- LOST CHILDREN BOOK SERIES
- Split Feathers Study
- About Trace
- Karen Vigneault - Helping Native Adoptees Search
- How to Open Closed Adoption Records for Native American Children
- 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)
- Help for First Nations Adoptees (Canada)
- 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
- First Nations Repatriation Institute
How to Use this Blog
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Monday, November 18, 2019
This IS Adoptee Rights:
"I look at it as a human rights issue. Why should people who, to no fault of their own, happen to be adopted, have less rights to their existence?" David Weprin said. "It's really a piece of the puzzle people should be entitled to. In this day and age, there is no reason why there should be a restriction to an adoptee having access to their original birth certificate (OBC)." (via facebook)
This article sums it up...
No Wonder Adoption Agencies are Nervous About OBC Access!
Sunday, November 17, 2019
“My problem is secrecy. I believe that perpetually secret adoptions assure un-accountability and lack of transparency. And secret adoptions are only the tip of the iceberg. The secrecy permeates the process: secret identities, secret parents, secret records, secret foster care providers, secret social workers, secret judges and lawyers (all their identities are sealed, typically), secret physicians, secret statistics and, in the case of some adoption-oriented organizations, secret budgets and secret boards of directors. In any social practice, when people in positions of power hide behind masks, one can be pretty sure that they have something to hide.”
“Storytelling is an important aspect of Ojibwe culture. My ability to tell a good tale can be used as a tool for teaching and connecting. Even though I grew up outside of my Native community and culture, my stories helped me to become a part of the community that I had lost. Adoption is part of the contemporary tales that Native people need to tell…”
“Everyone has a right to knowledge about their lineage, genealogy and identity. And if they don’t, then it will lead to cases of incest...”
“We, as adoptees and birth mother’s, have become so conditioned to keep quiet and take the living in shame as just a part of our life that we don’t unite. As if we are not allowed to unite. The fear and stigma is so incredibly strong, it is all controlling. I truly don’t think adoptees realize this.”
Saturday, November 16, 2019
The National Residential School Student Death Register was presented publicly at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission...
READ: Names of 2,800 children who died in residential schools documented in registry
By Trace L. Hentz (Blogger- Adoptee) (repost from 2014)
I am an adoptee, well past the age of majority, and because of my closed adoption, I had to climb a mountain and claw my way up to discover any details about who my natural family was. Records were sealed in Wisconsin. Growing up, I had no medical history. I did not share my adoptive parents blood or ancestry. Mine, on paper, didn't exist.
Even recently I told a surgeon I am not sure about most of my birthmom Helen's medical history, though I do know she died from complications of diabetes.
I have not stopped thinking about the post I wrote on the LOST DAUGHTERS BLOG that APs need to stop blogging about adoptees. This is a looming hot issue concerning "privacy" for minor adoptees. At the 2014 MIT adoption conference, I heard it loud and clear. I'm sure many adoptive parents had not considered the ramifications of blogging about their children's lives, especially when adoptees are still minors. The dangers of sharing on social media and blogs are REAL yet being ignored.
APs are, in my opinion, in essence creating an "unsafe environment" for their child.*
Blogging about any child is an invasion of their privacy!
A toddler cannot consent to having his or her life experiences documented on public spaces. (I predict some day some clever lawyer will take this on and attempt to sue an adoptive parent for publicizing and publishing an adoptee's early private experiences, albeit from the APs perspective.) (There might already be stalkings and kidnappings due to the increased use of social media. You can find anyone with the click of a mouse.) (There was already one lawyer in CA suing adoption agencies for damaged goods - when an adoptee is ungrateful or not what the APs expected. This is what lawyers do!)
If someone must blog, then private password-protected blogs, shared between family members, is the only way to protect any child. Parenting blogs are one thing; blogging about the children you adopt is another.
Many adoptees have told me and related on social media, much needs to be changed about "adoption" - ending the lack of access to our own adoption files, having a copy of our real birth certificate, knowing our ancestry, our medical history and so much more....including an understanding of birth trauma, anxiety and stress disorders in adoptees.
My goal as a writer/adoption author/adoptee is to advocate for adoptees too young to advocate for themselves. I will do whatever it takes to make this issue understood from the adoptee perspective.
In my foster care training in Oregon back in the 1990s, there was no mention of protecting a minor child's privacy but people were not blogging and tweeting and Facebooking back then!
Yet there was plenty to read about confidentiality for birthmoms - if they chose not to tell anyone and gave a baby up for adoption - adoption agencies like Catholic Charities assured them no one would ever have to find out. The child (like me) would have a new identity and the records were sealed permanently.
This created a fantasy I had to deal with and live with as an adult. Until I met my dad Earl, I had no medical history or ancestry.
So much needs to change about adoption. It's a complicated mess. For 20+ years, I've done research on adoption as a topic. I am not a lawyer. More and more is coming to light that "adoption" is not at all what we thought. Much of what we read is/was created by the billion dollar adoption industry so it's their sale pitch, aka propaganda for adoptive parents (APs) and potential APs.
I am old enough now to advocate for those adoptees who can't. And I will.
If I run into APs and lawyers who get upset with me (or my blog) for voicing my opinion, get in line.
Here is a very revealing post from Jason on his blog concerning failed adoptions and the practice of advertising adopted children you no longer want: REHOMING:
Children For Sale: Get 'Em While They're HotHis post
I will end with Von's comment on Adoptive Parents blogging about adoptees:
The full exposure some adopters give to adoptees is seriously wrong and abusive. Some of you might remember the 'Potty Wars' and the 'Slant Eyes Fiasco' when adoptive mothers were adamant that their right to write whatever they wanted trumped the rights of children. Many claim they are not racist or abusive and that adult adoptees are over-sensitive and need to get a life, be prayed for or learn to be grateful. They pretend to pity us for our sad lives and state that their adoptees do not suffer and will not as we have. They know so little of the trauma of adoption and do so little to protect those they have adopted from further trauma. Anything posted is forever available and will undoubtedly be used by someone somewhere to bully, castigate, abuse etc because that sadly is the down side of our social media. Anyone who overlooks this is either naïve, stupid or deliberately abusive.
HEALTHLINE chose this blog as one to read in 2017
Friday, November 15, 2019
It’s not lost on me that one such episode on white privilege the family discuss the meaning and impact of the quote “Prejudice is the emotional commitment to ignorance.”
You can’t counsel yourself into belonging.
You can’t learn belonging any more than you can learn to be a peacock. You may learn enough to hang out with peacocks without alarming them but try to fly and you’ll know you’re not peacocky enough pretty quickly. Just so with the iceberg of culture. A myriad of secret handshakes lie beneath, unspoken tests and initiations sit between ourselves and others.
Belonging is at the heart of identity. Those who think it’s enough to decide who you are independently of others beliefs, are underestimating the role that being seen plays in our identity. Self-acceptance in our identity is a small, sometimes inconsequential island, validation of our identity is a continent. For transracial adoptees there can be a lot of sea between our island and that continent.
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
I think adoption has left many of us adoptees frozen in time as missing children. Details of our first days and birth are sealed in files – leaving us without essential details of our birthparent’s lives when they made the decision to let us go (or when we were taken).
Our adoption records are sealed so the majority of adoptees are still unable to have a copy of our original birth certificate in all but a few states in America. Why?
If we’re adults, why are we still being treated as children?
Most of us were adopted by strangers. In my case Sev and Edie didn’t choose me. I was available. I was not “chosen” or “saved” or “an orphan.” Those myths are repeated in newspapers everywhere, as part of the propaganda. This adoption industry is not about the chosen or saved or orphaned child. That’s the selling part. Those are their sappy slogans used to convince people to continue to adopt and pay their money. It’s just a mind drug that you’ve saved someone, or rescued an orphan.
I was not saved from my birthparents Helen and Earl. They were real people, alive. My mother was 22 and my father was 27. If my mother Helen had support from her parents, instead of condemnation for committing a sin and getting pregnant, she might have kept me. At the very least my father should have had the right to raise me, right? He would have, I was told when we met when I was 38, but it was too late to change what happened.
Right now, Minnesota STILL has my original birth certificate. They won’t release it to me. I’m 63!
All my parents are gone, all passed. It’s not that I do not know who they were. I opened my adoption at age 22 with a judge in Wisconsin. I know my names, their names and met my father. Why would Minnesota not release my birth certificate to me now?
Archaic laws. Old laws. Privacy? for whom? They are all dead. Why are adoption laws protecting dead parents?
This is my reality. I can’t change the laws myself but if you are reading this, you might pick up the phone and contact your state representative and ask them, who is adoption secrecy protecting? Is it protecting adoptive parents? Is it protecting dead birthparents? Why? Or is it protecting the adoption industry so they can continue their money making and human trafficking?
I know children will still be adopted, no question. The industry can’t be stopped overnight but if adoption is the only way for a child to be safe, find their kin and family (grandparents, cousins) to raise them.
If strangers must do it, give the child their name, ancestry, medical backgrounds for both parents, and a signed letter from each birthparent.
If only birthparents had to write that letter! Then they’d have to sit down and think far ahead when their own flesh and blood reaches adulthood. What reasons would you give your child as to why you chose adoption and handed them to strangers? What are good reasons? Religion, money, marital status, mental or physical illness?
This letter to your birthchild should be the law of the land.
(That letter would a reality check and could be a real deal-breaker.)
(reposted and edited from 2014...Trace)
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
State-Tribal Relations Committee takes up treaty rights, voting barriers, land status in Billings meetings
Improved communication among tribes and Child Protective Services
Montana is one of a few states that does not require a hearing for parents within 48 or 72 hours of their child being taken into the system. As a result, families in Montana may wait up to 20 days to see a judge.
“I’ve been really concerned about our Indian children and our child services,” he said. “We need to make a bridge, so we can bring our Native kids home.”
Monday, November 11, 2019
ICWA, as the law is commonly known, has faced dozens of legal challenges over its lifetime and finds supporters and opponents both within and outside Native communities. Like all Indian law, ICWA is complicated; according to its authors, this is largely due to the complex political relationship between the United States government and sovereign tribes. ICWA also reflects the complexity often found in family dynamics and the twisting narratives that accompany any report of child abuse or neglect.
Though ICWA did not become law until the late 1970s when it was passed by the 95th Congress and signed by President Jimmy Carter, its spirit was born in the 1960s when the Association on American Indian Affairs began tracking the number of Native children who were being forcibly removed from their families and tribes.
(Read more about the origin of law here, in “The Nation’s First Family Separation Policy.”)
ICWA may once again find congressional support if the Cherokee Nation is successful in its bid to add a tribal delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in history.
If the Cherokee Nation delegate is named, the timing of that individual’s ascent to the capitol could be critical. One of the most recent lawsuits, Brackeen v. Zinke, which challenges the constitutionality of the law, was reopened just this week when the Fifth Circuit Court agreed to rehear the case, despite having ruled in August to uphold the law.
What to ReadFind all of our ICWA-related coverage here.
Follow our coverage of Brackeen v. Zinke, one of the biggest legal challenges ICWA has faced in its history. Read about the first federal ruling against the law here, and the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision to uphold the law here.
Read about the Memorial March to Honor Lost Children – one of the only annual events in the nation that pays tribute to the loss of Native children to foster care, adoption and boarding schools. Learn about the march’s founder and longtime Indian rights activist Frank LaMere here.
Editor note: As it was 100+ years ago, as it is today: those who seek to take children away from their tribal relatives, we will fight them. This ICWA law is to serve tribal nations after attempted genocide. We will not go back. Aho! Trace
Again, the same rules don’t apply to the boys.
If girls do have information and can use and buy contraceptives, wouldn’t this curb unplanned pregnancies and the need for more adoptions? Yes, it would and it has.
and then this tweet:
What do you remember most from your first sex ed class? I remember Mrs. DeBlasio, the school secretary, telling us to never believe a guy who said he couldn’t wear condoms because they were too small and then she stretched one over her head like a ski mask as proof.— ghost mom (@radtoria) November 2, 2019
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
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