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Sunday, March 5, 2023

Part One: What if we lost ICWA?


“The adoption system traditionally requires that children disavow reality.” BJ Lifton, adoptee, author (1994)

By Trace L Hentz, Blog Editor

Lying in bed last night I was writing this post "WHAT IF WE LOST ICWA?"  (Most of my ideas got wiped out by sleep.)

Here is some of what I remember:

For the last few days I've been cleaning my Outlook email inbox.  (Hundreds and hundreds of emails are kept in folders, for safe keeping. Just in case: If I need to ask something, find something or someone.)  I thought I'd be more organized if I kept everything, to remember names. (I'm talking HUGE FILES and lists and replies and adoptee stories and so many requests for help.)

I started rereading.  Shockingly: I found emails from 2004-5, from old email addresses I used, and of course I found people I don't have contact with anymore.  (Some only use their cellphone and don't email, of course.)  I found adoptees asking for help, and many were helped...  (Several people opened their adoption files and some went into reunions. Some were enrolled with their tribes, eventually. Karen Vigneault was a miracle worker.  Then we lost her in 2020. Here is an article about her: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-war-vets-great-niece-rights-great-wrong-2010jan24-story.html)

Looking back: I left Facebook (META) in 2018 after my cancer surgery and there are so many people on there I lost touch with... who I still miss ... but they are there and I'm not.   I lost friends, all across the country and world.  (Yes, I regret it but the loss of privacy was a much bigger concern.  WHY?  My life was invaded by the Cambridge Analytica data hack.)


Looking back, I never would have found so many adoptees without Facebook. I wrote two newspaper articles GENERATION AFTER GENERATION WE ARE COMING HOME. Both publications are gone now.  The spark that lit a fire, that 2005 article started me on a new path and new journey to find adoptees. (I have not found the article online but if I can, using the Wayback Machine, I will post a link.  It may be in this computer somewhere.)

Social media helped to create this global circle of adoptees, Native American and First Nations Adoptees, like our own universe.  Facebook connected us to each other.  Emails came in.  This blog/website began in late 2009.

Now my inbox has taken on a life of its own. And this blog has taken on a life of its own, too. (2,264 posts so far...) (That is BIG)

What if we lose ICWA? What if the Indian Child Welfare Act gets wiped out? What will happen?

 

Only slowly their hurt dies cry by cry 

As they fit themselves to what has happened

Ted Hughes (1985)

 TO BE CONTINUED

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As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

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Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

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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