- How to Open Closed Adoption Records for Native American Children
- NEW! Help for First Nations Adoptees (Canada)
- LOST CHILDREN BOOK SERIES
- Split Feathers Study
- About Trace
- Karen Vigneault - Helping Native Adoptees Search
- The reunification of First Nations adoptees (2016)
- You're Breaking Up: Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl #ICWA
- FAQ ICWA 2016
- Indian Child Welfare Act organizations
- 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)
- NEW STUDY: Post Adoption (Australia)
- Oklahoma Supreme Court RULING: Brown v.Delapp (9-2...
- Dr. Raven Sinclair
- Laura Briggs: Feminists and the Baby Veronica Case...
- Adopt an Elder: Ellowyn Locke (Oglala Lakota)
- TWO NATIONS: Navajo (Boarding School)
- #MMIWG MAY 2019
- Survivor Not Victim (my interview with Von)
- Adoption History
- Native American News Outlets
- First Nations Repatriation Institute
- Adoptee Citizen Act of 2019
How to Use this Blog
If you or someone you know is in crisis, there's help available. Call 911, or reach out the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Monday, April 29, 2019
READ: The Traumatic Legacy of Indian Boarding Schools - The Atlantic
Has anyone read a book by Boarding School Survivors who were molested in the Catholic Churches? Please leave a comment.
Brooklyn Diocese Ignored Protocol And Unwittingly Accepted Priest Accused Of Abuselink
After the Boston Globe’s 2002 Spotlight investigation of sexual abuse, the USCCB created the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which called on church leaders to more thoroughly vet priests in order to prevent sexual abuse. In 2003, the USCCB published guidelines for vetting international priests, acknowledging the unique difficulties of conducting cross-border background checks. Despite the attention to more thorough vetting, a 2007 USCCB audit found that half of the credible sexual abuse allegations from children that year who were still minors were made against international priests.
Last year, the Diocese of Brooklyn posted names of 13 priests on its website who have been accused of sexually abusing minors and have been laicized, the most serious punishment in Catholicism. In the interview with W Radio earlier this year, Tobón said he referred the sexual abuse allegations against Cadavid to the Vatican after suspending him in 2012, and that he was no longer a priest. The 13 priests named on the diocese website are priests from the Diocese of Brooklyn, so Cadavid is not included.
Sunday, April 28, 2019
Thursday, April 25, 2019
The Arizona Court of Appeals decided the juvenile court did not meet the requirements of the act. by Emma Gibson
The Arizona Court of Appeals ordered a new hearing Thursday over the guardianship of a 6-year-old child who is subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act.
The Navajo Nation appealed the case, The Navajo Nation v. Department of Child Safety et al., in October 2018 after the juvenile court failed to hear the testimony of a qualified expert witness as required by the ICWA in the child's guardianship case.
The child, R.Y., falls under the act because his mother is a member of the Navajo Nation.When an indigenous parent cannot care for his or her child, the ICWA prioritizes the placement of the child in the custody of a relative or someone from the same tribal nation.
Tamara Shanker, the attorney who represented the Navajo Nation, said the act is an effort to rebuild indigenous culture after centuries of the removal of indigenous children from their families.
Shanker said that since the juvenile court awarded permanent guardianship without the testimony of an expert witness, it opened the door for future courts to disregard other aspects of the act.
"A Diné individual is as different from a Pascua Yaqui, as an Italian is from a Dane," Shanker said. "Just because they may all just be European doesn't mean that they're the same individual and have the same child rearing practices."
She said cultural experts are necessary to accurately assess an adult's ability to care for a child by his or her cultural standards.
The act allows for three types of qualified experts to testify in its cases. One type of expert is a fellow tribal member who is a specialist in the culture's childrearing practices. The person could also be someone who provides child and family services to tribal members and is an expert on the tribe's familial organization. The court will also hear testimonies from a specialist with extensive experience and knowledge on a certain topic pertaining to the case.
The expert or experts testify as to whether the parents or an indigenous relative could raise the child without causing severe emotional or physical harm.
"We needed to have this decision, because to not get this would have set a very dangerous precedent. If you start chipping away at critical requirements under the ICWA or any law, it's like, 'If we can chip away that requirement, we can chip away this one next time,'" said Shanker.
She said that since the juvenile court did not follow all of the act's requirements, R.Y.'s custody was legally unstable. Someone could appeal the ruling and possibly remove him from his guardian's care. She said this was not the Navajo Nation's goal in pursuing the appeal.
Shaker said she hopes the new hearing solidifies the boy's custody and reinforces that even permanent guardianship cases must follow all aspects of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Friday, April 19, 2019
Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Notice of Proposed Rule Making. Again.
We cannot currently track on a national level in any way how ICWA works, where children who are involved in ICWA cases are placed, what their outcomes are, or how many cases are transferred to tribal court, as examples. There is barely statewide data available, and most of it is on a county-by-county level. As just one example, Michigan is in a federal lawsuit over its data collection system.
I am deeply tired of hearing that tracking this information is simply too burdensome for the states that are putting children in care, and then getting hit in lawsuit after lawsuit with claims that are not supported by any data, but also cannot be refuted by data we refuse to collect.
If your tribe wants to submit comments, there will be model comments available before the deadline of June 18.
Consider this: The states pay foster parents - the bureaucracy secures money and keep those records, right?
Why not keep data on the kids they place? And did you know that once a child is adopted, no one from the state goes to check on the child(ren)?
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Proposed California law would make it easier for Native Americans to argue their side in child custody cases
Technically, the proposed legislation, AB 686, would let lawyers or other representatives of Native American tribes appear by phone or electronically in cases involving the possible removal of Native American children from their families and tribes.Such hearings are held as part of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law enacted in 1978 to stem the systemic removal of tribal children from their families and cultures — a practice that at one time touched as many as one in three Native American children. But the problem AB 686 aims to fix is as much about geography as culture.
Often, the hearings that determine where Indian children are placed are held hundreds of miles from tribal lands, making it difficult for all sides to be well represented in court. And without tribal presence during those proceedings, judges are denied information that might make their decision more compliant with the federal law, according to a statement from the Juvenile Court Judges of California to the Judiciary Committee, which passed the bill April 2.
GREAT NEWS: Proposed California law would make it easier for Native Americans to argue their side in child custody cases
Monday, April 8, 2019
Harstad, who is Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, was adopted shortly after birth through Catholic Charities adoption services in 1965. The agency placed her in a white, middle-class family living in St. Paul, Minn.
After obtaining her biological mother’s address through the adoption agency, Harstad sat down to write a letter. She felt immediately overwhelmed.
“It took me a long time, you know, days or weeks [to write]. Even the first word like, ‘Hello,’ or ‘Dear Mom,’” she said. “It took a long time to carefully choose my words.” Harstad provided her phone number in the letter and said she wanted to meet her mother.
Harstad, now 56, would later reflect on that moment: “I was searching for a part of myself that was missing, and I knew she was the answer whether it was good or bad or ugly. It was like a puzzle and you’re missing one piece. You’re just never going to be complete.”
If you have any questions about the study, you can visit www.boardingschoolhealing.org or contact members of the research team at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You may also request a paper copy of the survey or the research report when the study is completed.
Visit us online to learn how you can join the Coalition.
Friday, April 5, 2019
Texas, Indiana and Louisiana argue the Indian Child Welfare Act creates a special and unequal status for Native children that's unconstitutional. A Texas judge sided with them last December, but a federal appeals court is keeping the law in place while it considers.
Eastern Shoshone councilman Leslie Shakespeare from the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming said, before the 1978 law was adopted, there was a long history of removing Native children from the reservation. Even after the boarding school era, there was the Indian Adoption Project of the 1950's and 60's.
"It was actually a term, Indian extraction, where they took Indian children," said Shakespeare. "They adopted them primarily to non-Indian families in order to reduce reservation populations and to reduce spending time at boarding schools."
Back then, almost a third of all Native children were removed from tribal communities through boarding schools and adoption.
"I think that is the very heart of the Indian Child Welfare Act is children losing their identity and then further, because they're our next generation, the tribe losing our identity through that process."
Shakespeare said almost 40 percent of his tribe lives somewhere other than the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming and half of those members are children. He said if they came up for adoption, it's critical to the survival of the tribe they maintain their identity as Shoshones.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Stateline: Indian Child Welfare Act likely headed to Supreme Court
By Teresa Wiltz
Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts
A case before a federal appeals court could upend an historic adoption law meant to combat centuries of brutal discrimination against American Indians and keep their children with families and tribal communities. For the first time, a few states have sued to overturn the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, which Congress enacted in 1978 as an antidote to entrenched policies of uprooting Native children and assimilating them into mainstream white culture. Now, in a country roiled by debates over race and racial identity, there’s a chance the 41-year-old law could be overturned by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, considered the country’s most conservative court. (The law applies to federally recognized tribes.) Overturning the law, its proponents say, could significantly increase the number of American Indian children adopted into non-Native families.
Hundreds of tribal nations vehemently oppose the lawsuit. They say it threatens the sovereignty of Indian Country and seeks to “return Indian children to the arbitrary and discriminatory whims of state courts and state agencies, unfettered by the centuries-old trust obligations this nation owes to Indian tribes and Indian peoples.” Meanwhile, some states and private adoption attorneys pushing for change argue the Indian Child Welfare Act interferes in state affairs and “requires them to place Indian children in accordance with statutory requirements based on race, rather than the children’s best interests.” Oral arguments in the case were heard last Wednesday in New Orleans. Whatever the outcome, the case is likely headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Brackeen v. Bernhardt: Listen to a federal appeals court debate the future of the Indian Child Welfare Act. #ProudToProtectICWA https://t.co/lE8R1YAyNW— indianz.com (@indianz) March 13, 2019
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