribes in filing briefs to urge the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the long-standing federal law protecting the well-being of Native children by upholding family integrity and stability.
“The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is child welfare best practice. Thirty-one leading child welfare organizations stated that ICWA serves the best interest of Native children and families with their declaration that ICWA is the ‘gold standard’ of child welfare policy,” said Sarah Kastelic, executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association. “As experts in research, education, advocacy, and providing services related to child welfare, adoption, and court-system reform, these organizations know that ICWA ensures all children and families receive the protections they deserve and that all children fare better when placed with family.”
“The National Congress of American Indians is moved by the overwhelming support to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act, which protects the best interests of American Indian and Alaska Native children. Tribal nations know, firsthand, the positive impact, the certainty, and stability that ICWA provides to our children in state-based child welfare systems,” said Jefferson Keel, president of the National Congress of American Indians. “Bottom line, ICWA works and the FifthCircuit Court of Appeals should overturn the erroneous district court decision and support American Indian and Alaska Native children and families because it’s the right thing to do.”
“The State of Texas and other Plaintiffs, supported by the Goldwater Institute, bring this litigation against the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) stating that it seeks to protect the equal rights of American Indian children,” said Shannon Keller O’Loughlin, executive director of the Association on American Indian Affairs, “but ICWA is equal rights and human rights legislation. Statistics show that state systems continue to remove Indian children from their families at greater rates than white children, even though incidents of neglect or abuse are similar. Current studies that have researched systemic bias in the child welfare system have found that Indian families were two times more likely to be investigated and four times more likely to have their children removed and placed in foster care than their white counterparts. ICWA was meant to provide protections against this systemic bias and reduce the overrepresentation of Indian children into these systems.”
“The Native American Rights Fund, along with our co-counsel at Dentons, is honored to represent the 325 tribal nations and 57 Native organizations that are signatories to the Tribal Amicus Brief,” said Erin Dougherty Lynch, senior staff attorney at the Native American Rights Fund. “The district court’s interpretation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) has never been adopted by any other court, makes no practical sense, is directly contrary to ICWA’s policy and purpose, and finds no support in centuries of established federal Indian law. Indian Country is united in its support for ICWA, and we are confident the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will overturn the district court’s decision.”

Read more about NARF’s work to protect the welfare of Indian children.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A system of insanity: Medicating Kids

By Trace L Hentz (a repost from 2015)

My friend Karen Vigneault wrote me an email with this 2015 op-ed http://www.madinamerica.com/2015/03/drugging-children-foster-care/ and said, "So sad, we are such a disposable society."

We are a disposable society. We in America have collectively lost our minds! As I wrote I my memoir, I could have been medicated and drugged for many behaviors as an adoptee/child, but that was the 1960s and they weren’t drugging adoptees then. In order to cope, I had developed an obsessive compulsive disorder.  Eventually my OCD did go away but by then I was a young adult. It helped I had "talk therapy" at age 22.

I also wrote about my foster care training in Oregon when I had 12 weeks of training and one class on “Medicating -- YES or NO"  -- and the social workers showed us a film.  In fact in 1995, YES, drugging was highly RECOMMENDED. They suggested foster parents/adopters get drugs for newly-adopted children and foster children. One father in the film said it was absolutely necessary for his son to be heavily medicated. (I recall there was quite a discussion among 20 of us in this class. I was the only single person getting trained in foster care.)

We have lost our minds (thanks to BIG PHARMA) if we believe drugs help children. It's the opposite!

If you really think about it, “children” are expected to be tranquil, compliant, grateful and act a certain way as children, even though many of us children have been lost and exposed to the gravest injustices being taken from our mothers and families. The children are expected to accept strange new people as parents and smile as though nothing's happened. 

I was so afraid as a child.

Reading this latest article, I am very afraid for all the new children thrust into this system of insanity.





Use the search bar on this blog for topics like this. I will be posting more about Karen Vigneault soon.

Monday, January 21, 2019

My Top Three: Difficulty for the Adoptee Search


THIS IS A REPOST FROM 2015

By Trace L Hentz  (Wisconsin adoptee since 1958)

I want the readers to know how difficult it can be to search for a birthparent. If you are an adoptee, you already know!

One: You don't really get much help with the non-identifying information! Most states offer it free. Unless you're a psychic, you'll have no help to find BOTH SIDES of your family. Most of us were given up for adoption because our mother wasn't married. His name won't be in the paperwork, not usually.

Two: At age 18 an adoptee may request a search for birth parent(s) identity and location and a copy of his or her impounded birth certificate.  There are conditions. I paid $75 for a court order and had to wait to see if the judge would release my file. The judge said YES - but he/she could have said NO. AND I already knew and listed my birth parents names and dates of their death. I knew all that information - yes - but I still wanted to read my file. I'M SO GLAD I GOT MY FILE!

Three: Reading about Wisconsin laws where I was adopted, the state would require AN AFFADAVIT - from both birthparents? Really? So they can find and contact my birthparent but not me? They are MY parents. This bureaucracy is completely ridiculous.  Do you think they make it difficult so an adoptee will give up?

They didn't write these laws for adoptees. NO! They wrote them to make it next to impossible for an adoptee to find out anything. 

DNA tests are becoming the norm for an adoptee so we can find relatives FASTER and with much less headache.

(My comments are in parenthesis)

Wisconsin: How the Law Affects Adoptees


  • When an adoptee is 18 years old, he/she can request medical and genetic information about his/her birth relatives and non-identifying social history information. 

(What good is that? Little help, very little hope.)

  • Upon written notification from a licensed medical provider, the Department of Children and Families or another licensed adoption agency must make every effort to notify an adoptee, 18 years or older, if a birth parent(s) or sibling has developed a genetically transferable disease or condition. 

(Now this would be a very scary situation, a letter or phone call you wouldn't expect. Why wasn't our medical information available to the adoptive parents at the time of birth?)

  • Also, at age 18 an adoptee may request a search for birth parent(s) identity and location and a copy of his or her impounded birth certificate. 

(Impounded - really?)

  • Identity and location of birth parent(s) will not be disclosed unless an affidavit of consent has been signed by birth parent(s).  If a court has legally determined paternity, or the father's name appears on the impounded birth certificate, affidavits usually will be needed from both birth parents. 

(THEY can find them? What if she remarried and changed her name? What if she doesn't admit who is the father? So many unknowns while the adoptee waits and WAITS!)

  • If the birth parent(s) files the necessary affidavits of consent, identity and location of the birth parent(s) and the impounded birth certificate will be released upon request. 

(How long will that take? How much will it cost an adoptee?)

  • If affidavits of consent are not on file, a search for the birth parent(s) will be conducted. If located, the birth parent(s) has the option of signing an affidavit of consent to release identifying information. 

(Obviously the state has resources to search for our parents - they have money to do that. Why should either birthparent consent to give me my own information? Why did the state law offer them that option? It's MY information. Why don't they end these archaic laws? The adoption industry makes BILLIONS of dollars. I do know its about making "forever families" and adoptees are simply the commodity. These laws protect the adoption agencies, the state and the adoptive parents.)

Rest in Peace Karen Vigneault, the woman who made miracles | Long-lost Native American Sisters Reunite

Using her own money, Karen traveled to Iceland late last year to meet Guðrún and the Iceland media covered it. Her wish was to reunite Guðrún with her tribe and relatives. She succeeded.[caption]


Kimberly Linebarger, left, with sister Gudrun Drofn Emilsdottir, in lobby of Seven Clans First Council Casino Hotel, Newkirk, Oklahoma, November 19, 2018.[caption]

Guðrún Emilsdóttir, circa 1967, baby picture

Guðrún Emilsdóttir, adopted shortly after birth, was 28 before she tracked down her birth mother.
Her birth mother gave Emilsdottir her birth certificate, which named her father, Henry Linwood Jackson.

“My nephew started looking for Henry,” she said.

Eventually, he contacted Native American genealogist Karen Vigneault, a member of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel in California who was profiled in an earlier VOA story.  On Vigneault’s advice, Emilsdottir took a DNA blood test; they uploaded the results onto an online database and waited.

(READ Long-lost Native American Sisters Reunite for a Joyous Thanksgiving)

Emilsdottir has returned to Iceland but is planning to return to Oklahoma in July 2019 for the “Encampment,” a pow wow the Otoe-Missouria tribe has held annually for more than 130 years. It’s an occasion for the tribe to sing, drum, dance and remember their history and traditions. And celebrate family, lost and found.

Henry Linwood Jackson, Otoe-Missouria tribe member, ca. 1965.
BIG READ: Long-lost Native American Sisters Reunite for a Joyous Thanksgiving

The reunion happened because of the tireless methodical work of librarian and tribal genealogist Karen Vigneault (MLIS); she and I have worked together since 2013.

I learned yesterday that Karen has passed away at her home in San Diego. 

She made miracles and reunions for adoptees, like these sisters.

It is impossible to put into words the impact she had on me and the lives of many adoptees she helped. She worked to find adoption records, tribal histories, family genealogy and find relatives that adoptees could contact and meet.

This loss is personal and devastating. Not just to me but to readers of this blog who are still searching and hoping and waiting and wanting to find their families.

I will post more when funeral arrangements are announced.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Can you hear me now?


"With life's depradations, perpetrated against the vulnerable, the Great Mystery is raising an amazing group of whom I coin 'Warrior Survivors'. As the chief of the Turtle Island Warrior Society, and advocate for Sky, Earth and All In Between, I also stand with these Survivor Warriors in what in all reality is a battle against the crimes of abuse perpetrated by those whom we are supposed to trust. In my journeys, I met such a warrior. Her name is Annie O'Sullivan; an extraordinary human being, with Sacred Fire which burns in her. Annie tells her story eloquently, bringing readers, or listeners, to a place and time beyond one's own realities. She takes us successfully out of the comfort zone, and into a world of such cruel reality as to make it virtually experiential. Yet, through the truth of her ordeals, this Warrior Survivor shines with strength, power and hope - not just for herself - but for all who have been through literal hell on Earth. It is a great honor to know Annie, and I know that through her story, you will come to know - and honor her - too." —Chief David Little Eagle, The Turtle Island Warrior Society

Adoptee Annie O’Sullivan was born in the New England area. Growing up in a military family she travelled much of the US with her family as they followed her father’s military career. Soon after graduating from high school she left to serve in the USMC. While on active duty she married had two children attained the rank of Sergeant and ultimately entered therapy. In the end Annie would log ten years of counseling, private, group and hospitalization. 

WARNING: Graphic Testimony on Abuse

Interview

Friday, January 18, 2019

Media Statements and News Articles on Fifth Circuit #ICWA Case

Quote from Intervening Tribes Statement:
We applaud the broad coalition of federal lawmakers, attorneys general from 21
states, and 30 child welfare organizations who have joined 325 Tribal governments and 57 Tribal organizations in filing numerous amicus briefs with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to defend the Constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
The past 96 hours have witnessed an unprecedented and overwhelming demonstration of support for ICWA and its constitutionality as a wave of amicus briefs were filed urging the Fifth Circuit to reverse the district court’s ruling in Brackeen v. Zinke, which erroneously deemed key provisions of ICWA as being
unconstitutional.
Passed more than 40 years ago by Congress, ICWA was designed to reverse decades of cultural insensitivity and political bias that had resulted in one-third of all Indian children being forcibly removed by the government from their families, their tribes and their cultural heritage.
ICWA ensures the best interests and wellbeing of Native American children are protected. ICWA preserves the stability and cohesion of Tribal families, Tribal communities and Tribal cultures. It maintains and reinforces the political and cultural connections between an Indian child and his or her tribe.
 

Media Statements and News Articles on Fifth Circuit ICWA Case

by ilpc

Newborn to be returned to her family this week

An Indigenous newborn taken from her mother just hours after birth in an apprehension broadcast live on Facebook is expected to be back home with her family later this week, an advocate for the family says. The infant has spent the five days since in an emergency placement with either a foster family or at a Winnipeg infant shelter where staff feed and change many of the newborns apprehended into care in the province, Cora Morgan, the First Nations Family Advocate at the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said in an interview on Monday. Ms. Morgan said she hoped the child would be returned to her mother and her great-aunt on Wednesday. Neither the hospital nor anyone from Manitoba’s Child and Family Services (CFS) would comment on why the infant girl was taken.

A total of 354 infants were removed from their families in Manitoba in 2017, 87 per cent of them First Nations; and 259 remained in care 12 months later, putting them on the fast-track for permanent wardship.

READ: Advocate hopeful Indigenous newborn taken by authorities to be returned to family this week - The Globe and Mail

Thursday, January 17, 2019

More than 280 Indian tribes and 50 tribal organizations have joined the tribal amicus brief Brackeen v. Zinke #ICWA

Photo of Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, authorization provided by the Idaho Attorney
General Office, 2019.


Published January 17, 2019
BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden supports the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) by filing an amicus brief after meeting with tribal legal counsel from Idaho tribes.  On Thursday, January 10, 2018, at the Idaho Statehouse, legal counsel for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (Brandelle Whitworth), Coeur d’Alene Tribe (Eric VanOrden), Nez Perce Tribe (Darren Williams), and Kootenai Tribe of Idaho (William Barquin) met with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and his senior staff to discuss the ICWA and the Brackeen v. Zinke case.
After the meeting and upon the request of his own staff, Mr. Wasden joined with the Attorneys General of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin in the bi-partisan group of states filing an amicus brief in defense of the ICWA.
Just last month, the Fort Hall Business Council authorized the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes to join the tribal amicus brief in BrackeenMore than 280 Indian tribes and 50 tribal organizations, including the Association on American Indian Affairs, the National Congress of American Indians, and the National Indian Child Welfare have joined the tribal amicus brief.
The Brackeen case involves a challenge by individual plaintiffs and the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Indiana to the constitutionality of the ICWA and its regulations.  In October 2018, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled that much of the ICWA and its regulations were unconstitutional.  The case is currently on appeal to in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
A press release by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and a copy of the states’ amicus brief may be found at https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-becerra-leads-bipartisan-coalition-21-attorneys-general-brief-0.

State of Idaho Attorney General Joins Indian Tribes in Defense of the Indian Child Welfare Act

by Native News Online Staff

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Adoption Didn't Solve the Indian Problem



Adoption didn’t solve the “Indian Problem.” Its weight simply shifted to our small shoulders. No one told us “we” represented “them.” We had to find that out for ourselves. Some of us are still looking. Bitterroot is a roadmap. - Susan Harness
An author recounts how 1960s policies ripped apart families and communities, including her own.

MUST READ: Adoption didn’t solve the ‘Indian Problem’ — High Country News

See her other posts on this blog... HERE
 HERE

Susan Devan Harness, author of Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption is a member of the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, a writer lecturer and cultural anthropologist living in Fort Collins, Colorado.

STOLEN GENERATIONS

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

'Between two worlds:' Saskatchewan Premier apologizes to 60s Scoop survivors

Sixties Scoop Apology - Government Of Saskatchewan

REGINA - Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe apologized to survivors of the '60s Scoop Monday for failing them and leaving them "caught between two worlds."
"On behalf of the government of Saskatchewan and on behalf of the people of Saskatchewan, I stand before you today to apologize. I stand before you to say sorry," Moe said before around 200 people at the legislature.
"We are sorry for the pain and the sadness that you have experienced. We are sorry for your loss of culture and language. And to all of those who lost contact with their family, we're so sorry."
About 20,000 Indigenous children were seized from their birth families and relocated to non-Indigenous homes starting in the 1950s until the late 1980s.


MORE

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Bringing Our Children Home: An Introduction to the Indian Child Welfare ...

NICWA Survey



click the links and answer the questions... I did... Trace

Takeaway Podcast ICWA

What our Nations are up against!

What our Nations are up against!
Survivors, write your stories. Write your parents stories. Write the elders stories. Do not be swayed by the colonizers to keep quiet. Tribal Nations have their own way of keeping stories alive.... Trace

Help in available!

Help in available!
1-844-7NATIVE (click photo)

click to listen

Diane Tells His Name

Please support NARF

Indian Country is under attack. Native tribes and people are fighting hard for justice. There is need for legal assistance across Indian Country, and NARF is doing as much as we can. With your help, we have fought for 48 years and we continue to fight.

It is hard to understand the extent of the attacks on Indian Country. We are sending a short series of emails this month with a few examples of attacks that are happening across Indian Country and how we are standing firm for justice.

Today, we look at recent effort to undo laws put in place to protect Native American children and families. All children deserve to be raised by loving families and communities. In the 1970s, Congress realized that state agencies and courts were disproportionately removing American Indian and Alaska Native children from their families. Often these devastating removals were due to an inability or unwillingness to understand Native cultures, where family is defined broadly and raising children is a shared responsibility. To stop these destructive practices, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

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.

Indian Country is under attack. We need you. Please join the ranks of Modern Day Warriors. Please donate today to help Native people protect their rights.

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.